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Buying a stolen bike

Old 10-30-20, 11:18 AM
  #1  
Podagrower
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Buying a stolen bike

Browsing the local classifieds as I often do I spotted a Bianchi frame near me for sale. Not a super rare, super high end bike, but a nice older model that looks to be in good shape. First thing that sticks out is that there is a cable lock on the frame. Which leads me to look at the seller's other items and it's a little bit of everything, maybe they do a lot of garage sale buying, maybe they have a relative that passed recently. But the profile pic led me to not think good things about the seller, so I checked our local court records. The seller has a stack of charges, most are just traffic related, but there are a few drug charges mixed in, including possession of meth this year. So now what...I honestly wouldn't feel bad about buying the frame and taking it to the police to find out if the owner could be traced, but I really don't want a meth addict thief to know where I live. Is there a bicycle batman we can call to investigate?
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Old 10-30-20, 11:20 AM
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Contact law enforcement. That's their job.
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Old 10-30-20, 11:23 AM
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Let us know how it goes.
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Old 10-30-20, 11:42 AM
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Florida man.
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Old 10-30-20, 11:44 AM
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Assume nothing. I would ask the seller for the serial number and proceed accordingly.
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Old 10-30-20, 12:56 PM
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Buy yourself a lottery ticket. If you win, you can buy any bicycle you want for yourself. The winning odds are roughly the same as that bike not having been stolen.
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Old 10-30-20, 12:59 PM
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Your "spidey" sense is tingling... listen to it.

If you have to ask ,you already know the answer.
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Old 10-30-20, 01:25 PM
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Not to be Captain Lawyer here, but if you suspect the bike is stolen, and purchase it, you are receiving stolen goods. You are not in the business of law enforcement, so your intentions to do good are not legally relevant (although likely would be highly relevant when it came to enforcement).

In other words, you're not the cops. Don't pretend to be the cops.

Call the cops.
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Old 10-30-20, 01:35 PM
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Answer: don't. If you think it's (likely) stolen, it probably is.

I just recently had my older, but still very nice, bike stolen -- from a locked garden shed. Replacement value would be around 2500 Cdn.

I'm resigned to the fact that I'll likely never get it back, but I'd still like to think that no reasonably knowledgeable cyclist would purchase it, either from the s**t-rat person who took it or from a pawn shop etc.
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Old 10-30-20, 01:40 PM
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If seller is indeed a meth-er you might be doing everyone a favor by buying his stuff. With enough cash, his next indulgence may be the one that fries him for good!
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Old 10-30-20, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Your "spidey" sense is tingling... listen to it.

If you have to ask ,you already know the answer.
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Old 10-30-20, 02:40 PM
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Wait, the guy is a bad driver and is one of the 14% or so who are active illegal drug users in the US?!
Well the bike is then obviouslying stolen.***
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Old 10-30-20, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Podagrower View Post
Browsing the local classifieds as I often do I spotted a Bianchi frame near me for sale. Not a super rare, super high end bike, but a nice oilder model that looks to be in good shape. First thing that sticks out is that there is a cable lock on the frame. Which leads me to look at the seller's other items and it's a little bit of everything, maybe they do a lot of garage sale buying, maybe they have a relative that passed recently. But the profile pic led me to not think good things about the seller, so I checked our local court records. The seller has a stack of charges, most are just traffic related, but there are a few drug charges mixed in, including possession of meth this year. So now what...I honestly wouldn't feel bad about buying the frame and taking it to the police to find out if the owner could be traced, but I really don't want a meth addict thief to know where I live. Is there a bicycle batman we can call to investigate?
ask him where he got the frame and that you would like to have the rest of the bike and let us know what he says
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Old 10-30-20, 03:32 PM
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Your "local classifieds"... is that an internet site? If so, can you share a link?
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Old 10-30-20, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Wait, the guy is a bad driver and is one of the 14% or so who are active illegal drug users in the US?!
Well the bike is then obviouslying stolen.***
Because...
"Fifty to seventy percent of all property crimes are committed by meth addicts. This includes burglary, shoplifting, motor vehicle theft, arson and vandalism."
https://www.narconon.org/blog/narcon...eth-addiction/
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Old 10-30-20, 04:04 PM
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I would just walk away from it and forget that I even saw it. Go look somewhere else...Personally I wouldn't buy stolen property and it's not my job to investigate other people.
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Old 10-30-20, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Contact law enforcement. That's their job.
Police in my town wouldn't do anything about a maybe-stolen stolen bike frame for sale.
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Old 10-30-20, 10:32 PM
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Ask him if he knows what year it is, he won't. Then ask for the serial number so you can find out. If he ghosts you, it's stolen, if he gives it to you, probably not. Plus you could run it by the cops to be sure.
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Old 10-30-20, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Podagrower View Post
Browsing the local classifieds as I often do I spotted a Bianchi frame near me for sale. Not a super rare, super high end bike, but a nice older model that looks to be in good shape. First thing that sticks out is that there is a cable lock on the frame. Which leads me to look at the seller's other items and it's a little bit of everything, maybe they do a lot of garage sale buying, maybe they have a relative that passed recently. But the profile pic led me to not think good things about the seller, so I checked our local court records. The seller has a stack of charges, most are just traffic related, but there are a few drug charges mixed in, including possession of meth this year. So now what...I honestly wouldn't feel bad about buying the frame and taking it to the police to find out if the owner could be traced, but I really don't want a meth addict thief to know where I live. Is there a bicycle batman we can call to investigate?
stay away
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Old 10-31-20, 12:57 AM
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I didn't know NarcAnon was such an authority on comprehensive crime statistics.

I also don't cheer for addicts to die of overdoses; it's as ****ty as hoping that people who drink die from cirrhosis, or that cyclists who proudly eschew sunscreen die of skin cancer.
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Old 10-31-20, 01:13 AM
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You probably can’t get very much meth for an old Taiwanese ten speed
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Old 10-31-20, 04:32 AM
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I'll offer a counterpoint and say sure, go ahead and buy it. Any bike listed for sale has the potential to be stolen, and it's not your responsibility to make that determination. It's not like you're buying it out of the back of a van. It's listed publicly, and if you found it then so could the original owner and so could the police. You can't be accused of "trafficking in stolen goods" if it was publicly offered. Just save the original listing if you have any doubts. Go rescue that frame!
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Old 10-31-20, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Wait, the guy is a bad driver and is one of the 14% or so who are active illegal drug users in the US?!
Well the bike is then obviouslying stolen.***
Kinda skipping the part about the cable lock, aren't you? That's pretty damn suspicious.
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Old 10-31-20, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese View Post
I'll offer a counterpoint and say sure, go ahead and buy it. Any bike listed for sale has the potential to be stolen, and it's not your responsibility to make that determination. It's not like you're buying it out of the back of a van. It's listed publicly, and if you found it then so could the original owner and so could the police. You can't be accused of "trafficking in stolen goods" if it was publicly offered. Just save the original listing if you have any doubts. Go rescue that frame!
Really dumb idea. If it gets seized as evidence, op will be out the money he paid for it. And I really don't want to argue the rather obvious moral issues you're just skipping over.
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Old 10-31-20, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Danhedonia View Post
I didn't know NarcAnon was such an authority on comprehensive crime statistics.

I also don't cheer for addicts to die of overdoses; it's as ****ty as hoping that people who drink die from cirrhosis, or that cyclists who proudly eschew sunscreen die of skin cancer.
Some drug other than meth, this might be a more valid objection, but it has a really high addiction rate and while I wouldn't trust the precise statistic on proportions of property thieves, I find it difficult to believe that meth users aren't significantly more likely to be property thieves.

I don't cheer for a meth user to die, but I sure wouldn't buy a suspicious item from them. I don't know why someone would have a cable lock on a frame for sale, but I don't think it's something that's likely to occur if the frame was legitimately obtained.
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