A year and a half ago, I had a Specialized Hardrock that I paid $350 for stolen from me. It was locked up outside the public library I was visiting. Afterwards, I reported it to the police who took my report and responded that stolen bicycles are not a high priority for them. I also told the library officials that a video camera should be placed outside where the bike rack is so things like this wouldn't happen and the thieves could be caught. They said it wouldn't be cost effective. I asked my city council man to talk to them about it. He later said he talked to them and that they "might" re-aim one of their internal cameras (which they have about 15 of) to see the bike rack outside. This has never been done.
Well, here we are 1.5 years later, and I got a letter in the mail from the police department saying that my bike had been recovered. Someone had tried to sell it at a pawn shop. Great news, right? I got my formerly pristine bike back trashed! But I figured I could get compensation from the person who tried to pawn it, since the police had their name, and the police said that the case was being forwarded to the District Attorney's office for prosecution. But then I call the D.A.s office only to find out that their was no case after all. They said they didn't believe that the person who tried pawning it was the actual thief, but that this person had bought the bike from someone else, who bought it from someone else, etc. They also said that this person wouldn't say who he bought it from. And since they, nor I can prove that he was the actual thief, he won't be prosecuted. As far as being in possession of stolen property, they said he would have to be "knowingly" in possession of property that was stolen in order to be prosecuted for it.
So there you have it folks! The police catch the guy red-handed with my bike that was stolen from me and reported to the police, and my bike is trashed, and they let the guy go, even though he won't reveal who he bought the bike from. Thieves have it made. But we taxpayers don't!!!