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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bacchusbill's Avatar
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    Abandoned Bike...How long should i wait?

    I don't really wanna start a thief vs "proactive bike stewardship" thread, but...... i guess i will. Lets try to keep that at a minimum, tho'. Here is what is happening...

    I live in the upstairs of a 2 story "double" and my entry is up a flight of wrought iron steps. The steps are on the left of the house, and bordered on the left by the neighbors 8' fence. Being the lazy bastage that I am, I occasionally leave things under my stairs...My turkey fryer is there, and has been since december, and i have also left my bike rack down there for days at a time. I make no pretense of this being a secure area, and i live in what i describe as a "hood adjacent" neighborhood. I know my neighbors and they are good people, but literally a block over is bad. Anyway...

    Sunday night a POS pacific rigid MTB shows up leaning against my turkey fryer. Now, i have plenty of bike projects to restore, a '48 phantom, 71 peapicker, a crappy gt thats morphining into an 8sp townie with racks and risers, as well as the IRO group buy coming in. And its a small frame..

    So i left it out there. Today one of my friends came by and asked about it. She doesnt' have a bike, has wanted one (just a beater to ride around the 'hood) and just quit smoking and is looking for a healthy distraction.

    I looked it over and could make it ridable pretty easily. Shakercan paint (for her...i KNOW its still a pacific), a set of grips, and new cables and housing would pimp this ride.

    So....if someone left a bike "on your porch", how long do ya hafta wait to adopt it and give it a good home?

    (sorry for the epic read )
    "Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live." ~Mark Twain

  2. #2
    Prefers Aluminum Sprocket Man's Avatar
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    Ask the other people who live on your property if they know who's bike it is. If they don't, I'd say just take it. It was left on your property - I don't think anyone has the right to come back and claim that they own it.

  3. #3
    Troublemaker Berg417448's Avatar
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    You might want to check and make sure that it hasn't been reported stolen. You wouldn't want her to get caught on a "hot" bike.

  4. #4
    el padre
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    +1 ...would not take much to do it "legal" and ask around or at least get the opinion of the local authority...may save a lot of embarrasment later. I hate embarassment. peace

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bacchusbill's Avatar
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    I am certain its none of my neighbors', but i will ask 'em. They wouldn't have set it here to store when they have a true front porch they could let it rust on. I was thinking of putting a lock on it with a note and my phone number, but i will pobably watch it another day or so and then bring it upstairs.
    "Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live." ~Mark Twain

  6. #6
    Walks with a limp dijos's Avatar
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    as a former longtime resident of NOLA, if it was left, it's yours. If you find a total POS mint green beach cruiser that is also black rustoleum accessories, that's mine. I left it out when I moved From Mid city (ursulines between rendon and hagan). I miss that bike. go eat at Lillette.

    edited. haha, NOPD looking for a stolen bike. Not.
    I am looking for a 52cm-ish lugged mixte or ladies frame. Pm if you got one.
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  7. #7
    Striving for Fredness deputyjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprocket Man
    Ask the other people who live on your property if they know who's bike it is. If they don't, I'd say just take it. It was left on your property - I don't think anyone has the right to come back and claim that they own it.
    Does that mean if you were at a friends house and forgot your wallet there it is now their property?

    To the OP's point: Would not be a bad idea to check with local law enforcement for their advice as these matters are handled differently in different places, but I would ask around and wait a month or so. If no one claims it then I think you could safely assume it has been abandoned.

    I would document the first day you saw it there and at least make a mental note of the attempts you made to find the owner (which neighbors you asked, etc.) that way if you do paint it no one could later claim that you did so with the intent to cover up a theft.
    Monsignor: We must always fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil that we must fear the most, and that is the indifference of good men.
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  8. #8
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    don't bother with a pacific

  9. #9
    Prefers Aluminum Sprocket Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deputyjones
    Does that mean if you were at a friends house and forgot your wallet there it is now their property?
    Big difference between a wallet (which I presume would carry identification as well as other items of value) and the bike he was referring to (a "POS", which has very little, if any value). I didn't say that anything left on his property would be rightfully his, but in the case of this POS bike, I'd say it's fair game.

  10. #10
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    Ask your neighbors about it. If nobody recognizes the bike, put a note on it inside a ziplocked plastic bag saying it will be removed for the next trash pickup or in two weeks, whichever comes first.

  11. #11
    Feral Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Leave a note on the bike, give them some time to remove the note or take the bike away, then claim it as your own. If you're feeling really honest, you can leave a note up in the area even after you take it, just in case the owner comes back and wants it back. But that's really honest.
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  12. #12
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    It's odd that someone would leave a bike propped up by your turkey fryer, but if the police aren't concerned, do as Blue Jays and Nicodemus have suggested:

    Ask around, then leave a note for a few weeks. Either the owner will get back to you, and reclaim the bike, or you can allow your friend to take over ownership.

    My husband stumbled over much the same thing about six months ago. He dutifully reported it to the local PD. They sent someone over to get details. Apparently not stolen. A few weeks ago, the PD called. "What would you like to do with the bicycle, sir? It's yours now." No one claimed it, and it wasn't stolen. It was simply abandoned. It was practically brand new. Who knows why?

    At any rate, it was donated to the local GW.

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  13. #13
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Sure... take it. When the guy comes back looking for it finds it gone and decides a turkey fryer is a fair trade, don't come whining here about slimy theives.
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  14. #14
    is full of it. charlisity's Avatar
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    I'd wait two days and ask my neighbors about it in that time. No leads? Take it to the police and turn it in as found property. They will hold it for 90 days to give the owner an oppoprtunity to claim it. If there is no claim in that time, they call you and give you the bike which is now legally yours. Take your friend when you pick it up, register it under her name while you are at the station. Live happily ever after.

    Been there, done that.

  15. #15
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlisity
    I'd wait two days and ask my neighbors about it in that time. No leads? Take it to the police and turn it in as found property. They will hold it for 90 days to give the owner an oppoprtunity to claim it. If there is no claim in that time, they call you and give you the bike which is now legally yours. Take your friend when you pick it up, register it under her name while you are at the station. Live happily ever after.

    Been there, done that.
    Just wish they'd lose the 46cm curly lugged Hetchins here, instead of the usual Pacific/Magna models .

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  16. #16
    eternalvoyage
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    There are laws that cover this sort of thing, and are very specific. It might be a good idea at least to know the laws, whatever you decide to do. That way you are aware of the legalities of the situation.

    The police can probably help you with this, or you can find the laws and study them for yourself.

    I believe it is illegal to remove or alter serial numbers. And serial numbers of lost or stolen bikes can be on lists for a long time.

    Then there is the moral side. It's probably a good idea to do whatever you can to find the owner. Who knows what happened. Someone might be missing the bike and wanting it back. What if you were on the other side? Wouldn't you want someone to do right by you?

    Then, when you've done what you can, you can have a clean slate with the bike, if you end up with it.

    It's probably best to do things the right way.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Bacchusbill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh
    Sure... take it. When the guy comes back looking for it finds it gone and decides a turkey fryer is a fair trade, don't come whining here about slimy theives.
    Absolutely not! I would certainly understand the sudden foot of karma being stuck in my a$$! The fryer has already been taken upstairs.

    Its still there, and i haven't happened on any neighbors yet. The girl is going back to Memphis for a few days next week, and I told her if it is still there when she returns, I'd teach her how to fix it. If not, we will go to the all-time best bike co-op ever..(at least that i've been to) Plan B bikes and build one up for her there.


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  18. #18
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    My guess is that once the Pacific/Magna has been hanging around for a couple of weeks, it's going to be pretty safe to assume it has been abandoned. It's not like we're talking about a new Pinarello or something...

  19. #19
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    So, you are considering going through all of this hassle painting the bike, replacing parts for what?

    Isn't this one of the Wally World bikes you could buy new for $50 and then spend 10 minutes checking the assembly?

    Frankly, even though the bike may not be worth what you would pay new, I would rather do that than dump effort into an old used one. At least your friend would have new crap instead of old crap.

    You sound like you want to help your friend at your own time and expense, so I don't want to minimize that, but it would only take a little more monetary commitment and a lot less of your time to give a new cheap bike instead of polishing a turd
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  20. #20
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    I leaned my bike against a turkey fryer under the porch stairs. The fryer has obviously been there for a while. It looks abandoned.

    So I left it out there. Today one of my friends came by and asked about it. She doesn't have a turkey fryer, has wanted one (just a beater to use around the 'hood) and just quit smoking and is looking for a healthy distraction.

    How long should I wait before I claim the turkey fryer as my own?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  21. #21
    Striving for Fredness deputyjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin
    So, you are considering going through all of this hassle painting the bike, replacing parts for what?

    Isn't this one of the Wally World bikes you could buy new for $50 and then spend 10 minutes checking the assembly?

    Frankly, even though the bike may not be worth what you would pay new, I would rather do that than dump effort into an old used one. At least your friend would have new crap instead of old crap.

    You sound like you want to help your friend at your own time and expense, so I don't want to minimize that, but it would only take a little more monetary commitment and a lot less of your time to give a new cheap bike instead of polishing a turd
    $49.73 at WallyWorld.com, and it does not have the crappy frame suspension.

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  22. #22
    TAP
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    Abandoned Bike

    As suggested earlier contact your local PD and report an abandoned bike, they will recover it and if it is reported stolen or lost at least you will not be at risk for possessing stolen property.
    Some agencies will allow you to make a claim if it is not stolen.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Bacchusbill's Avatar
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    Blue Jays....it has been abandoned, but for someone to "abandone" it under my steps, makes me assume it was stole in the first place....But you're right...it is a POS. Nos shifter cables, only a front brake, saddle chewed to hell, no grips, rusted chain and spokes...definitely looks like a katrina bike.

    Darwin..normally i would agree, but this showed up on my door step and i would rather help her perform a derailluerectomy than try to teach her how to adjust a crappy new, geared bike. $$ are hers..i have enough projects.

    2many...if it was your porch and a worn out looking turkey fryer showed up under it, it wasnt' your neighbors and it hung out there for a week? sounds like your friend would have a turkey fryer.

    Tap..Maybe in San Dimas...I appreciate what you are suggesting, but the popo didn't even give us a drive by when a neighbor called 911 at gunshots around the corner recently. As dijos joked in post 6, NOPD would laugh at me if i called about finding a bike, and would ignore me if i called about a stolen bike.

    Thanks for all of the replies....
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  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    You really should at least check craigs list before claiming it. NOLA residents post a lot of stolen bikes.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Bacchusbill's Avatar
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    Well, the unprotected pacific made it a full week before disappearing as quickly as it had appeared. I would be willing to bet any of my bikes that it was REstolen, vs simply stored, temporarily, by the rightful owner under my stairs. Oh well, c'est la vie.
    "Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live." ~Mark Twain

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