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Old 09-02-05, 09:56 AM   #1
cthipphavong
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how do i know if a used bike is stolen?

hi my name is chris and i'm a noob here

i'm looking to buy a used bike from craigslist for my commute to school and a little bit of trail riding. i want something dirt-cheap because theft is always a problem on a college campus, and i don't want anything to attract attention, or that would really hurt if it were to be stolen.

my question really though is, how do i make sure that i'm not buying a stolen bike? it's mostly a matter of principle. i just don't want to give any money to a person who's profiting from ripping off poor college kids.

i'm looking at this raleigh

http://www.craigslist.org/eby/bik/94993191.html

and the guy has quite a few other bikes for sale

http://www.craigslist.org/eby/bik/94993015.html

http://www.craigslist.org/eby/bik/94993015.html

and i tend to get suspicious when an average guy has that many bikes for sale?

do you all think it's cool to buy from him? btw i went to the local LBS first, and didn't find anything in price range. i figured it's most effective for my needs to buy a used bike like this, and buy the parts and tune-up etc that i'll need from my LBS.
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Old 09-03-05, 05:12 PM   #2
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Sad to say, but very few people record the serial number of their bike. Thus, when it gets stolen, it's next to impossible to identify it.
That's why we do a registration program here when we rent the kids a lock; we also put numbered stickers on the bike indicating that it will be in the database if stolen.

If you are serious about checking, you could have the local gendarmes run the serial number through NCIC, but that won't prove anything conclusively.

A few other dodges; put your name, adress, etc on a piece of paper and put it inside the handlebar.

Use an engraving tool and put your SSN or other identifier in a hard-to-notice spot like the seat tube inside the frame, the inner side of a crank arm, or somesuch. Makes it easier to identify if stolen. Hard to believe, but many victims can't even tell us what brand or model their bike was. "Uh, it was red..."
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Old 09-08-05, 02:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikewer
Use an engraving tool and put your SSN or other identifier in a hard-to-notice spot like the seat tube inside the frame, the inner side of a crank arm, or somesuch. Makes it easier to identify if stolen. Hard to believe, but many victims can't even tell us what brand or model their bike was. "Uh, it was red..."
Good idea, but don't use your SSN. Police here in CA say they can't do much with SSN, but driver's license number will allow for easy recovery. So I've been told.
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Old 09-08-05, 02:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cthipphavong
<snip>and i tend to get suspicious when an average guy has that many bikes for sale? <snip>
I wouldn't, but all three posts have "been deleted by its author", according to CL.
Now, that's suspicious!
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Old 09-08-05, 03:27 PM   #5
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i recently bought bicycle magazine's 1000 top bicycle tips. one was, put a piece of tape labeled "this bike was stolen" + your phone number in a place where a thief might not look, but a bike mechanic would. i think their recommended spot was underside of top tube.
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Old 09-08-05, 03:28 PM   #6
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Engraving with SSN is definitely a bad idea. The thief's already got your bike,no sense giving him a chance at your identity.

Read a good tip in the book,_Urban Biker's Tricks and Tips_. Put your name/addy/phone # on a pair of cards and put them in your tires. Since flats are common,it's much more likely someone buying your stolen bike will find the card than if you just put it in your handlebar. How many people check inside the handlebars of a bike they've just bought?
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