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Old 12-15-08, 10:35 AM   #1
quittaboy
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Bike removal - Chicago

So, I have a question to which I'm sure I'll receive lots of witty responses and people telling me about the law.

Chicago: On my walk from the bus to my office there is a beautiful older (mid 90s maybe?) periwinkle alum frame Trek 1000 with pink lettering. It's been locked up to a street sign for at least 4 months. It's been completely stripped down to the frame. The only things remaining are the chain, frame and handlebars (with the STI shifters still attached). This bike has obviously been abandoned. It's such a beautiful old frame it pains me to walk by it every day. I'd love to see it restored (maybe even as a single speed, though it has the shifters). Is there any recourse for someone wanting to lay claim to an abandoned bike? Is there a service that can remove the lock? Before you chime in, yes, I know it's not mine. I know that taking it essentially amounts to stealing. I'd prefer to think of it as "reclamation" Its original owner obviously has no interest in it and it's such a shame to see it sitting there unused. I'm just asking innocently if there is a way to "get it". Should I contact the city?

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 12-15-08, 10:39 AM   #2
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I did some Googling and based on the images I found, the year of the bike appears to be 1989-1990.
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Old 12-15-08, 11:39 AM   #3
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My old bike is still there? I was in Chicago a few months ago and forgot I had left it there. Just send me $20 and it's yours!
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Old 12-15-08, 12:15 PM   #4
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I'd contact the chicago department of transportation or whoever is in charge of street signs. I'll bet they are also in charge of abandoned vehicles. Which I suppose a stripped frame might be.
If they won't/can't let you have the frame, at least you'll know and can decide if you need to borrow a big ol' bolt cutter.
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Old 12-15-08, 12:30 PM   #5
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I'd contact the chicago department of transportation or whoever is in charge of street signs. I'll bet they are also in charge of abandoned vehicles. Which I suppose a stripped frame might be.
If they won't/can't let you have the frame, at least you'll know and can decide if you need to borrow a big ol' bolt cutter.
Yes, contact the city. At the present time the bike has been reduced to junk/trash and you are only
asking for salvage rights if the city will either allow you to cut the chain or they cut the chain.

You're only "dumpster diving" with a twist.
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Old 12-15-08, 12:34 PM   #6
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Given your description, I think it's reasonable to assume that it's been abandoned. Just get some bolt cutters and take it.
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Old 12-15-08, 03:19 PM   #7
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My son lives in Chicago and had a Trek 1000 stolen. Actually, he left it on the bus, and then it disappeared. what part of Chicago did you see this? Periwinkle? What color is this?
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Old 12-15-08, 03:30 PM   #8
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Leave the bike alone. It's part of a four-month stink operation by the Chicago Police Department. See, they know that if they bolt up a brand new expensive bike that the bike thieves will know it's a setup. So, the theives look for bikes that are pieces of junk and then stake them out for months, even years.

It's a waiting game of cat and mouse.
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Old 12-15-08, 04:42 PM   #9
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Leave the bike alone. It's part of a four-month stink operation by the Chicago Police Department. See, they know that if they bolt up a brand new expensive bike that the bike thieves will know it's a setup. So, the theives look for bikes that are pieces of junk and then stake them out for months, even years.

It's a waiting game of cat and mouse.
Stake out a bike for months or years.....in Chicago? You gotta be kidding!!
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 12-15-08, 06:23 PM   #10
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I'd love to know of a set of bolt cutters that can get through a kryptonite U-Lock.

As for the "sting operation"...um, this is Chicago. CPD doesn't give a $#!t about bike theft.

I want to go about this as legally as possible. I think I'll try the city.
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Old 12-15-08, 08:16 PM   #11
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I want to go about this as legally as possible. I think I'll try the city.
This should be good. The bureaucratic sludge you're about to dive into should have you angrily chewing that Kryptonite lock off with your bare teeth within short order.
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Old 12-15-08, 08:23 PM   #12
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Just take the street sign, leave the bike alone.
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Old 12-15-08, 09:24 PM   #13
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Put on a hi-vis type construction vest with some steel toed boots, with maybe a hard hat, and start grinding away at the lock. No one is going to ask you wtf you are doing. And, if by some chance they do (highly unlikely), tell them you're city maintenance.

Or, just go cut the F-ing lock. No one cares.
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Old 12-15-08, 09:25 PM   #14
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PS, the city could give a rats ass about our problems. You'd be lucky to reach them in under a 3hr phone wait...
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Old 12-15-08, 09:46 PM   #15
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Hey contact your Govener or one of the politicians... Sounds like he will sell you anything...
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Old 12-15-08, 11:00 PM   #16
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JPradun has it right.
If you are wearing a toolbelt, safety vest and a hardhat you can do almost anything. a clipboard helps, as well as a surly attitude. Get a bolt cutter, bottle jack, container of liquid nitrogen, whatever it will take. Paint it orange. be as bright and conspicous as possible. No one will mess with you. if a cop comes by, he will be curious, but tell him(or her)that you are a plant maintanance worker at the nearest university and you lost your bike lock keys a couple weeks ago, you already took most of the important stuff home off the bike and you just stopped by for the rest of it borrowing some tools from work. berate the cop a bit, not to much, just a tiny bit about how a couple of things have been stolen off it and how thats a pain in the a--. Act dignified yet slightly lowbrow. Never show fear or uncertainty. Cops can sense that stuff.

I don't advocate stealing, I call it promoting something that has been overlooked for a while.
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Old 12-16-08, 03:31 AM   #17
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Huh...

In Santa Cruz such bikes get tagged by the city, and removed in a week or two.
Then they are donated to the local Bike Church co-op, where you can get a legitimate shot at the parts.
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Old 12-16-08, 07:42 AM   #18
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Just keep in mind that if you call the city, the person answering the phone can't tell you anything other than what time the doors open. You might be better off asking a bike cop when you see one.
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