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View Full Version : Spotted my Stolen bike, now what?


klrpdx
04-27-2006, 12:33 PM
Hi all, just looking for some advice...

Last August my Cannondale road bike was stolen outside the convention center. I reported it to the convention center staff, the police and my insurance company.

Tuesday evening on my bike commute home from work, I spotted it going the opposite direction on Harrison at about SE 50th. I chased the rider down to the Hawthorne district and confronted him. He claims his dad bought it for him in Astoria and gave it to him.

It's definitely my bike -- yellow front tire, red back tire. Rear wheel different from front because it was rebuilt, Italia seat torn in back from a crash, red bottle cages.

Unfortunately, I've lost the serial number. I didn't have it when I made the initial police report either. Stupid, I know, but I once had it and lost the info somewhere in the 10 years I had the bike.

So anyway, without definite proof there doesn't seem to be much I can do. The guy riding it gave me his name and phone number, but he's not going to give the bike back on my word alone. The police won't do anything if I don't have the serial number.

The insurance company paid to replace it, so I'm not without wheels. I'm just wondering if I should follow up with the police, contact my insurance, or what? I really just want to find out who stole it and see that some justice gets done.

Jonathan Maus
04-27-2006, 02:00 PM
I think at this point the only thing you can do is try and befriend the current owner and find out as much as you can about where they bought it.

The problem is this person might be the 2,3,4th owner for all you know!

Rixtir
04-27-2006, 09:00 PM
I think at this point the only thing you can do is try and befriend the current owner and find out as much as you can about where they bought it.

The problem is this person might be the 2,3,4th owner for all you know!I don't think that matters. You can, as far as I know, still recover a stolen bike. You have two problems here. First, you can't prove this is your bike. Learn from that mistake. Second, you've already been paid, so technically, it's not your bike; it's the insurance company's bike. To recover the bike, they'd have to recover from the current "owner," then you'd have to bargain with your insurance company about buying it from them.

Rixtir
04-27-2006, 09:08 PM
Here's a link to an article on recovering a stolen bike:

My Stolen Bicycle (http://www.velonews.com/news/fea/5030.0.html)

WhiteSword
05-03-2006, 07:40 AM
kick his A** and get your bike back!!

Rixtir
05-03-2006, 03:40 PM
Kick his ass and go to jail, more like. The point is to get his bike back, not to land in jail. He can't get his bike back by breaking the law himself.

K'Tesh
05-17-2008, 07:29 PM
Hi all, just looking for some advice...

Last August my Cannondale road bike was stolen
<snip>
Unfortunately, I've lost the serial number. I didn't have it when I made the initial police report either. Stupid, I know, but I once had it and lost the info somewhere in the 10 years I had the bike.

So anyway, without definite proof there doesn't seem to be much I can do. The guy riding it gave me his name and phone number, but he's not going to give the bike back on my word alone. The police won't do anything if I don't have the serial number.


Here's a prime example of why you write down your serial number on your new bike's owners manual. You also should hide a little photo of you and your bike, or slip of paper w/your info inside the handlebar, or seat tube in the event that a bike shop finds it in someone else's hands. You can also etch your name/info on the frame in an inconspicuous spot, then write down where you etched the bike on the owners manual.

Register your bike w/the National Bike Registry (http://www.nationalbikeregistry.com/because/index.html), it's cheap ($10.00), and often includes a 2nd ID number for something else of value (mine's on my digital camera). I got my BoomerangIt kit from REI (http://www.rei.com/product/695021).

If your bike is stolen, attach the recording officer's business card you should get with the case number in the owners manual, so you have that all together. Do not lose your owners Manual, it will contain valuable info on your bike/case number in the event it is found.

That said, had I all that info at home, I'd have contacted the police using my cell phone, followed the bike until the police arrived. If the bike was parked, and I had a replacement bike, then I'd have a new lock too, I'd lock the bike with the new lock and wait for the police. They will probably take the persons info, and run a background check. While they are doing that you find your hidden pic (of course better thieves know to look for hidden slips) and/or etched info on the bike. Case closed...

As for ass kicking, I'd try to envoke a citizens arrest, but that involves more research on my part... before I'd try physical contact. That said, I'm sure that a good fight would bring the cops faster.


http://www.yehudamoon.com/images/strips/2008-02-08.gif (http://www.yehudamoon.com/images/strips/2008-02-08.gif)

Sorry to hear about your bike... :(
I'll count myself lucky, I've gotten two of the 3 stolen from me back intact.

Rubberside Down!
K'Tesh

wsbob
05-17-2008, 10:40 PM
Rixter probably raises a good point that since the insurance company compensated you for the loss, the bike is likely the legal property of the insurance company. Give them the guy's contact info and let them handle it. I wonder if they'd bother.

So what would be the value of pursuing this further? In addition to possibly recovering the actual physical bike, there might be something worthwhile to learn from the effort.

Lacking a serial number, here's something you still might be able to do to help establish your original, true ownership: You wrote: "I reported it to the convention center staff, the police and my insurance company." . If you have copies of those reports containing a detailed description of the bike that corresponds with some distinguishing characteristics of the bike in its present condition, that might be helpful.

Presenting those records to the current owner could persuade them to be a little more forthcoming than they might otherwise be, about how they came to be the current owner. That might get you or whoever, a little closer to the truth.

K'Tesh
05-18-2008, 12:49 AM
Rixter probably raises a good point that since the insurance company compensated you for the loss, the bike is likely the legal property of the insurance company. Give them the guy's contact info and let them handle it. I wonder if they'd bother.

I suspect that you could purchase the bike back from the insurance company. Remember this, there's a good chance that it won't be at full cost, as the bike has depreciated. Very few bikes increase in value as they get older. Also, unless you have full coverage without deductable, you probably didn't get full replacement cost back. Thus the bike might be restored to you. I'm not sure.

A.O. you want a crack at this one?

Rubberside Down!
K'Tesh

wsbob
05-18-2008, 12:25 PM
I just wonder if the insurance company would feel it was worth their while to spend employee time following up a lead on property of a value that the OP, klrpdx's bike represents.

It's got to be frustrating, knowing that someone has your bike, but you can't recover it. At the least, I'd be very curious to learn the circumstance's surrounding the guy's dad's purchase of the bike in Astoria, if that story is actually true. The insurance investigators might be able to learn something, but I'm sure this is small potatoes to them....probably not worth their trouble.

Duncan
05-18-2008, 12:29 PM
have you thought about contacting the place you bought the bike from? maybe they have the seriel #?