View Full Version : Found stolen bike - police no help
07-03-2007, 03:01 PM
Yesterday I saw a nice looking Trek 820 mountain bike sitting unlocked next to a bike rack. About 30 minutes later it was still there. I mock secured it with a cable lock the owner could remove with a little fiddling. Today it was still there, in a very vulnerable location. It is a decent bike that was just begging to be stolen. I figure it actually IS stolen and the thief dropped it off after finishing a joy ride.
The bike is still there now. It is very vulnerable. It is mock locked and easily removed, or another thief may remove it with a quick clip of a cable cutter.
I called this in to the police non-emergency number. They had zero interest in it. "Call us back if it is still there in a few days." Yeah, right.
I have posted the info in the stolen bike part of this site. I will reveal the location upon receipt of a picture or identification of other bike characteristics. Check the listing or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
07-03-2007, 05:26 PM
could you reveal the location if someone were willing to ghost-ride it to a safe location? then it could be posted as "found" on craigslist or finetoothcog (assuming you can do that).
07-03-2007, 06:00 PM
I will do this for someone known to Jonathan. Or Jonathan. I think there is some risk that removing it, even honorably, could be considered theft, too, so I won't do it myself.
07-03-2007, 10:30 PM
Michael, I understand your experience with the police in regards to found bikes. People here may remember I first came onto this website related to a Specialized road bike I found. I called police a couple times, went down to central precinct several times trying to run the serial number to determine if it had been called in stolen. Once I even had the bike with me when I went to central.
Policy seems to be not to give out information as long as the bike is in the finders possession. No information whatsoever, not even a "yes, it's been called in stolen", or "no, it hasn't been called in stolen". One the phone, one lady operator asked me where I'd like the police to come pick the bike up. Surprized they didn't offer to do this in your case.
I expect the police assume anybody declining to turn a stolen bike into the department is somebody that can't be trusted with information about whether the bike has been reported stolen.
I talked to security guards (former police officers) about the found/lost/stolen bike issue too, as I attempted to determine the best route to reconnect the bike with it's rightful owner, or keep it for myself if none claimed the bike. They told me that the cops have a warehouse full of bikes. If people call the police about their stolen bike, they might be able to recover it there. Lots of people never recover their bikes from the police properties warehouse, so periodically, the department has a big sale to get rid of them all.
I ran ads for the bike I found, in Craigslist in both Lost and Found and Bicycles, for 3-4 weeks. I got the best response from the listing in Bicycles. Also posted an ad here on Bikeportland.org. I got no responses from the ad on this website, but thanks to the "view" counter, I could tell that probably at least a couple hundred people took a look at the ad.
Nobody ever came remotely close to identifying the bike.
My reaction when I found this Specialized road bike, was one of considerable curiosity and excitement. My decision about what do, having found the bike, contrasts significantly with what you decided to do with the bike you found. Given the circumstances in which I found the Specialized, I soon surmised that the bike had been abandoned. Possibly stolen, but definitely abandoned.
Because of what the bike was, and where I found it, I figured out that if someone did not rescue it soon, it would most likely be picked up and parted out for drug money. So, I took the bike with me. Now, having given the bike what I feel is at least some reasonable chance of being identified by the former owner, I'm riding it and enjoying it.
I'd say, if you really want the bike you found to have a good chance of being reconnected with someone that deserves it, you'd be well advised to go out to where it is ASAP, and either turn it into the police (where they'll keep it for, I'm guessing 6-8 months, and then maybe you'll get it back if you want it.), or take it home, put Craiglist ads out asking for people to identify it.
07-06-2007, 06:15 PM
finders keepers.....take it home, put a sign on the bike rack that says to id via email if the rightful owner comes back. put a found add on craigslist too. if nobody gets back with you. free bike. chances are, if its just sitting on a bike rack for two days unlocked, its probably stolen. there isn't much you can do except take it home at this point because if you don't someone else will.
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