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Bike stolen and recovered a week later!

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Bike stolen and recovered a week later!

Old 10-26-10, 08:03 PM
  #1  
Hoskinz
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Bike stolen and recovered a week later!

Hello, long time lurker first time poster here. Thought I would share this little story, and hopefully get some thoughts from y'all.

About 1 week ago, my Fuji Newest 3.0 bike was stolen at my office in daytime - it was locked with a mid-range Kryptonite U-lock and thanks to the blurry security camera footage, I can see it took the thief only 1 minute to break the lock (no, it's not one of the older bic pen unlockable models).

I loved that bike, and not owning a car and doing all commuting via that bike, it was more than a financial loss. So - less than a week later, I see the bike pop up on Craigslist. I call the seller, act interested in the bike, show up with cops and bingo, it's my bike (had the serial number thankfully). The catch is he has proof he bought it from Goodwill for $250. So being a nice guy I paid him $250 for the bike back, and everyone's square.

Now, the big question in my mind is - how does a bike get stolen and immediately end up at Goodwill for $250? The thief can't sell it and decides to donate it to charity? I don't think so, and last I checked, Goodwill doesn't buy bikes that people walk in off the street with.

Just curious to hear your guys' thoughts on the matter, and also to share a bike theft story with a (mostly) happy ending.

Cheers!
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Old 10-27-10, 07:35 AM
  #2  
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Glad you got it back. Sorry you had to buy it back. :\

Maybe the thief just needed to get somewhere, so he snagged the bike and dumped it when he got to his destination. That happened to my car, once. The cops found it within a few hours of it being stolen. They said it's fairly common for someone to break a window, crack the steering column and drive to their neighborhood only to leave the car a few blocks from their house.

Did you get a copy of the dude's Goodwill receipt? You should take the receipt and bike to the GW store and have them explain how they came to have it (they probably don't get many non-x-mart bikes in there).
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Old 10-27-10, 09:40 AM
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The last time I donated something to Goodwill the guy handed me a blank receipt. I could have written anything I wanted on it.

It could be some kind of scam.
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Old 10-27-10, 09:50 AM
  #4  
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That's something you (and/or the Police) should talk to Goodwill about.

I would go to the Goodwill and ask a lot of questions.
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Old 10-27-10, 09:50 AM
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Sounds like the dude is either a liar or Goodwill should be charged with fencing stolen goods. I'd be visiting Goodwill to ask them a few pointed questions.
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Old 10-27-10, 11:11 AM
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If you can't cover your tracks, don't play the game.... you should have not paid the guy, you owed him noting..... he could have took the police report to goodwill and got his money back.

the goodwill receipt was a fake by the way.... this guy was a pro, He knew how to cover his tracks, He is also a con man, As he con you out of $250 so this ****ing guy was a pro.

Picked that lock that fast? he was pro, You had him on video? why didn't you take a photo with you? could have matched that guy, Cops would have arrested him on the spot.
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Old 10-27-10, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by lowlux View Post
If you can't cover your tracks, don't play the game.... you should have not paid the guy, you owed him noting..... he could have took the police report to goodwill and got his money back.

the goodwill receipt was a fake by the way.... this guy was a pro, He knew how to cover his tracks, He is also a con man, As he con you out of $250 so this ****ing guy was a pro.

Picked that lock that fast? he was pro, You had him on video? why didn't you take a photo with you? could have matched that guy, Cops would have arrested him on the spot.
Yeah I agree. The goodwill receipts can be easily counterfeited.
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Old 10-27-10, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Hoskinz View Post
Hello, long time lurker first time poster here. Thought I would share this little story, and hopefully get some thoughts from y'all.

About 1 week ago, my Fuji Newest 3.0 bike was stolen at my office in daytime - it was locked with a mid-range Kryptonite U-lock and thanks to the blurry security camera footage, I can see it took the thief only 1 minute to break the lock (no, it's not one of the older bic pen unlockable models).

I loved that bike, and not owning a car and doing all commuting via that bike, it was more than a financial loss. So - less than a week later, I see the bike pop up on Craigslist. I call the seller, act interested in the bike, show up with cops and bingo, it's my bike (had the serial number thankfully). The catch is he has proof he bought it from Goodwill for $250. So being a nice guy I paid him $250 for the bike back, and everyone's square.

Now, the big question in my mind is - how does a bike get stolen and immediately end up at Goodwill for $250? The thief can't sell it and decides to donate it to charity? I don't think so, and last I checked, Goodwill doesn't buy bikes that people walk in off the street with.

Just curious to hear your guys' thoughts on the matter, and also to share a bike theft story with a (mostly) happy ending.

Cheers!
This is why most security cameras are really pointless. The image tend to be so blurry that you can't really ID a person. They need to overhaul that whole system.
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Old 10-27-10, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 531phile View Post
This is why most security cameras are really pointless. The image tend to be so blurry that you can't really ID a person. They need to overhaul that whole system.
Absolutely. It baffles me that there are so many low quality security cameras still in operation. Fairly high quality video equipment is quite cheap now.
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Old 10-27-10, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
Absolutely. It baffles me that there are so many low quality security cameras still in operation. Fairly high quality video equipment is quite cheap now.
Sure, but the guy installing them is charged out at $120-$160/hour as an electrician.
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Old 10-27-10, 03:11 PM
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How many people buy a bike at a thrift shop and then turn around and sell it on CL within a week?
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Old 10-27-10, 04:32 PM
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The way this is supposed to work legally is you get the bike back for free, because the CL seller had no title to the bike. He then goes back to the thrift shop for a refund. Goodwill was the first taker after the thief and was the last one who had the ability to check out the legitimacy of the bike.

His receipt sounds like a scam because how often does goodwill sell $250.00 bikes?
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Old 10-27-10, 04:37 PM
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I don't get paying $ for a bike when you have the serial number and tape of it being stolen. I absolutely don't get it.
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Old 10-27-10, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
His receipt sounds like a scam because how often does goodwill sell $250.00 bikes?
Around here, each Goodwill has an auction each week, and each one typically has 2-3 bicycles in it. Most of the bikes sold are department store bikes (the biggest factor in "auction vs. sold normally" is how clean the bike looks) but a few are high end bikes. I went to the auction for one very nice road bike that was $900 new and it went for $500 (my limit was $250, so I did not buy it.) That's the exception, but bikes going for $100-$200 are not uncommon. But the max I've ever seen a bike sold for that wasn't in their auction is about $30 -- $250, that's CLEARLY an auction, unless your Goodwills work differently.

In any event, the receipt they give is a cash register receipt (which has no description beyond "bike" or "merch") stapled to the auction sheet, which contains a few word description of the bike made by somebody who doesn't know bikes and is writing up 200 items in a hurry. The blank auction sheets are in the back of the book -- it would be trivial to grab a few and write them up as needed.

In any event, even if he didn't write up his own auction sheet, the descriptions are so vague -- "road bike", "Shimano bike", "red bike" etc. that it could match lots of bikes. And it's trivial for him to write up his own auction sheet.

(This all assumes that he didn't take a donation form and fill it out as a receipt, that's even more obviously forged.)

Goodwill doesn't even usually move that fast -- here, the auction bikes are on auction for a full week before you can buy them, so at the very fastest they got it eight days before they sold it, and I really don't think they move anywhere near that fast.

Based on what I've seen here, you screwed up giving him $250. You should have taken the bike and let the police do what they want with him. I imagine the police would take his receipt and talk to Goodwill and if it all checked out, they'd drop any charges against him and Goodwill would give him his money back. (I imagine this wouldn't be the first time this happened to Goodwill -- they likely have a policy that handles it.) (And a $250 bike sale is rare enough and enough money that they'd find the cashier who sold it and verify that it's all legit. If not, the police might also nail him for fraud.)

Though I'm surprised that the police bought the story about his receipt ... they should know better. Perhaps they just didn't care?

(I guess if he's a *master* scammer, the police will have given him a receipt for the bike they took from him, and he'll take that to Goodwill and give them his forged (or for another bike entirely, so not really forged but at least used fraudulently) receipt, the person won't remember the bike that carefully, and he'll get $250 out of them too.)

Last edited by dougmc; 10-27-10 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 10-27-10, 05:16 PM
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The thief is a pro. He obviously scammed not only you but Goodwill out of $250 each. A cool total of 500 quid.
I don't know why you paid him $250 in the beginning. What surprises me is what did the cop do during this time? I suspect the cop is not interested with crime like stolen bikes.
Where I am stolen bikes are so prevalent that the city cops don't even care.
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Old 10-27-10, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by |3iker View Post
The thief is a pro. He obviously scammed not only you but Goodwill out of $250 each.
It's possible he's scammed Goodwill as well (I did cover that), but it's really more likely that he either made up the receipt himself, or used a receipt from another bike sold by them and Goodwill isn't out anything. (Trying to get $250 out of them after he paid him would be risky, especially when he didn't buy the bike from them. If he did, well, I guess it's possible, but it really doesn't sound likely.)

A cool total of 500 quid.
Quid can mean several things, but none of them is "US Dollar." 500 dollars would be 317 pounds sterling, or 363 euros.

He avoided going to jail. That alone is good. Getting $250 too is frickin' amazing.

I don't know why you paid him $250 in the beginning.
Obviously (assuming that everything told is true) the OP believed his story and felt that even $250 was a bargain. It does make me wonder what the police were doing during this negotiating, however.

Last edited by dougmc; 10-27-10 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 10-27-10, 07:47 PM
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this is why the GW store near me won't even touch a bike. i would never buy my bike back from someone if it was stolen from me even if they bought it from someone else. it would be there responsibility to get their money back from who ever they got it from even if they have to use the police to get it back.
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Old 10-27-10, 09:51 PM
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That's cool you got your bike back. I didn't see in the post, but did the lock get cut or was it picked? I guess $250 to get your bike back isn't too bad but I agree with others, I wouldn't have paid the guy. That's the price you pay when you buy something used. It could be stolen. Even from Good Will it seems.

So what are you going to do now to secure your bike?
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