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  1. #1
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    Update on Stolen Merlin Extralight

    Thought I'd give ya'll an update on Roger's stolen Merlin. Ya'll were so helpful and nice when I first posted to the forum.

    I received an email this weekend that a bike shop in Denver had seen the bike at least twice in the past couple of months. We called them and confirmed that it was Roger's bike. Things went from bad to worse when Roger talked to them today. It seems that they figured that the bike was stolen and called Denver PD. An officer came out and since he couldn't find a serial number on the bike, he told them they had to return the bike, that there had been no report of a stolen bike such as the one that they had. Apparently, Denver PD doesn't have the ability to search their own police reports or access their Bike Theft Unit.

    Roger called the detective he's been dealing with and once again, he was "unavailable". This is the same detective who told Roger that he was "too busy" to talk to him about his bike or follow up on a lead that Roger had gotten from posters that he placed around Denver.

    Needless to say, Roger is very upset that he did everything that he was supposed to in reporting the bike stolen and this is the SECOND lead on his bike that the Denver PD have failed to act on.

  2. #2
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    Thats a bummer. No serial numbers. Who would take an engraver to such a work of art? Really though what could the cops do? Unless there was a witness or someone from the factory would come over and ID it. (yeah that's the bike we made for Rodger, that custom head tube angle is the tell. Wow this means that Merlins are hot bikes to steal. Better crack out the huffy stickers.

  3. #3
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slagjumper
    Thats a bummer. No serial numbers. Who would take an engraver to such a work of art? Really though what could the cops do? Unless there was a witness or someone from the factory would come over and ID it. (yeah that's the bike we made for Rodger, that custom head tube angle is the tell. Wow this means that Merlins are hot bikes to steal. Better crack out the huffy stickers.

    My Merlin Extralight has a serial number (1611). It must have been filed off.

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    His bike is totally custom. There isn't another one like it. From what we've been able to discern, this beat cop didn't even check the Bike Theft Unit when he made his decision. The Denver PD has a picture of Roger's bike. It has numerous ID'ing marks, none of which were checked by the cop.

    Most Merlin's do have a serial number. It's usually on the bottom of the frame. We even went to the guy who built the bike and he didn't have the serial number. We never could find it on this bike. If and when Roger gets it back...we'll definitely get it engraved. In fact, the PD where I lived suggested that Rog should use his DL number, along with the state abbreviation. That way, if it's lost/stolen, it can be traced back to the owner. I thought that was a pretty good idea.

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    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
    My Merlin Extralight has a serial number (1611). It must have been filed off.
    Sorry about your loss. Where is the sn on the bike? I wonder how hard the police looked for the sn. You'd think that the city would be liable for the cops mistake. THe DL id number is a good idea. Where would you engrave it though? I once had the cops engrave a bike on the handle bar, I guess so that they would see it right away. But it is pretty easy to swap out the bars.

    I've seen techniqes for uncovering a s/n with chemicals after it was filed off. I think that was on a ***.

    I've got a Gary Fisher x-caliber. I took photos of the s/n right away. It is somewhat unique because the s/n is double stamped. Might be a good idea to stick something in the seatube so you could ID it even w/o an sn.

  6. #6
    Senior Member psiphi's Avatar
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    Did the bike shop say if the person was trying to sell it or have some maintenance work done on it? If they are taking it to shops, it might be worthwhile to send emails to the shops to be on the lookout for it. Perhaps putting up some posters at Velo Swap would help too.

    Sorry to hear about your loss. I do not have kind thoughts for the Denver detectives as well. I got hit by a car and even though someone got a license plate number that matched the description of the car, the only thing the detective did was send them a letter to ask the owner of the car to come to the police station. The car owner ignored the letter and the detective didn't make any attempt to contact them after that one letter. Detective school must be hard.

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    You can always sue in civil court. You don't even need a lawyer. Just pick up one of those DIY books on filing suit in small claims court. If you ever find out the name/address of the offender (whether it is someone who stole the bike or hit you while riding), you don't even need the police. If you just have the license plate #, I am sure a PI can get you the name/address. You may not get all your money back (and they won't go to jail) but you will certainly make their life miserable. If you are lucky, a judgement in a civil court may persuade the police to persue criminal charges.

  8. #8
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    Seriously, I would contact a local reporter of a news show or something. They grab at stories like that. If they have an investigation unit that's dedicated to showing our inadequate law enforcement wasting our tax dollars, this is right up their alley. And the news folks will sniff down that bike, call the PD, and follow through with the story. That's what happened with my great uncle was lost in the Katrina storm. It was folks from CNN that tracked him down after the FEMA folks lost him in the system, which was a nightmare.

    Koffee

  9. #9
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    What you want most of all is the bike. If you know who the thief is (can the LBS give you the name?), you could try a civil suit in small claims. Irrespective of serial number, you would prove that bike is custom, bike matches the unique geometry of your bike and paint is the same. Standard of proof is probably preponderance of the evidence - more like than not that it's your bike.

    If the thief is currently unaware that you know he's got it, the next time the LBS sees the bike, you might be able to file a civil suit for against the bike itself - this is called an in rem action to establish title to the bike.

    This really sucks.

    edit - duh didn't see the preceding post saying the same thing. was so pi$$ed off just jumped to posting
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

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    We thought the SN was on the bottom of frame, like most of them but it seems after contacting Merlin, Roger found out that SN is on the derailer behind some hook or something. We've since called the guy that built the bike and sold it to Roger (BTW, if any of you want a custom bike this guy is incredible) and we are going to see if he can help us contact Merlin and get the SN directly from them. I'm still so angry about his bike being in the hands of the cops and they let it go!

  11. #11
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    OMG...you've got to be kidding! I thought we had it bad with his bike being stolen! I can't believe they that would take bodily assault with a vehicle so lightly!

    Rog went to the Velo Swap, no luck unforunately. He has posters up all over Denver. I've emailed and called most of the bike shops around. The guy that built the bike has given a JPG to all of his reps in the Denver area to give to the shops as well.

    You won't believe this....the bike store said that they guy obviously took off the titanium water bottle holder and add some big old klunky looking thing that will hold a FROZEN DRINK. He wasn't trying to sell it or even trade it in, although he did ask about the Velo Swap, which is why Roger went. He was mainly riding the thing...using it as transportation from what we can determine.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpongeDad
    What you want most of all is the bike. If you know who the thief is (can the LBS give you the name?), you could try a civil suit in small claims. Irrespective of serial number, you would prove that bike is custom, bike matches the unique geometry of your bike and paint is the same. Standard of proof is probably preponderance of the evidence - more like than not that it's your bike.

    If the thief is currently unaware that you know he's got it, the next time the LBS sees the bike, you might be able to file a civil suit for against the bike itself - this is called an in rem action to establish title to the bike.

    This really sucks.

    edit - duh didn't see the preceding post saying the same thing. was so pi$$ed off just jumped to posting
    Wow, what a great idea! I'll tell Roger about this. We know the name of the guy that has the bike. I think that he's illegal as he didn't speak very good English, according the bike guys. He has NO IDEA what he's riding.

    I have a source in the FBI who ran it for me and came up with four addresses. I gave that info to Roger and he gave it to the PD. I don't know if they've followed up on it or not. It's so frustrating to know that there is some guy in Denver riding his bike back and forth to work, we know his name and still can't find him!!!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by slagjumper
    Sorry about your loss. Where is the sn on the bike? I wonder how hard the police looked for the sn. You'd think that the city would be liable for the cops mistake. THe DL id number is a good idea. Where would you engrave it though? I once had the cops engrave a bike on the handle bar, I guess so that they would see it right away. But it is pretty easy to swap out the bars.

    I've seen techniqes for uncovering a s/n with chemicals after it was filed off. I think that was on a ***.

    I've got a Gary Fisher x-caliber. I took photos of the s/n right away. It is somewhat unique because the s/n is double stamped. Might be a good idea to stick something in the seatube so you could ID it even w/o an sn.
    Actually, the officer told me to engrave it on the frame. That's a great idea about the seat tube, I'll tell Rog.

  14. #14
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    If you can't get the SN, and if you're in contact with the builder (Tom Kellogg?), he may have a picture or other documentation of the bike. If you end up in court, the more documentation you have demonstrating uniqueness the better, especially if your husband had some unique requirements. A statement from the builder establishing that this was a unique frame build would also help.

    If the guy is not too rich, you should point out to the judge that there is no explanation for how he got a multi-thousand dollar bike.

    And as much as it sucks, if you go after the bike and he suggests that he'd sell it to you cheap, do it. Everything I've written is a giant, time consuming pain in the butt.
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

    "I am a courageous cyclist." (SpongeDad)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpongeDad
    If you can't get the SN, and if you're in contact with the builder (Tom Kellogg?), he may have a picture or other documentation of the bike. If you end up in court, the more documentation you have demonstrating uniqueness the better, especially if your husband had some unique requirements. A statement from the builder establishing that this was a unique frame build would also help.

    If the guy is not too rich, you should point out to the judge that there is no explanation for how he got a multi-thousand dollar bike.

    And as much as it sucks, if you go after the bike and he suggests that he'd sell it to you cheap, do it. Everything I've written is a giant, time consuming pain in the butt.
    And you write such great stuff too! You're right, we just want the bike back....I spoke with Rog this weekend and he's going to let me contact Merlin. I'm better with details than he is. The guy that built the bike was Dave Bunce and hopefully, Merlin will be able to track the SN from the sale of the frame to him. That would be so helpful if they could. If they can't, I've got TONS of pictures of the bike as Roger competes nationally and internationally. It's a one of a kind and Dave is more than willing to testify to the authenticity of the bike...he built it, he should know!

    I really appreciate all of your help and ideas.

  16. #16
    Senior Member psiphi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hearsawho
    I have a source in the FBI who ran it for me and came up with four addresses. I gave that info to Roger and he gave it to the PD. I don't know if they've followed up on it or not. It's so frustrating to know that there is some guy in Denver riding his bike back and forth to work, we know his name and still can't find him!!!
    Have you had any luck on your four leads? My grandmother's house was broken into once and she found several of her stolen items in a pawnshop. She went to a payphone and called the police. Then she went back to the pawnshop with the police and identified her items which matched the items she reported stolen and she was able to get her things back. My snowboard was stolen at a resort and a few weeks later I saw it on one of the ski racks and I took it to a resort security guard (my parents insurance had already replaced it). The security guard kept an eye on that particular rack and after awhile he saw a kid looking around suspisicously and then the kid tried to take a snowboard that was put on the rack by another individual. The guard went over and started questioning the kid, asking why he was taking a board that wasn't his. The kid said that someone took his board, which just so happened to be my board a few weeks ago. So don't give up, you've got some leads and you might be able to catch this guy red handed on his way to work.

    Have you posted this in the Anyone else get a glorious ride in the Denver area thread? If you did, you might be able to get an entire army of bike loving Denverites to keep an eye for your bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by psiphi
    Have you had any luck on your four leads? My grandmother's house was broken into once and she found several of her stolen items in a pawnshop. She went to a payphone and called the police. Then she went back to the pawnshop with the police and identified her items which matched the items she reported stolen and she was able to get her things back. My snowboard was stolen at a resort and a few weeks later I saw it on one of the ski racks and I took it to a resort security guard (my parents insurance had already replaced it). The security guard kept an eye on that particular rack and after awhile he saw a kid looking around suspisicously and then the kid tried to take a snowboard that was put on the rack by another individual. The guard went over and started questioning the kid, asking why he was taking a board that wasn't his. The kid said that someone took his board, which just so happened to be my board a few weeks ago. So don't give up, you've got some leads and you might be able to catch this guy red handed on his way to work.

    Have you posted this in the Anyone else get a glorious ride in the Denver area thread? If you did, you might be able to get an entire army of bike loving Denverites to keep an eye for your bike.
    Thanks for the encouraging words. Ok, where is this thread that you're talking about? Glorious Ride? I can't find it or I'm blind...probably both at this point.

    I've had a very frustrating day. I was told that a uniform officer was going to go out to one of the addresses but I don't know if that happened or not. I found out that there is ONE officer in the the Denver PD that chases bike theft, ONE. I find that absolutely incredible. I've pitched this story to TWO stations in Denver and neither one of them are interested. My reporters think it's a fabulous story and since we are in sweeps, they couldn't believe that anyone would turn it down. My next stop is the Denver Post.

    I was told that the PD in Denver is short staffed and they are only interested in major crime, i.e. ****, murder, etc. Good grief, I'd hate to be a tax payer and a citizen in Denver. Just from watching and posting on numerous sites on a daily basis, I've seen that Denver has a HUGE bike theft problem and they have ONE cop working bike theft? With $3.00/gallon gas there could be a lot of people riding their bikes to work and with thieves walking around with bolt cutters in back packs, makes it a little hard to lock up the bike, know what I mean?

    Also, guys, I got an email from a wonderful woman whose son bike was stolen in Boulder. She said that Boulder PD had a ton of high end bikes that had been "found". Their policy is if you "find" a bike and turn it in and no one claims it for 30 or 60 days, I can't remember the time period, you get the bike and it's yours. Heck of a deal, huh? So, if your bike has been swiped, hit the Boulder PD and see if it's there!

    Oh, if anyone knows a Cesar Vasquez in Denver and he's riding a VERY high end Merlin, would you mind letting me know?

    Also, responding to a previous reply, I've contacted Merlin to see if they can look up the SN. The guy that built the bike said that he got it from Merlin before they moved to Tennessee. He said it was the last year of the Boston built Merlin's.

  18. #18
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    Glad to hear you are making so much progress. I was thinking about you the other day, wondering what happened. I am confident you will get it back now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hearsawho
    Thanks for the encouraging words. Ok, where is this thread that you're talking about? Glorious Ride? I can't find it or I'm blind...probably both at this point.

    I've had a very frustrating day. I was told that a uniform officer was going to go out to one of the addresses but I don't know if that happened or not. I found out that there is ONE officer in the the Denver PD that chases bike theft, ONE. I find that absolutely incredible. I've pitched this story to TWO stations in Denver and neither one of them are interested. My reporters think it's a fabulous story and since we are in sweeps, they couldn't believe that anyone would turn it down. My next stop is the Denver Post.

    I was told that the PD in Denver is short staffed and they are only interested in major crime, i.e. ****, murder, etc. Good grief, I'd hate to be a tax payer and a citizen in Denver. Just from watching and posting on numerous sites on a daily basis, I've seen that Denver has a HUGE bike theft problem and they have ONE cop working bike theft? With $3.00/gallon gas there could be a lot of people riding their bikes to work and with thieves walking around with bolt cutters in back packs, makes it a little hard to lock up the bike, know what I mean?

    Also, guys, I got an email from a wonderful woman whose son bike was stolen in Boulder. She said that Boulder PD had a ton of high end bikes that had been "found". Their policy is if you "find" a bike and turn it in and no one claims it for 30 or 60 days, I can't remember the time period, you get the bike and it's yours. Heck of a deal, huh? So, if your bike has been swiped, hit the Boulder PD and see if it's there!

    Oh, if anyone knows a Cesar Vasquez in Denver and he's riding a VERY high end Merlin, would you mind letting me know?

    Also, responding to a previous reply, I've contacted Merlin to see if they can look up the SN. The guy that built the bike said that he got it from Merlin before they moved to Tennessee. He said it was the last year of the Boston built Merlin's.
    OK, Nevermind...I actually had a moment of clarity and was able to find the post myself. What luck....something I'm totally unaccustomed to. I've posted there and hopefully, during some glorious ride, someone will see Rog's bike out there, knock this knucklehead off of the bike and Rog will get his bike back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trayer350
    Glad to hear you are making so much progress. I was thinking about you the other day, wondering what happened. I am confident you will get it back now.
    Thanks, steady but sure progress. I'm hopeful. Roger, bless his heart, won't get his hopes up. He is still devastated over the loss of his precious bike. I never knew a man could get so attached to a bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hearsawho
    Thanks, steady but sure progress. I'm hopeful. Roger, bless his heart, won't get his hopes up. He is still devastated over the loss of his precious bike. I never knew a man could get so attached to a bike.

    Roger is so lucky to have you in his corner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trayer350
    Roger is so lucky to have you in his corner.
    Ha! There are times, I think, that he wished I would get OUT of his corner. Fortunately, this isn't one of those times. But, thank you. I feel very blessed to be in his corner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hearsawho
    Ha! There are times, I think, that he wished I would get OUT of his corner. Fortunately, this isn't one of those times. But, thank you. I feel very blessed to be in his corner.
    Everyone here is pulling for you both.

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    Now I am bummed. I just spoke with Merlin and they have no records from the sale. According the rep I spoke to, when Merlin switched hands, they were provided with no sales records so they have no history on bikes. Darn. Oh well. I'll find another avenue to pursue in order to get Roger his bike back. The main thing is, it's still in Denver, or it was a month ago. I took PsiPhi's advice and posted on the Glorious Ride Thread, maybe someone will see it out. I think it more likely that this guy is riding it to a construction site, restaurant or convenience store. It's my understanding that his English isn't very good.

  25. #25
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    sounds like this guy is using it very casually. meaning that it could get stolen from him just as well. i hope you find something out soon though.

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