So the bike is now officially mine and I can safely disclose the secret.
...Guess who got their hardtail back?
For those not aware of what that means, check this thread.
Now for the story......Monday morning (2 days ago, I'm typing this Wednesday night for those of you who are time zone impaired) I slept in a little, which I never do, and took my time shaving and getting ready which meant I had to catch the late train (something I also never do) on my daily commute. I get on the train and see a dude with a bike, but he's a little way away and the train is pretty packed so I say to myself "When I get off the train, I'll walk next to him. I like perving on a nice bike subtly"
The train gets to the end of the line, and we both get off. I catch up to him and on my way there I notice he too was walking a BSX Comp down the platform, something I was no stranger to back in the day, and that he too was running an 08 XT rear derailleur, and that he too had a big ole distinct scratch (which was almost a gouge!) in the middle of the top tube....hang on a second....that's my bike!
So I stop the guy and pretend I just want to talk bike for a bit, but I wind up asking him how long he's had it "Yeah I bought it second hand on the 29th of December last year" he says to me. Funny how he remembers the date so specifically, but hey. I ask him where he bought it from and he said one of the local pawn shops (cyclops/harov3/whatever your name is now - it was Cash Generator in midland). I believed him because he was pretty well dressed, spoke with proper English and was pretty clean looking. He didn't look like a bike thief.
I ten said to him "Look, xxxx, I think you have inadvertently bought my stolen bike". He looked a little puzzled and then I explained to him (I was a little frantic, excited and jumpy by this stage as you can imagine) that it was stolen from my house on xmas eve 2007, a mere 5 days before he purchased it. He was very helpful and oh so co-operative. e said "Look, I paid good money for this bike, so I'm of course not just going to hand it over to you this morning" which I understood fully and explained to him that if I could get his number I would go to the local police station on my way home and speak to an officer about what the right course of action is, which I did. I gave him all the details I had, along with the receipt from the bike shop proving I owned it.
This morning I get a call from the Constable saying that if I go to the secondhand shop in question and quote them my incident report number, the bike is mine to pick up. The guy got his money back, and as far as I know, Cash Generator are in quite a bit of trouble. All I know is I'm really stoked to be back on my bike, my pride and joy. I rode it home this afternoon and, honestly, I shed a tear as I took off on it. It's beyond great to have my bike back in my shed, locked up safely. I'm not letting it go again.
Only things that were wrong with it were the back brake had no pads in it at all, so I grabbed a set on my way home, the pedals had been swapped out to Odyssey Triple Traps (I though these were Trials pedals? Anyway...) and the bars and stem have been changed to crummy Kmart items since Monday. I can live though, I'm just stoked to have it back, and in one peice.