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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 11-15-09, 12:35 PM   #1
lot's wife
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Is stealing a bike ever okay?

Outside of a building where I spend most of my time at my college is an Electra bike that has been locked to the bike rack for about 4 months. It's in the same place, covered in dirt, flat tire, soon to be snowed on.

I've thought about asking about it on craigslist, but figured that would just alert people that there was a bike that is easy to steal. This is one of the few brands of bicycles sold in town. I'm assuming some kid came to school, bought a bike, dropped out, went home, and abandoned it. Either way it seems abandoned.

It's locked with one of those walmart combination cable locks that can be removed in less than five minutes with no tools.

Any opinions about a course of action? Forget about it? Take and donate?
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Old 11-15-09, 12:37 PM   #2
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Why do you want an Electra bike?
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Old 11-15-09, 12:39 PM   #3
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Wasn't there a similar thread?

here it is
Stealing is sometimes Ethical

Last edited by hairnet; 11-15-09 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 11-15-09, 12:42 PM   #4
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It's only stealing if you get caught.
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Old 11-15-09, 12:46 PM   #5
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Why do you want an Electra bike?
I don't really. Could use it to get around the neighborhood, give it to my girlfriend, it's got a basket that could fit a six pack from the corner store. It just seems like a shame for any bike in good condition to go to **** because some kid with money to waste decided it wasn't worth his time.
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Old 11-15-09, 12:48 PM   #6
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If it's locked up in the same spot for weeks/months and is just wasting away, I'd consider it fair game.
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Old 11-15-09, 12:58 PM   #7
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Or you could wait until campus security comes around, cuts the locks off, and then has their bike auction. The owner might suddenly decide that he/she wants it if you help yourself, and that hassle is not worth a free bike, to me. Doesn't matter how long it's sitting there, it's still their bike. Possession is nine-tenths of the law, and all that.

Also, it's an Electra.

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Old 11-15-09, 01:05 PM   #8
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Don't steal bikes bro.
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Old 11-15-09, 01:38 PM   #9
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Try to pull some strings with campus security.... Like run into an officer and tell them about the bike and your concerns and slowly try to convince them to give you the bike after like a waiting period or something.....
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Old 11-15-09, 01:40 PM   #10
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there's a special place in hell for child molesters and bike thieves...
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Old 11-15-09, 01:43 PM   #11
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Unless it's your bike that you are stealing back, no it's never ok. People who steal bikes are bike thieves, and just because you want it doesn't make you any different from them. In fact it makes you a bike thief
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Old 11-15-09, 01:43 PM   #12
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there's a special place in hell for child molesters and bike thieves...
Satan's bed. I heard he goes both ways.
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Old 11-15-09, 01:55 PM   #13
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Try to pull some strings with campus security.... Like run into an officer and tell them about the bike and your concerns and slowly try to convince them to give you the bike after like a waiting period or something.....
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there's a special place in hell for child molesters and bike thieves...
I hate bike thieves. I emailed the campus police to see how they deal with this sort of thing, but there are scavenged bikes in varying states of decay that I'm reasonable sure have been locked to racks for a couple of years.

I really hate to see a usable bike not be used, but I guess I don't want to cross the line to "bike thief."
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Old 11-15-09, 02:09 PM   #14
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there have been two bikes i've considered stealing. one was a lemond cross bike that was locked just by the QR front wheel. I saw it for the first time last November, and it was still locked to the same spot at the end of january(no idea how it lasted that long). the other was just an old road bike(i needed a geared bike at the time) that was in horrible shape and locked outside the library at my school for 4 months. They both eventually disappeared.
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Old 11-15-09, 03:46 PM   #15
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Is it stealing? I don't know, what do you call it when you take something that isn't yours?
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Old 11-15-09, 04:55 PM   #16
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There was a GTB U-locked to a pole in my town for months and months. Stuff began disappearing from it and before long, it was just a frame, fork, bottom bracket, headset and seatpost clamp. Finally, I approached a cop downtown who was writing a ticket right near where the frame was laying on the ground still locked to the pole and asked him what the deal was. He chuckled and told me that if I could get it off the pole, I could have it. He proceeded to give me his name and info in case anyone tried to stop me or whatever. Later that day, my friend went down there to get it and he's been riding it ever since.

It wasn't exactly stealing, though...
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Old 11-15-09, 05:07 PM   #17
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The key here is determining if it's abandoned or not.

People who call you a thief assume that it's not abandoned. If it's abandoned it seems that the previous owner doesn't claim property rights on it anymore (in a negative sense), and at that, it's yours for the taking.

Stealing involves taking someone's property that's not yours and claiming it as your own... in this case, since you're asking the question if it's legitimate to steal the bike, you seem to say that it's not abandoned. By virtue of your own question, yes, taking the electra would be wrong.
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Old 11-15-09, 05:07 PM   #18
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Abandoned property is considered free game until the original owner comes looking to get it back. You would have to give the property back given they can prove it was theirs. IMO if you are sure it is abandoned and you've asked the campus pd about it, then it would be fine. I've seen bikes in the same spot for years at my old school...the campus didn't even move them or anything.
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Old 11-15-09, 05:09 PM   #19
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in b4 lightningcow
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Old 11-16-09, 03:40 AM   #20
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stealing a bike is always okay.
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Old 11-16-09, 03:57 AM   #21
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If it's locked up in the same spot for weeks/months and is just wasting away, I'd consider it fair game.
And who gets to decide what the appropriate period of abandonment is? The thief?

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Old 11-16-09, 08:09 AM   #22
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if you steal the bike you will turn into a pillar of salt
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Old 11-16-09, 08:21 AM   #23
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Steal IT!!!! First maybe put a note on it for a couple of days to see if it is truly abandon. If it is, go nutzo on that mofo!
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Old 11-16-09, 09:50 AM   #24
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Stealing is stealing. Once it is at the curb, in the trash, at the dump, it is then fair game.

Again, special spot in hell for bike thieves.
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Old 11-16-09, 11:59 AM   #25
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There was a bike parked in front of the dorm with flats. It's been there all summer and even had a tag on it saying it was going to be taken to the dump if no-one picked it up, so my girlfriend decided to take it instead of it being taken to the dump.
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