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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 11-11-10, 09:58 PM   #1
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Spotted A Old But In Working Order Touring Bike Apparently Abandoned In Los Angeles

Today going to and going home from shopping at the local Food-4-Less, I walked by a really nice bike. It was lying on it's side completely unlocked with no one around. The bike was a older 1970s or early 1980s Nishiki. While it had a bit of grime a slight rust, it was in otherwise working order. In other places, this bike would not elicit a second glance. But here it would seem to be one of two possibilities: stolen, then abandoned or planted by law enforcement to "catch" a would-be bike thief. I felt it a shame to just leave it there as I used to recondition bikes just like that one and either used it for a time or donate to charity or someone who I knew needed a good bike. It really hit me how much times have changed as bikes are now such a "hot" selling or bargaining item with the poor and the struggling masses in large cities.
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Old 11-11-10, 10:51 PM   #2
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You left it there?
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Old 11-12-10, 05:44 AM   #3
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I would have considered calling the police, around here it may or may not elicit a response...

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Old 11-12-10, 11:18 AM   #4
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I would have considered calling the police, around here it may or may not elicit a response...

Aaron
I would take the bike home and call police to tell them you found a possibly stolen bike. If it does not elicit a response, you can try posting an ad to find the owner or repurpose it...
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Old 11-12-10, 11:32 AM   #5
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... pictures ...
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Old 11-12-10, 11:39 AM   #6
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I would take the bike home and call police to tell them you found a possibly stolen bike. If it does not elicit a response, you can try posting an ad to find the owner or repurpose it...
I wouldn't do that because of the possibility of a sting operation.

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"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 11-12-10, 09:32 PM   #7
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When my bike was stolen, the thief left a very nice classic Fuji lying where my bike had been locked--a swap, I guess you could call it. The Fuji was definitely worth more than the bike athat was stolen. When a cop finally came, I asked him about the Fuji. He said, "When it comes to bikes, as far as Ipm concerned it's finders keepers." So I doubt if it would do any good to call the cops. I would probably take the bike home and enjoy it.
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Old 11-13-10, 01:59 PM   #8
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When my bike was stolen, the thief left a very nice classic Fuji lying where my bike had been locked--a swap, I guess you could call it. The Fuji was definitely worth more than the bike athat was stolen. When a cop finally came, I asked him about the Fuji. He said, "When it comes to bikes, as far as Ipm concerned it's finders keepers." So I doubt if it would do any good to call the cops. I would probably take the bike home and enjoy it.
The cops attitude is right on the money. It cost more to process, investigate, and prosecute a stolen bike crime than the bike will ever be worth to anyone. That said, I will not hesitate to take a found bike home to hold for 30 days for the owner to collect then it's mine as found salvage.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
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 11-13-10, 02:45 PM   #9
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The cops attitude is right on the money. It cost more to process, investigate, and prosecute a stolen bike crime than the bike will ever be worth to anyone. That said, I will not hesitate to take a found bike home to hold for 30 days for the owner to collect then it's mine as found salvage.
Somewhere recently they were running a sting using a poorly locked/unlocked bike IIRC it was somewhere in Texas. Caught quite a few people with it.

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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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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?"
_krazygluon
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Old 11-13-10, 05:58 PM   #10
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I would have rung the police and told them what you found there and then .... if or rather when you get the "what do you want us to do about it " reply tell them that you are taking the bike for safe keeping and would like your name and number recorded in case it get's registered as stolen.

Perhaps have left a note as well .

That way if you get seen taking it by the owner or it is part of a sting operation you can back up that your not stealing it.

Then after .. 30 day's or whatever seem's fair to you ... it's your bike do what you want with it.
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Old 11-13-10, 06:15 PM   #11
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Somewhere recently they were running a sting using a poorly locked/unlocked bike IIRC it was somewhere in Texas. Caught quite a few people with it.

Aaron
Yes, but they always use the most expensive bike they can find.... that way it's a felony charge instead of a misdemeanor.
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Old 11-13-10, 07:54 PM   #12
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Yes, but they always use the most expensive bike they can find.... that way it's a felony charge instead of a misdemeanor.
Depends on the area, around here a felony has to be more than $1,000 in Wisconsin it is $2500, Vermont $100.

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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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Old 11-13-10, 10:44 PM   #13
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You left it there?
Yes, I did. And other people passed the bike right by.

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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
I would have considered calling the police, around here it may or may not elicit a response...

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Originally Posted by crazybikerchick View Post
I would take the bike home and call police to tell them you found a possibly stolen bike. If it does not elicit a response, you can try posting an ad to find the owner or repurpose it...
Something inside me told me not to touch the bike. You see, around here, people use bikes like this for serious transportation as they are mostly recent immigrants and I found it very odd at first for a bike to be lying around like that. Perhaps 20, 30 or more years ago it would have been different.

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... pictures ...
I don't have a cell/mobile phone with camera. And my digital camera was at home.

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The cops attitude is right on the money. It cost more to process, investigate, and prosecute a stolen bike crime than the bike will ever be worth to anyone. That said, I will not hesitate to take a found bike home to hold for 30 days for the owner to collect then it's mine as found salvage.
These recent immigrants are not the usual ones that entered the United States in my grandparent's time. Some are illegal, meaning undocumented, and are not very traceable. Many don't want to be found. Many were originally criminals in their home countries or more recently turned to crime out of desperation. I learned to give them a wide berth when it comes to dealing with them as they are not like most other immigrants were in the past. A large item like a bike is hard to lose unlike a wallet or a ring. And if I took the bike, I would expose myself to possible danger (getting a knife in my gut), so no, I don't touch stranger's bikes anymore without their permission.


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Yes, but they always use the most expensive bike they can find.... that way it's a felony charge instead of a misdemeanor.

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Depends on the area, around here a felony has to be more than $1,000 in Wisconsin it is $2500, Vermont $100.

Aaron
This event happened in California. And your list indicated $400 as being a Felony theft. The bike would still be a misdemeanor in it's present state I estimated at around $150-200 US dollars based on the wildly inflated speculated prices going on now at the Los Angeles area Craigslist and the like.

I would take a stray or lost dog or cat in even today. I have returned small sized valuables that had traceable names, addresses, and/or phone numbers with the item. I have even taken in stray young people having a hard time I knew from school or church many years ago before all the craziness started. But bikes, I pass. I really need to know where it came from.

Thank you all for your inputs.

Last edited by folder fanatic; 11-14-10 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 11-14-10, 11:44 AM   #14
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Somewhere recently they were running a sting using a poorly locked/unlocked bike IIRC it was somewhere in Texas. Caught quite a few people with it.

Aaron
When I say "found bike" I mean a bike out of place with no locks and not parked in a normal manner.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
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 11-15-10, 08:30 AM   #15
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You could of just waited outside by the bike or notified the store owner and maybe have them make an announement over the PA to see if it was anyone's in the store?
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Old 11-15-10, 04:05 PM   #16
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You could of just waited outside by the bike or notified the store owner and maybe have them make an announement over the PA to see if it was anyone's in the store?
Food-4-Less does have a PA system installed as the building is less than a decade old-mostly used for muzak. They never use it for promotional reasons or even lost kid announcements, so why would the manager do so with a bike? That is assuming you can locate him/her (they tend to disappear and you never can find them for anything-even store business). As for waiting around outside, I don't like to do that even during the day around here.

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Old 11-15-10, 07:49 PM   #17
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The cops attitude is right on the money. It cost more to process, investigate, and prosecute a stolen bike crime than the bike will ever be worth to anyone. That said, I will not hesitate to take a found bike home to hold for 30 days for the owner to collect then it's mine as found salvage.
So police should only punish people who steal expensive stuff from rich people?
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Old 11-17-10, 10:12 AM   #18
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The cops attitude is right on the money. It cost more to process, investigate, and prosecute a stolen bike crime than the bike will ever be worth to anyone.
Although what you say makes sense from a purely economic standpoint, it worries me that enforcement of the law should have to depend on such judgments. I see a slippery slope: should we defer prosecuting a child molester or murderer if the cost of the investigation and prosecution does not warrant it?
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Old 11-17-10, 04:09 PM   #19
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This threat is in desperate need of pictures.
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Old 11-17-10, 09:30 PM   #20
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... pictures ...
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This threat is in desperate need of pictures.
This is not the actual bike I spotted and discussed in the original first post of this thread. But it is still proof, plus a visual aid for the people who are visual learners using this forum, of what really happens to bikes that are not accompanied by a person in the Los Angeles area-be it the actual owner or a legitimately borrowed or user rental. Even with the U Lock (which the Nishiki was not locked with anything), placed in a high foot traffic well lighted area similar to Food-4-Less outside boundary, this bike was still stripped. That is why I was suspicious about the one I discussed originally.
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Old 11-18-10, 06:04 AM   #21
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I second the idea of phoning the police telling them you've found it. If they don't seem bothered, give them your name and address in case someone registers the bike as stolen, then inform them you're taking it home for safekeeping. If no one's contacted you after a month or so, claim it as yours.
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