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Saved from tip: thoughts on selling?

Old 06-02-18, 12:45 PM
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Saved from tip: thoughts on selling?

Hi folks

So I scored this nice little retro mtb from the tip the other day. I think it's a Carrera Katmandu Carrera Katmandu - Reynolds 501 Magnum - Shimano Deore LX | Retrobike - as you can see from the pics, it's near identical.

The trouble is, even though I'm satisfied I bought it from a legitimate source (the tip), it's hard to deny that the evidence is strong that it's been stolen at some point.

All the decals (except the reynolds sticker, funnily enough) and the serial number (I presume, because it's not there) have been removed.

I originally bought it to clean up and sell, but now I'm beginning to wonder about the ethics of it. What would you do?

Thanks

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Old 06-02-18, 01:02 PM
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Might have prob selling even when disclosed that serial is ground off as others may feel the same. If a keeper just ride it, it's not a high dollar item. Or talk to seller about why not disclosed and see if he is legit enough to give funds back.
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Old 06-02-18, 01:02 PM
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I'm not quite sure what the "Tip" is.

Our local bike co-op calls the local PD to check the serial number of every bike they get donated before reselling it.

That does look like a serial number has been ground off the bottom bracket. A HUGE red flag.

However, if you think you know the brand and model of the bike, call the police department with a description to look up.

At least I do that with the Stolen Bikes Registry (which may be primarily USA).
https://bikeindex.org/

Ahh.. perhaps here?
https://stolen-bikes.co.uk/

Anyway, it would be tough without a serial number, but if it is the original paint and brand, it will help. Without a serial number or color of paint, it could be really hard to find a good match.
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Old 06-02-18, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I'm not quite sure what the "Tip" is.
The tip is the local rubbish dump/ recycling centre. Bikes are never inspected, and sold as spares/ repairs. I'm 99.99% certain the guys running the tip would have had no idea the serial number was ground off.

I'll see what I can find in terms of a database for stolen bikes, but this could potentially go back to the 90s, so it's anyone's guess really...
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Old 06-02-18, 01:20 PM
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Yep, that is an issue with the online indexes. They may at best only cover about 5 years of thefts. The Police Department may have longer records, but may not have them well indexed for the last 20+ years. Or, I think around here, they may have started using the online index, but may not have uploaded the old records.

At first, I thought that grind was clean, but now that I look at it again, it could have been ground down years ago.

Anyway, do your best to check, then go from there.

If you have a local free bike ads (Craigslist), you could post a "Found" notice with a description, but leaving out important details like color.

Then if you do sell the bike, just do full disclosure. If you can't find the original owner now, it is likely they won't pop up in the future.

I'd be tempted to emboss your own S/N with enough records that someone won't pop up and say the bike was stolen last week.
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Old 06-02-18, 01:22 PM
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Hmm. That does look like the serial number was ground off; meaning it was stolen at one point. I don't know what you can do about that now, since you bought it literally as rubbish.

Maybe put it up for sale, and if you happen to get an interested party who tells you a convincing story about how it was stolen from him, just give it to him?
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Old 06-02-18, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
Maybe put it up for sale, and if you happen to get an interested party who tells you a convincing story about how it was stolen from him, just give it to him?
Assuming the bike was cheap, best to "return" it to the owner before investing a lot of time, energy, and money into restoring it.
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Old 06-02-18, 01:33 PM
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Thanks for your replies folks. I just spoke to someone at my local police station and they're going to see if they have any matching records.
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Old 06-02-18, 01:51 PM
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Kudos to you for your honesty and diligence!
Many would have just looked the other way.
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Old 06-02-18, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Assuming the bike was cheap, best to "return" it to the owner before investing a lot of time, energy, and money into restoring it.
Yes, that's how I'd do it, Clean and lube as needed, but not buy anything for it; sell as-is or give it to the guy who makes a claim.

Low end bikes I'm flipping, I get them functional but don't fix them up nice because they don't get you anything back. It's more recycling than flipping, really, since I give away as many as I sell for cheap.
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Old 06-02-18, 04:31 PM
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I wouldn't be such a soft sod as to dob myself in to the police about it. Not only is it a sign of a terminal nerd, but the fact that it was chucked away means that any theft and resale it's been through was years ago, and it's lived an entire other life since then. That you're feeling guilty that you're the fourth or tenth owner of ten quid's worth of of halfords BSO after it was stolen some time around the release of Forrest Gump is, to be honest, embarrassing. There's newer stolen goods than that in the British museum.

What I would do is get some rust treatment on the ground off serial number sharpish, paint it over, and not worry about it. Maybe you didn't shoplift enough as a teen, who knows.
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Old 06-02-18, 05:50 PM
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To the OP, there is NOTHING embarrassing about being honest. Your clear conscience is worth more than anything. You are doing what you can to determine if it is stolen, my guess is probably, and once that gets handled you can do what you feel is right. Enjoy sleeping well at night and looking yourself in the mirror with confidence. Good luck with it.
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Old 06-03-18, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Cute Boy Horse View Post
I wouldn't be such a soft sod as to dob myself in to the police about it. Not only is it a sign of a terminal nerd, but the fact that it was chucked away means that any theft and resale it's been through was years ago, and it's lived an entire other life since then. That you're feeling guilty that you're the fourth or tenth owner of ten quid's worth of of halfords BSO after it was stolen some time around the release of Forrest Gump is, to be honest, embarrassing.
And I think you're a marvellous person, too.

At what point did I say I was feeling guilty? Please don't speak for me; I'm perfectly capable of doing it for myself.
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Old 06-03-18, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by tonyfourdogs View Post
And I think you're a marvellous person, too.

At what point did I say I was feeling guilty? Please don't speak for me; I'm perfectly capable of doing it for myself.
Here you go.

Originally Posted by tonyfourdogs View Post
I originally bought it to clean up and sell, but now I'm beginning to wonder about the ethics of it. What would you do?
And then you went round the cop shop and bored the desk officer about it. I can only imagine his eyeroll when he realized the hypothetical offense would've happened in the middle ages.

Just ride your bike.
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Old 06-03-18, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Cute Boy Horse View Post
Here you go.



And then you went round the cop shop and bored the desk officer about it. I can only imagine his eyeroll when he realized the hypothetical offense would've happened in the middle ages.

Just ride your bike.
Wondering about ethics does not equal guilt. Why do you feel the need to make me look bad? Just trying to cover my arse before selling the bike more than anything.

I hope you enjoyed imagining the bored policeman's eyeroll, and I hope I can provide you with more entertainment in future threads.

You're welcome.
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