I am new to the biking world and had my interest piqued in road bikes. Not wanting to spend the 700-1000 upfront, I decided to find a used road bike on Craigslist.
I ended up meeting up with a guy selling a newer Bianchi steel road bike for 250 (retailed at 799). Instantly this struck me as a good deal, so after some back and forth, I ended up meeting with the guy later in a random location. I ended up purchasing the bike from him because it seemed to be in pretty good condition.
Unfortunately, my inexperience with bikes led me to purchase a bike that was way too small for me so I decided to relist the bike on craigslist and go into an LBS and get fitted and do it right. I had fallen in love with the bike.
Fast forward to a few days after I posted the listing, a guy contacts me saying hes super interested in the bike and wants to meet up in the early afternoon. I agree. He reschedules to 4pm, says he'll offer $50 more than the asking price. I agree.
We meet up, he checks out the bike and within 30 seconds, 2 cops flank me from either side. Say the bike is stolen. Serial number scratched off. Some parts are switched out (i didnt change anything). They confiscate the bike from me. They said I didnt look lke the type to be involved with this and basically let me go on my way, without my bike. The cops tell me that this bike was probably stolen as part of a bike stealing ring that operates downtown.
So the guy gets his bike back, the PD has information about possible bike thefts and me, I'm out $250. I know there were clear red flags throughout this whole process (random location, low price) that could have indicated the bike might have been stolen but I never once gave it any thought. Im completely new to the whole scene and I guess I was blindsided by it.
I have the original owners email address and phone number, would it be in poor taste to ask if he'd be willing to cover some of my loss. I understand it sucks for him to go through the loss of getting his bike stolen, but in a way, I feel like my bike was stolen. I would never intentionally buy or sell stolen items and furthermore, am in a financial standing where that isnt an issue. I just feel its the right thing to do on his part.
Should I just chalk it up as a $250 lesson?
The bike, the owner claims, was stolen two months ago. The bike had been posted for over 18 days when i purchased the bike. Why didnt he find it then? I used a similar title.
What do you think? Thanks
tl;dr: unknowingly purchased and sold a stolen bike. I feel like the bike was stolen from me. Should I ask the original owner to cover or at least split the cost of the loss