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  1. #1
    Junior Member minastirith's Avatar
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    Is it legal to steal abandoned bikes?

    Is it legal in Canada to steal abandoned bikes? There is this bike on my campus, where both wheels are all seriously abused (tacoed) but the frame is relatively in good shape. It has been there for around 4 months but noone has stolen it because the the front wheel is locked with a u-lock and it isnt a quick release. So I am planning to just take off the front wheel bolts and steal the frame if it is legal.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rancid's Avatar
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    here's the standard alot og us in hawaii use:
    1. leave a note on the frame stating your intent and listing away to contact you(preferrably a secondary email account).
    2.give it 2 weeks
    3. if you get no response, put one more note stating you'll jack it in 48 hours if no word.
    4. no word? jack that crap!!!!!

    its not legal per say.........but its rather respectful to the owner who might want it
    I've been here since 2004? I've never felt this old before.

  3. #3
    A Lost Member aluckyfiji's Avatar
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    sounds very gypsy-like to me... long story... but I know a guy who did it (left a note on the bike) but he went after bikes that were in good shape b/c he did not want to buy bikes for his wife or himself, so I have no repect for him or his wife because of it...
    "Please don't be mad. I know we were supposed to bequeath to the next generation a world better than the one we were handed. So, sorry."
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  4. #4
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by minastirith
    Is it legal in Canada to steal abandoned bikes?
    Let's state your question another way......
    Is is legal to TAKE abandonded bikes? Yes, if you are unable ,after a good faith search including asking
    the police, to find an owner then "abandoned property" belongs to the holder of said property.

    It is NOT and never will be legal to STEAL anything.

  5. #5
    Senior Member divineAndbright's Avatar
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    Its not legal just like its technically not legal to take a bike out of the trash that someone threw out.

    I dont think anyone would have any real beef about it seeing how you described it though, maybe you can take a photo of the bike should you decide to take it, that way if someone down the road is like "hey thats my bike!" you can show em the photo and say you were sure it was abandoned. and offer to give it back if they want it of course (minus your new wheels!). Thats probably what I would do anyways.

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    its not rusty or anything?

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    Another case of lack of parental responsibility

    Parents teach right from wrong obviously yours didn't or couldn't or themselves didn't know

    THEFT IS WRONG, its a basic in child raising, like lying or picking on someone younger or weaker, or taking their lunch money

    Just cause its a bike and you want it? Indicates a distinct lack of morality on the part of the thief

  8. #8
    Senior Member Caspar_s's Avatar
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    So is littering and abandoning a bike that is locked someplace is the same thing.

    He could be cleaning up the campus of a bike that some student left behind when he went back home.

    I would talk to campus police/security or whatever you have, find out what their position on it is. Let them know you will repair it and use it but give it back if anyone reports it missing. (of course the other thing is - it's four months over winter, so maybe they will want it when it gets warm again)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    Good advice. Talk to campus police. Just because a bike hasn't been used for four months doesn't mean it has been abandoned. What if the owner is simply doing a semester elsewhere. There really could be multiple scenarios that would make your action a theft.
    .
    .

    Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.

  10. #10
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    Dont do it. I have seen these police stings on Cops. They have the area staked out and are just waiting for someone to steal it. Little do you know that the bike is valued at $1,100 so it will be a felony. You'll get 5 years in the slammer.

  11. #11
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Notify the campus police of the bike. Let them handle it. But do be sure to let them know you want to take ownership of the bike legally if the owner does not claim it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    The applicable Budhist precept says: "Take only that which is freely offered." That would make this a "No."

  13. #13
    Junior Member minastirith's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I will email the campus police department and i am going to see what they have to say. By the way, the bike frame is in relatively in good shape without any dents or rust. Oh, and I don't think the bike values more than $200-300 canadian, since its a department store bike brand (CCM). I was just planning to use it for spare bolts and parts for my winter beater commuter.
    Last edited by minastirith; 03-11-06 at 02:20 PM.

  14. #14
    The Other White Meat BroMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunFlower
    Dont do it. I have seen these police stings on Cops. They have the area staked out and are just waiting for someone to steal it. Little do you know that the bike is valued at $1,100 so it will be a felony. You'll get 5 years in the slammer.
    If it's been there four months maybe the police just bust you for attempted theft. Law enforcement's participation to re-cycling: using the same decoy over and over.

    I like the way you think, SunFlower; but Tightwad in msg #4 states my opinion.

    Can anyone imagine leaving a bike locked up (poorly) in a public place with any expectation of finding it where it was left after four months?

  15. #15
    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
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    not legal, but maybe reasonable. I won't go into it, because it's a moral argument that you have to settle with yourself.

    The "Physical Plant" (aka groundskeepers) at my school will cut locks and take bikes that are "abandoned" according to their legalese for more than 2 weeks. Every 6 months or so, they sell all the bikes they've collected for $1-5. sometimes you can get some great deals.
    Weather today: Hot. Humid. Potholes.

  16. #16
    I love my life! charlesw's Avatar
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    My campus auctions bikes that have been left on campus.

    I reccomend doing it legit- contact your campus police.

  17. #17
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Campuses typically have policies to deal with abandoned bikes. Usually ownership will revert to the campus after a set number of months. So it's a no-win situation: you're either stealing a bike from a student or from the campus. Unless you can find the real owner and buy it for a buck, leave it alone!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Albany-12303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travelinguyrt
    Another case of lack of parental responsibility

    Parents teach right from wrong obviously yours didn't or couldn't or themselves didn't know

    THEFT IS WRONG, its a basic in child raising, like lying or picking on someone younger or weaker, or taking their lunch money

    Just cause its a bike and you want it? Indicates a distinct lack of morality on the part of the thief

    ?????

    Its not a matter of morality - 4 months!! Its abandoned! - much like an old broken tennis ball found beside a court.

    Take the frame and pat yourself on the back for cleaning up an eyesore. Properly dispose of the tacoed wheels (aluminum can be recycled)

    Keep Canada beautyful.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nachoman
    Good advice. Talk to campus police. Just because a bike hasn't been used for four months doesn't mean it has been abandoned. What if the owner is simply doing a semester elsewhere. There really could be multiple scenarios that would make your action a theft.
    At Purdue, the University Police and the dorms would tag the bikes and then after a time remove them. University employees got to buy the bikes for $10 after a specified period of time.

  20. #20
    J E R S E Y S B E S T Jerseysbest's Avatar
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    take it! don't let your conscience distract you! f'd up wheels? very doubtful anyone will be coming back.

    vote in this poll
    http://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/179117-looks-like-bike-ripe-pickin.html#post2291957

  21. #21
    Warrior Cyclist cycle17's Avatar
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    If after contacting the campus police, you cannot find the original owner...I would probably take it. Considering how long it's been there...it's likley the owner has graduated etc...

    And as far as bikes in the trash...... it's been many years, but I got two older bikes from the trash/dumpster this way. Fixed them up and enjoyed many miles of happy riding on something that someone else discraded and would have ended up in a landfill somewhere. When I finally did get rid of them, I GAVE THEM AWAY to friends and made no money on them.
    Just Do It..

  22. #22
    Senior Member Albany-12303's Avatar
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    Hey - I went to U of Waterloo back in the mid 80's and abandoned my old Sekine 10 speed near the Campus Centre. It wasn't a QR either, so maybe the one you see is mine!
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  23. #23
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Get the serial number off of the bottom bracket (most likely) and check with the National bicycle Registry then let the cops know. Our local Junior College registers students bikes. Some thief may have locked it there and some owner will thank you for returning it. If they do not want it back try for a deal.

    While stuff put out in the trash is no longer private property some cities ban dumpster diving. Particularly aluminum frames and rims. The city wants the money. I get reflectors from the dumpster behind my favorite lbs.

    I go with that buddist saying.
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