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Proof that a stolen bike is yours?

Old 04-02-17, 04:05 PM
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bargeon
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Proof that a stolen bike is yours?

If the police recover your bike that you reported stolen, is your receipt with serial number enough to prove it's yours?
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Old 04-02-17, 04:15 PM
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Usually. A selfie with your bike helps too.
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Old 04-02-17, 04:17 PM
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Generally, yes. It would only fail to establish proof of ownership if there were better evidence otherwise. For example, if someone else were to produce a similar receipt with the same serial number. Then it becomes a question of proving which "proof" is more reliable.

One hing you might do if you're really concerned about whether it's good evidence is to make a copy of the receipt, add a witness statement,

ie. on (date) Mr. XXXXX, appeared before me in possession of the bicycle herein described.

Bring it with the bicycle itself to a notary public, and have his seal affixed.

It would be near impossible to challenge this proof.
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Old 04-02-17, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bargeon View Post
If the police recover your bike that you reported stolen, is your receipt with serial number enough to prove it's yours?
Is there a problem?

Ask the Police.
Do tell us what they said.

-Snuts-
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Old 04-02-17, 04:28 PM
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Assuming that the bike is currently in your possession and this is a just a question due to curiosity or for future reference, I'd suggest checking with your police to see if they offer registering your bike with them. I know in my city in Virginia (and possibly the entire state) offer the option to actually put it into a registry in the event it's stolen. Otherwise personally I'd think a receipt with the serial number "should" be enough evidence of ownership especially if you payed with card and it shows either your name and/or last 4 digits of the card.
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Old 04-02-17, 04:54 PM
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I've taken a couple pictures of my BB w/serial number.. Would be hard to explain how I got this photo without owning the bike.
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Old 04-02-17, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I've taken a couple pictures of my BB w/serial number.. Would be hard to explain how I got this photo without owning the bike.
Ever been to a mass ride where people leave their bikes on the hangers? Wouldn't be all that difficult to snap a few photos there. Or, really anywhere where people leave their bike parked out of their sight.
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Old 04-02-17, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I've taken a couple pictures of my BB w/serial number.. Would be hard to explain how I got this photo without owning the bike.
Yep, also keep a Serial # list of any valuable real property that burglars look for in a home invasion like electronics & firearms w/ pics uploaded to a secure cloud for insurance claims & recovery. A safe deposit box at your bank for anything really portable/valuable & personal docs like birth certificates, passports, vehicle titles and deeds.

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Old 04-02-17, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Ever been to a mass ride where people leave their bikes on the hangers? Wouldn't be all that difficult to snap a few photos there. Or, really anywhere where people leave their bike parked out of their sight.
Maybe a point.. though the photo (being digital) has timestamp info in the exif.. which in theory I could fake. Maybe I'll retake the photos with me in my living room while holding up a NY Times.
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Old 04-02-17, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by aod43254 View Post
Assuming that the bike is currently in your possession and this is a just a question due to curiosity or for future reference, I'd suggest checking with your police to see if they offer registering your bike with them. I know in my city in Virginia (and possibly the entire state) offer the option to actually put it into a registry in the event it's stolen. Otherwise personally I'd think a receipt with the serial number "should" be enough evidence of ownership especially if you payed with card and it shows either your name and/or last 4 digits of the card.
Good point, I'll check.
Thanks
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Old 04-02-17, 05:26 PM
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I've heard of people stuffing their business card into the seat post or handlebar as another way to show ownership. This would be an instant verification if you happened to catch the jerk who was trying to steal your bike and you had a cop trying to decide who was "telling the truth"...
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Old 04-02-17, 05:51 PM
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Since having my son's bike stolen last year, I've registered our bikes with the local police in MD. No questions asked!
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Old 04-02-17, 06:35 PM
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You should also register your bike though the police department. I live in Canada where if you do this then it is entered into a national database and if serial number pops up anywhere you get a call. Registering bikes over 300$ is also required by insurance company in case your house gets robbed too.
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Old 04-02-17, 07:06 PM
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This:

Originally Posted by KLiNCK View Post
I've heard of people stuffing their business card into the seat post or handlebar as another way to show ownership. This would be an instant verification if you happened to catch the jerk who was trying to steal your bike and you had a cop trying to decide who was "telling the truth"...
I'd write the ownership and contact info in my own handwriting, or at least sign it, and laminate the card. You can buy DIY lamination sheets from most stationery aisles or online. I've done that with electronics, guns (under the butt pad, inside the stock where it won't affect the bedding, inside the grips, etc.), even inside the battery compartments of some cameras. In tight spaces there's no room for a laminated card but Post-It Note material is durable and very thin, so it's good for tucking inside battery compartments.

The only problem with this is remembering to remove the card before selling! About 20 years ago I forgot to remove the contact info I'd slipped between the body and neck of a really nice guitar, where it was shimmed to adjust the action. I sold the guitar on consignment and by the time I remembered that piece of paper the guitar was sold. I'm pretty sure I saw it later being played by a fellow in a charismatic church band. Never heard from anyone so I'm assuming there was no trouble.

Wish I'd done that with my cheaper Yamaha Strat copy. That guitar cost me only $50 at a huge guitar show because the front of the body had a huge gouge. But it played beautifully, best electric I ever owned. Never thought anyone would steal it but a distant cousin did during a "visit", which apparently was code his side of the family used for sticky-fingered shopping.
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Old 04-02-17, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by KLiNCK View Post
I've heard of people stuffing their business card into the seat post or handlebar as another way to show ownership. This would be an instant verification if you happened to catch the jerk who was trying to steal your bike and you had a cop trying to decide who was "telling the truth"...
I had a bike stolen and filed a report, and I also posted detailed signs in local shops. I also reduced the size of the sign and carried one in my wallet. One shop reported the bike being brought in and I told them to call the cops while I raced over to claim it, showing the cop my wallet sign (with serial number of the machine and the police report number), and he let me take my bike while he was arresting the suspect.
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Old 04-02-17, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
I had a bike stolen and filed a report, and I also posted detailed signs in local shops. I also reduced the size of the sign and carried one in my wallet. One shop reported the bike being brought in and I told them to call the cops while I raced over to claim it, showing the cop my wallet sign (with serial number of the machine and the police report number), and he let me take my bike while he was arresting the suspect.


Bicycle thieves are the worst!
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Old 04-02-17, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Ever been to a mass ride where people leave their bikes on the hangers? Wouldn't be all that difficult to snap a few photos there. Or, really anywhere where people leave their bike parked out of their sight.
That's easily solvable by including something hat gives the photo context. Like shooting the BB and including a photo of your house, yourself, or today's newspaper, etc.

As you point out, a narrowly framed photo proves little, but with context, it tells a story.

Decades back, when we used to ride to Canada fairly routinely, I used to carried a photo of myself with the bike at Battery Park with the Statue of Liberty in the background.
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Old 04-02-17, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Decades back, when we used to ride to Canada fairly routinely, I used to carried a photo of myself with the bike at Battery Park with the Statue of Liberty in the background.
To be honest, I don't have any serial number pictures. I have them recorded on maintenance logs I keep, but no pics. I agree with you, pictures of you and the bike somewhere tells more to the story, especially if there are visible identifying marks (scratches, unique grips, etc)

Then again, as @KLiNCK said, details that only the owner would know can go a long way too. In a more serious situation, a buddy's dad was able to tell the Sheriff that he had written tire pressure numbers up under the seat when his quad was nabbed out ice fishing. In a less serious manner, a buddy kept a drunk guy at a bar from walking off with his coat when he was able to name what was in every pocket in front of security.
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Old 04-03-17, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by KLiNCK View Post
I've heard of people stuffing their business card into the seat post or handlebar as another way to show ownership. This would be an instant verification if you happened to catch the jerk who was trying to steal your bike and you had a cop trying to decide who was "telling the truth"...
The seatpost on my bike was originally a spring-loaded post, but I didn't like the way it would bounce up and down, so a couple years ago, I took the spring out of it and put a wooden dowel inside to hold everything "in place," so to speak. In the event that my bike is ever stolen (God forbid) and I had a chance to recover it, I could easily identify it as mine by what is written on the dowel.




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Old 04-03-17, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Ever been to a mass ride where people leave their bikes on the hangers? Wouldn't be all that difficult to snap a few photos there. Or, really anywhere where people leave their bike parked out of their sight.
Is this a thing where you live?
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Old 04-03-17, 06:00 AM
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Get a custom bike with a one of a kind look and have the builder vouch for your ownership.
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Old 04-03-17, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Get a custom bike with a one of a kind look and have the builder vouch for your ownership.
And then make sure it gets stolen
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Old 04-03-17, 06:48 AM
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I recently recovered a canoe that had been stolen out of my yard. I had the receipt, owners manual with the serial # in it, and the responding officers were able to pull up the original police report from the time it was stolen. No problem (for me, anyway) and I was able to leave the scene with the canoe in the back of my truck.
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Old 04-03-17, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by aod43254 View Post
Assuming that the bike is currently in your possession and this is a just a question due to curiosity or for future reference, I'd suggest checking with your police to see if they offer registering your bike with them. I know in my city in Virginia (and possibly the entire state) offer the option to actually put it into a registry in the event it's stolen. Otherwise personally I'd think a receipt with the serial number "should" be enough evidence of ownership especially if you payed with card and it shows either your name and/or last 4 digits of the card.
Originally Posted by bargeon View Post
Good point, I'll check.
Thanks
Originally Posted by blue192 View Post
You should also register your bike though the police department. I live in Canada where if you do this then it is entered into a national database and if serial number pops up anywhere you get a call. Registering bikes over 300$ is also required by insurance company in case your house gets robbed too.


Where I would like to think technology has made this manner of registration "work"....a few years back the county I lived in did a registration drive, got this neat little sticker for your frame with a serial number that could be referenced back. In spite of the sticker, and when it wasn't scratched off as well, the system still required a human to go through and cross reference and make phone calls. It didn't happen. My several times looking through "the cage" was amazed at the amount of bikes in there with the sticker intact.
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Old 04-03-17, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Is this a thing where you live?
What, the bikes hanging on mass rides or people snapping pics of the SN?

The former, yes, the latter, no clue, but it was posed that it would be hard to get such a picture, and I provided an example where it isn't so difficult.
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