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A friends stolen bike posted online for sale. Advice?

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A friends stolen bike posted online for sale. Advice?

Old 12-18-11, 11:59 AM
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sauze
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A friends stolen bike posted online for sale. Advice?

My first vintage bike , a Canadian Raleigh Super Grand Prix I picked up with advice from the ever helpful C/V forum that I ran as a SS through winter and eventually traded to one of my best friends was stolen from the basement of his apartment in October. Here are a few photos










here's the ad, I saw today.

http://winnipeg.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-...AdIdZ339395680






The give away, aside from the size , is the broken off cable guide on the top tube, replaced with a black plastic tie. I'm guessing I should try calling the cops? See if they'll do anything? I've emailed the seller , also just thought of going down with friend and talking to him / taking it back. Anyone run into a similar situation.

I wouldn't care as much if I didn't LOVE this bike! It fit me like a glove, and despite it's low-end stature it rode beautifully.
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Old 12-18-11, 12:01 PM
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yes call the cops asap.

if they can't help quickly, offer to buy the bike and do the detective work on your own.
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Old 12-18-11, 12:14 PM
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He has 29 ads up, respond to one of his other ads, get his phone number, call the cops, call your friend to verify everything with the cops.
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Old 12-18-11, 12:16 PM
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I want to read a happy ending to this later.
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Old 12-18-11, 12:19 PM
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Even if its not yours - It is definitely worth $60.00 bucks - Good Luck!!!
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Old 12-18-11, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by RaleighSport View Post
I want to read a happy ending to this later.
Me too. Did the a-hole selling it simply rattlecan over the decals?

What a POS (the stealer, not the bike)

I'm really hoping your buddy gets his bike back!

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Old 12-18-11, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jet sanchEz View Post
He has 29 ads up.
He needs to be stopped, not just for your sake.
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Old 12-18-11, 01:00 PM
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As a prior cop...don't expect too much. If you filed a police report orginally, and took the time to explain it to a T, then, maybe. But without reporting a serial# when stolen....in all reality you'll have a hard time getting legal action. ALWAYS write down your serial #s on bikes and ALWAYS file a report when they go missing. Our dept had a huge cage of recovered bikes, but unless the owner had filed a report and had a serial #, it was almost impossible to return.

I hate to be the voice of reality, but there you have it.

I also slip a laminated piece of paper with my name inside the BB, which is gold for bikes with no serial.

Last edited by poprad; 12-18-11 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 12-18-11, 01:04 PM
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Hope the police care enough to help you. I would personally have no problem stealing back my own bike.
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Old 12-18-11, 01:12 PM
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Sorry, but for a $60 bike, I'd:
1-document everything about the bike and it's theft. Send your friend to the police station with it.
2-respond to that ad, and go to get the bike, carry the cash needed for the sale. Be willing to pay.
3-take it for a test ride, and then, in full sight of the "seller," load it in your car and leave.
4-drive straight to the police station with the bike, and let your friend go in first, to explain that you're coming in.

If there's an issue, the police will take the bike and your friend can state his case.
I'd be willing to bet that a lot of the items for sale are stolen, but undocumented, like the bike.
In which case, the "seller" will not come forward to press the issue. If he does, your friend can go to court.

That's what I can post in public as advice.

In my case, and only my case, I'd go get it, size up the situation, and cause some kind of deterrent harm.
IMO, the deterrent harm is the most important part. At minimum, a broken bone or sutures required.
It must be enough to install fear in a lazy person (psychological deterrent), and lingering physical memories.
No ambulance, no police, but a memorable event. This can occur after you get the bike, and it must be quick.

If you have not been trained or operated in that kind of situation, I'd say just take the bike or buy it back.

Then you can always notify the police of suspected stolen items being sold. Smoke leads to fire, after all.
With 29 other items for sale, all likely stolen as well, I'm tend to be a firm believer in violence.
It would be understood. IMO, the thief is not violent, or he/she'd go for bigger paydays.

Been there, done that, been sued for it and won, but the litigation was not fun, and I had a jury.
In today's era of "victimhood entitlement," the outcome may well be different.
Today's juries and judges may differ, knowing the law. There is right and wrong, and there is the law.

poprad is 100% right, and if that's the only harm done, that may be the best situation for your friend and you.
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Last edited by RobbieTunes; 12-19-11 at 01:18 PM. Reason: To assert I'm not violent, and don't publicy advocate it.
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Old 12-18-11, 01:15 PM
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I've never had any personal experience with this but I once read an interesting post written by someone in your position. I really admire what he did, which was basically to steal his bike back. In order to do it, he had his girlfriend email the seller to set up a meet at which she asked for a test ride. When the seller agreed she simply rode it around the corner to where the original owner was waiting with a pickup truck, tossed it in the back and drove off. Gotta love it. I think the best part was that the girlfriend was able to ID the seller as the thief based on security cam footage of the theft.

Of course this plan assumes the thief won't ask for collateral, but if these guys are half as dumb as they appear to be, there's a good chance of that. Plus, I have to say, I think it helps to have a woman test rider in this scenario.
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Old 12-18-11, 01:15 PM
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One option might be to set up a meeting, walk there, and then test ride it all the way home. Kidding (sort of). If he has 29 other bikes for sale, chances are that others are also stolen. People like this should really be stopped, so I'd recommend going to the police. The removal of head badge, decals, fenders, accessories, points to a conniving bastard.

Glad you were able to spot the stolen bike. Hope it ends up back with your friend. Tell the cops you are also interested in recovering the fenders, and accessories if they are still there.
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Old 12-18-11, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jar351 View Post
Plus, I have to say, I think it helps to have a woman test rider in this scenario.
Too true. We men are suckers that way. +1 this is the way to go

DD
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Old 12-18-11, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
Too true. We men are suckers that way. +1 this is the way to go

DD
Esp. if she's hot.
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Old 12-18-11, 01:25 PM
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Definitely get it back one way or another. I'd +1 for contacting the seller about one of the other auctions under a different name to make sure you can get some contact info first without spooking him about the definitely stolen bike. Then, set up a test ride for the Raleigh. Just riding away with it doesn't sound like too bad of an idea or worst case scenario (if the dude looks fast and tough) pay the $60 to get the bike back and contact the police afterwards?

There's always the off-chance that this seller isn't actually the person that stole the bike, they could have gotten it from a pawn shop or somewhere else etc after the thief passed it on.

I'm also looking forward to hearing good news about how this turns out.
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Old 12-18-11, 01:28 PM
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sauze: willing to help out if you need it.

I would be upfront with the person and let them know its your stolen bike as it may have switched hands a couple times. If this was the case they may be willing to give the bike back to the rightful owner.
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Old 12-18-11, 01:33 PM
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thanks everyone, the friend in question is back in town tonight, i've contacted the seller going to try and meet them tomorrow. Calling the police now, the only thing that would concern me about just riding off with it is if the person currently selling isn't the thief . Just someone who bought the bike, no real reason to screw them over. I hope to have a happy ending for everyone soon.
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Old 12-18-11, 01:36 PM
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Calling the police now, the only thing that would concern me about just riding off with it is if the person currently selling isn't the thief . Just someone who bought the bike, no real reason to screw them over
Absolutely not an issue. I once had a South Carolina state trooper come to my door. My roommate's car, purchased from a dealer, was previously stolen. They took the car. The original owner understood, but had no compunction about getting his car back, and the law didn't assist my roommate in any way. That's why you document the bike the best you can and if there's an issue, let it go to a magistrate or whatever they have there.
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Old 12-18-11, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jar351 View Post
Of course this plan assumes the thief won't ask for collateral, but if these guys are half as dumb as they appear to be, there's a good chance of that. Plus, I have to say, I think it helps to have a woman test rider in this scenario.
I have never been in a position to steal back my own bike but if I did, I would bring along an old deactivated cell phone for collateral. Just make sure the seller doesn't see you using your real cell phone.
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Old 12-18-11, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Nitram612 View Post
I have never been in a position to steal back my own bike but if I did, I would bring along an old deactivated cell phone for collateral. Just make sure the seller doesn't see you using your real cell phone.
good idea, I do have one laying around too.
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Old 12-18-11, 01:45 PM
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I'd call, offer $100, test ride it and ride it away. Call the cops after you have possession of the bike and show them the photos.
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Old 12-18-11, 02:24 PM
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I hate a thief. I had a Specialized Hard Rock Pro Disc stolen 2 1/2 years ago with lots of accessories on it (to the tune of about $1,200). I was not happy. I went out actually looking to do bodily harm to the SOB if I would have found him. I scared the snot out of a few people along the way, too. I would have no problem taking the bike back if I new for a fact that it was mine. I like the idea of the laminated card in the frame somewhere. I think I'll do that on my stuff.

Thieves are just a notch above sexual predators/child molesters, and should be dealt with accordingly.
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Old 12-18-11, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by sauze View Post
The give away, aside from the size , is the broken off cable guide on the top tube, replaced with a black plastic tie.
I can see the zip tie on the Craigslist photo, but not on your photo.
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Old 12-18-11, 02:39 PM
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Police have little interest in this kind of theft. I wouldn't call them unless some other crime is occurring at the same time. I know in my area, the police have disbanded the property crime division! Talk about budget cuts!
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Old 12-18-11, 02:50 PM
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go take it for a test ride ..........and keep going
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