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Old 11-06-08, 06:58 PM   #1
swskeptic
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Abandoned Bike

There is an abandoned old city bike at my local Meijers store on Gull Road in Kalamazoo, MI.

It has been there for a month now and management says the only thing they can do is cut the lock and throw it away. They can't give it away due to it being someone else's property. Is there anyway for me to get it legally? I would cut it's lock, it's only cable, but I'm not down with that kind of thing.

What kinds of experiences have people had in the past when dealing with something like this. I'd like to save this bike if possible, it's perfectly fine except for a flat tire, this makes me really sad....
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Old 11-06-08, 07:12 PM   #2
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They can't give the bike away because it's not theirs. You can't take the bike because it's not yours. It's really pretty simple.

It is a shame to see a bike go to waste like that, but such is life. In a pinch, you could ask them to cut the lock and throw it away (because the site of it offends you?) and then take it out of the trash, but that's really not much different than cutting the lock yourself.
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Old 11-06-08, 07:23 PM   #3
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Have them toss it, then take it from the dumpster. Then, you didn't steal it, and they didn't give away someone else's property. You just "found" it in the trash. I'd be down with that. If that bothers you, just let me know when and where they're tossing it.
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Old 11-06-08, 08:40 PM   #4
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After doing some research I think tomorrow sometime I am just going to go see if it is gone, if so I'll assume it is in the trash, if so, I'm going to pick it out.

Turns out dumpster diving is legal around here in Michigan unless there is a sign explicitly saying so. If anyone knows different please let me know!

I will post photos of the bike I suppose when/if I get it.
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Old 11-06-08, 09:00 PM   #5
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You could give them $5 for a removal fee. Then throw it away at your house. When you get around to throwing it out is another topic.
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Old 11-06-08, 09:05 PM   #6
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Um, now why would I just throw it away? My plan was to either repair it and give it to someone that needs transportation or strip the parts off of it and give the rest to a friend of mine to turn in for scrap metal.

I'd rather someone get some use out of it either way. Be it for transportation, or an unemployed someone selling it for scrap to support his girlfriend and newborn baby.
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Old 11-06-08, 09:47 PM   #7
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Um, now why would I just throw it away? My plan was to either repair it and give it to someone that needs transportation or strip the parts off of it and give the rest to a friend of mine to turn in for scrap metal.

I'd rather someone get some use out of it either way. Be it for transportation, or an unemployed someone selling it for scrap to support his girlfriend and newborn baby.

I believe Dan was kidding about tossing it away. But if your state is like mine once they toss it in the dumpster it is fair game.
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Old 11-06-08, 09:59 PM   #8
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Just take the bike.
The owner probably violated his parole last month and now is locked up for the next year.
You would be saving the bike from being exposed to a harsh winter and a slow rust related demise.
It's the humane thing to do.
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Old 11-06-08, 11:34 PM   #9
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I believe Dan was kidding about tossing it away.
I think he was totally serious about throwing it away.

But he meant to just wait... oh, five or ten years before actually tossing it.

Our sergeant in combat training sometimes asked to buy any extra smokes from us. The thing was, technically, money & merchandise couldn't actually change hands. So, the kid with the cigarettes would drop the pack to the floor, the sergeant would drop his money, and they'd pick up their goods. The cigs and cash were just "laying on the floor".

The way you can get the bike and have everything covered is for them to cut the lock, them to take it to the dumpster, and you take it from there. They would be disposing of an abandoned bike on their property, and you're just dumpster diving.
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Old 11-06-08, 11:39 PM   #10
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complain to the city and police. say its an eye sore and its littering, its been there so many days/months. they should come out, cut it, check the serial number and see if it has been reported stolen. if not they will probably put it up for auction. if you know a cop, you can help speed the process along as a concern citizen that needs a bike. its alot of red tape, but the most legal and ethical thing to do. personaly i'd talk to the managment and leave your number with them incase someone comes asking for the bike, offer to pay managment a little for the bike, 20bucks, and get a sales slip. i doubt you will ever be taken to court, but its better than, "oh i found it in a dumpster."


in high school i had a bike stolen. i had just gone into a freinds house to return a dish. i was inside for literally 60seconds. i had a chain wraped around the frame. a couple of years later i'm sitting at a cafe and i see my excat bike ride by. the frame was painted a different color, but it still had my chain on it. the guy locks up the bike across the street and goes into a store. i walk on over, and tried to remember the combonation lock. guess what...it opened. so i locked up the bike and wrote a note. "if you need a ride home call me, and wrote my cell number" i went back to the cafe and sipped my tea.
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Old 11-07-08, 08:12 AM   #11
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Talk to the store manager again, telling him you will remove the bike for him and properly depose of it. And leave him your contact information.

The stores that sell food around here, all have a sign for no dumpster diving. We use to get produce scraps for our rabbits and chickens, and they shut us down. Now it just goes to the landfill, hug that tree...
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Old 11-07-08, 12:00 PM   #12
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in high school i had a bike stolen. i had just gone into a freinds house to return a dish. i was inside for literally 60seconds. i had a chain wraped around the frame. a couple of years later i'm sitting at a cafe and i see my excat bike ride by. the frame was painted a different color, but it still had my chain on it. the guy locks up the bike across the street and goes into a store. i walk on over, and tried to remember the combonation lock. guess what...it opened. so i locked up the bike and wrote a note. "if you need a ride home call me, and wrote my cell number" i went back to the cafe and sipped my tea.
And then?
Did he ever unlock it?
Did he cut the chain?
Did he call you?
Did he leave it and you came back to get it?

If it was yours, I hope you ended up reclaiming it.
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Old 11-07-08, 12:19 PM   #13
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Talk to the store manager again, telling him you will remove the bike for him and properly depose of it. And leave him your contact information.
This ^^^ and similar advice is better than what I gave. It's one thing to legally acquire an abandoned bike, but it's even better if you can take care of it while its owner is away (who knows, maybe he really did violate his parole, or went on vacation, or flew to his parents' to take care of the house while his mother stayed in the hospital, etc).
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Old 11-07-08, 01:37 PM   #14
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Yeah, call the Kalamazoo police and ask them what to do.
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Old 11-07-08, 03:50 PM   #15
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Technically the owner of the bike is subject to arrest/court. He littered on private-property.
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Old 11-07-08, 04:50 PM   #16
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Just take it, for crying out loud.
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Old 11-07-08, 07:45 PM   #17
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And then?
Did he ever unlock it?
Did he cut the chain?
Did he call you?
Did he leave it and you came back to get it?

If it was yours, I hope you ended up reclaiming it.
I would like to hear the rest of this tale aswell.
What did he do?
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Old 11-07-08, 08:00 PM   #18
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First of all, I want to hear the rest of weaver's story. C'mon! Ya can't leave us hanging!

But seriously, wrt the original post. Inform your local gendarmes that the bicycle is abandoned. Be sure to give them the make, model, and serial number. Explain to them you're going to take it out of the elements. They may ask you to fill out a form.

Typically speaking people need a chance to recover their property, so you aren't going to be able to strip it for parts right away. However, most jurisdictions have a period of time after which even the police will consider it abandoned.

WARNING: the statutes in many places, including Oregon, do not define "vehicular theft" (a felony) to involve a vehicle that has a motor on it. This presumably is to protect travel trailers and the like. However, removing the bike without clearing it with the local police is, consequently, probably A Really Bad Idea.
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