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View Full Version : Craigslist "ads" about stolen bikes


donnambr
08-20-2006, 09:24 PM
Have any of you heard about this (http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/196637384.html)? When people post these kinds of announcements, I never know what to think. Is this really a nest of stolen bikes or is the poster engaging in some sort of political struggle with their neighbors? I'm apprehensive because - in writing at least - some of these guys match general descriptions of our bicycling homeless, many of whom would not be involved in bike theft. Yet the ads definitely arrest my attention. Every time I see a notice about a stolen bike, I get sick to my stomach.

Do any of you encounter situations where you just know those bikes you're seeing are stolen? What do you do - call the police? Has it resulted in busting up some kind of theft-related operation or has zilch changed? What other options are there? It warmed my heart to read about the Zoobomber bike recovery committee (http://bikeportland.org/2006/06/02/gutsy-confrontation-leads-to-another-stolen-bike-recovery/), but it's not always possible to take that kind of risk.

Thoughts, opinions, ideas, discussion, rants, anyone?

justuspost
08-31-2006, 11:29 AM
I ride the bus alot and see this all the time. What are you suppost to do? Call the cops on every toothless dude with a new bike? It angers me, right or wrong, when I see a homeless looking guy with worn out shoes on a high end bike with egg beaters on it... I am currently trying to come up with some solution so that law enforcement can easialy identify a stolen bike. If it is a stolen car, there is a VIN and a stolen report with them and a general description. If a bike is gone, all you have is one word against another. In japan they register bikes, simular to registering cars. If the cops stop you and run the numbers and it isnt your name, you go the koban (police box) for a while and you get to explain yourself.

We have to do something. I am currently mulling over the idea of a private registery to log all of your bike info. This way you can easially verify stolen bikes with pictures, serial #'s etc. I hope that this would help us to prove that it is our bike and let everyone know what bikes are stolen with pictures etc. Also it could help the police identify stolen bikes the same as stolen cars.

Of course there is alot more that needs to be worked out on this, so I am definatly open to any ideas. I am tired of seeing stolen bike adds and seeing people ride bikes they didn't earn.

Justus

Rixtir
08-31-2006, 07:46 PM
The link doesn't work anymore, but I think I know which ads you were referring to. I look at it like this: If the house has a bunch of bikes stashed all over the place, and somebody claims to have found their bike there, I see nothing wrong with a little visit from law enforcement to determine if they are stolen bikes.

Maybe it's only someone harassing their neighbors, but the cops can determine if the bikes have been reported stolen. I'd rather have the cops show up and determine that it's just neighbors harassing neighbors than have the cops ignore an obvious bike theft ring.

Medic_Pilot
08-31-2006, 10:23 PM
Do bikes have any serial numbers on them?

I mean, if I were to purchase a new bike today and wanted to protect that investment in case it was stollen, what would be the best way to go about that.

I can certainly take pics of it, but what else does the bike come stock with that uniquely identifies it as mine?

PoPo
09-01-2006, 12:08 AM
All bicycles of any value have serial numbers--usually stamped on the bottom of the bottom bracket tube (the short tube to which the two pedal cranks are attached). The best way to safeguard your bicycle is to write down the make and model and serial number of your bike and keep that record someplace safe. Ideally, also take a digital photo of your bicycle. If you bought it new, keep the receipt in a safe place and make sure the receipt has the bike's serial number on it.

If your bicycle is stolen, you can report that information to the police. The serial number is then entered into a computer database of stolen property. If an officer thinks a bicycle might be stolen, he/she can run the serial number of the bicycle in question to see if it is listed in the stolen database.

The picture can also be posted on websites like this one so other community members can help you find it as well. It also helps to verify your ownership of the bicycle.

If you have an engraver, you could also apply something called an Owner Applied Number. Your driver's license number is a great one to use, as that is a quick, easy way for an officer anywhere to identify the owner of a piece of property. For example if you have a Oregon driver's license, number 1234567, you might engrave "OR1234567" on your bicycle someplace. Any officer could then run the number on his/her computer and have your name and address in seconds. You can do this with any valuable piece of property, not just bicycles. This Owner Applied Number can be reported and then listed in the stolen property database as well

I have been taking stolen bicycle reports for four years and the percentage of people who know the serial number of their stolen bicycle is very, very small. Let's increase that percentage!

Medic_Pilot
09-01-2006, 12:32 AM
Thanks for the info. And the Owner Applied Number is brilliant. I would never have thought of that.

Rixtir
09-11-2006, 04:59 PM
http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/206001938.html

Message from Big Willy of Sweet Rides RE: stolen bikes

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply to: see below
Date: 2006-09-11, 4:04PM PDT


Hey Portland, this is Big Willy of Sweet Rides, and today I was able to return a stolen Raleigh hybrid back to its owner. I bought the bike last night from a man who was advertising a Peugoet single speed on craigslist, the ad said

Peugeot- Racing Bicycle - $200

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply to: see below
Date: 2006-09-10, 3:07PM PDT


Racing Bicycle (Single Gear)
Very good condition
$200 O.B.O.
Call me, Mr. Rahman @ 503 467 6222
Must sale tonight!!!


this is in or around Downtown PDX (Incall/Outcall)

no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests


So the person who bought the Peugeot single speed is more than likly riding a stolen bike. People shopping craigslist for a bike should not buy a bike from this man, He is a black male 5'10 and looks like he is on crack. Please do not buy anything from this man because you are buying stolen property. I bought the bike in hopes of returning it to its original owner, and was sucessful. DO NOT SUPPORT BIKE THEIVES, it only encourges them! P.S. If I catch up with you Mr.Rahman, I will dispense a little street justice on ya.



no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests




206001938

ben
09-12-2006, 01:30 AM
awesome.

Willy is a great dude.
he built my mids 80s pink peugeot mixte fixie.
along with bikes for my roommate ryan, my friend claire, and her dad.
quality stuff.

and i'm proud (and thankful) he is helping get some of these bikes back.
mr. rahman is gonna be hurtin' if he keeps up this habit.

editrixpdx
09-12-2006, 08:58 AM
Sidebar: Shift had a super bike registration program at Salmon Nation last Sat. They took a Polaroid of you and your bike as you entered their bike parking, then while you were at the block party they put your reg # and some identifiers on a tag (mine included "fancy riding seat"--heee!), which you then attached to the back of the pic.

Sweet!

BillD
09-12-2006, 12:20 PM
All bicycles of any value have serial numbers--usually stamped on the bottom of the bottom bracket tube (the short tube to which the two pedal cranks are attached). The best way to safeguard your bicycle is to write down the make and model and serial number of your bike and keep that record someplace safe. Ideally, also take a digital photo of your bicycle. If you bought it new, keep the receipt in a safe place and make sure the receipt has the bike's serial number on it.

If your bicycle is stolen, you can report that information to the police. The serial number is then entered into a computer database of stolen property. If an officer thinks a bicycle might be stolen, he/she can run the serial number of the bicycle in question to see if it is listed in the stolen database.

The picture can also be posted on websites like this one so other community members can help you find it as well. It also helps to verify your ownership of the bicycle.

If you have an engraver, you could also apply something called an Owner Applied Number. Your driver's license number is a great one to use, as that is a quick, easy way for an officer anywhere to identify the owner of a piece of property. For example if you have a Oregon driver's license, number 1234567, you might engrave "OR1234567" on your bicycle someplace. Any officer could then run the number on his/her computer and have your name and address in seconds. You can do this with any valuable piece of property, not just bicycles. This Owner Applied Number can be reported and then listed in the stolen property database as well

I have been taking stolen bicycle reports for four years and the percentage of people who know the serial number of their stolen bicycle is very, very small. Let's increase that percentage!



We really need to start doing these things. If we have our information recorded ahead of time, a report can be made in a matter of minutes. Here is a previous post on the subject.

Bike Theft (http://www.bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=260)

Bill

jami
09-13-2006, 04:07 PM
those ads are super-fishy.

i think the upper left bike here:
http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/206918004.html
is a bike i had stolen a few years back. it's exactly the right shape and color. i was puzzled that i never got my bike back, as i reported the serial number to the police, and i heard that bike shops would all check.

i'd forgotten craigslist. ah ha.

i called the police about this ad, and they want to come to my house, which is kind of a hassle for a bike that may or may not be mine, that i wrote off a couple years ago. can't they just call the guy up and say, hey you have a lot of bikes and some broad thinks one of them might be hers. can we look at the serial number?

when i have more time i really oughtta follow up. the more i look at the bike, the more little details are exactly right.

jami
09-13-2006, 08:44 PM
hey, if you guys flagged that ad off, thanks. i'm going to call the police again tomorrow to get an investigation started (i'm working on something challenging for work so didn't have enough time today).

it's not that i really care too much about that bike any more, but i should step up if i know someone's selling stolen bikes. if i get it back, i'll donate it to the community cycling center.

donnambr
09-16-2006, 11:46 AM
So now I have a dilemma, and I'm looking for advice about what to do with this information from you all, and perhaps especially PoPo. (PoPo, maybe you need to start an "agony aunt" column thread on this forum...:))

I work for a community mental health agency downtown but yesterday I was providing coverage at our east county site, SE 172nd and SE Division. Naturally my riding my bike to work from home was the topic of much office chitchat, and the clinical staff told me that someone in the apartment building behind the office was regularly using the space between the 2 buildings to stash what appears to be stolen bikes. The "inventory" changes on a regular basis. I could not go out there and check it out for myself, as I was the lone office person there the entire day, and when 5:00pm rolled around I just wanted to get on my bike and get the heck out of that neighborhood and west to friendlier locales. I believe these clinicans' instincts - they regularly provide drug & alccohol treatment to youth with criminal justice involvement. It's been our experience out there that reporting theft and other crimes amount to nothing. When we started that office last year, our construction contractors had their vehicles burglarized. I was the office manager chosen to get that office up and running last year, and I was assaulted by someone in a moving car at the bus stop at SE 174th and Division. If you call the Portland police they refer you to the Gresham police and vice versa. No one wants to take ownership of or responsibility for what goes on in that area. It reminds me of growing up in metro Detroit where the criminals do what they please and the police know all about it and do nothing. So, my employer just put in a lot of security stuff in the office, staff look out for each other, and we hope for the best and leave quickly when it's time to close shop in the evening.

At any rate, here I am with this piece of information, and I don't know what to do with it. I'd like to pass it along to the people most likely to do something about it, but the finger pointing game that is played out there makes me unsure about who to call.

Rixtir
09-18-2006, 10:04 PM
Bump FAO PoPo

sharecare
09-23-2006, 10:34 AM
not sure if this is best thread for this story, but want to get it out there. My spouse's new Fischer Utopia was lifted out of our garage last summer. Just last week we got a call from a good samiritan named Bob. He had bartered for the frame from a guy (i.e. thief) on Craigslist, and while looking for parts on Craigslist, saw our stolen report and GAVE us the frame back. So bad guys and good guys are out there.

donnambr
09-23-2006, 03:55 PM
That's nice to hear. Also, I met up with PoPo (Off. Pickett) at the Car-Free Day festivities yesterday, and he's putting me in touch with someone from the precinct that covers SE 172nd and Division. Who knows what will come of it, but the ball is rolling now.

Rixtir
09-23-2006, 04:02 PM
Nice about PoPo helping!