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baravettski
02-02-2007, 04:42 PM
so I had a Muirwoods stolen about a month ago, and I have a feeling this is it.

http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/272196949.html

any thoughts on how to proceed?

Rixtir
02-02-2007, 04:52 PM
Assuming that you filed a police report on the theft, and can prove it's your bike:

1) Make arrangements to see the bike.

2) When you get there, if it is your bike, tell the guy you'll think about it. Then call the police. Let them recover it. If it's not your bike, keep looking.

If you haven't filed a police report, and/or you can't prove it's your bike, you're S.O.L.

steelsreal
02-02-2007, 04:57 PM
I agree, with one exception.

If you can not "prove" it is yours, I would take several friends with you to look at the bike.

If it is yours, take it back.

I would be willing to join you and I bet if you round up 4 or 5... hell 10 people, I doubt they will argue too much.

Rixtir
02-02-2007, 05:03 PM
I agree, with one exception.

If you can not "prove" it is yours, I would take several friends with you to look at the bike.

If it is yours, take it back.

I would be willing to join you and I bet if you round up 4 or 5... hell 10 people, I doubt they will argue too much.If it's the thief, that strategy will possibly work. On the other hand, if the guy bought it from somebody, he's the owner,* and you could all end up in jail.







* He's the owner of the bike against all others, except for the person the bike was stolen from. That's why you need to be able to prove it's your bike.

Rixtir
02-02-2007, 05:13 PM
As some general advice to everybody:

If your bike is stolen, in order to recover it, you need to be able to prove it's your bike, and you need to be able to prove it was stolen. Here's how you do that.

1) Document your bike. Record the serial number, take photos, keep your sales receipt. Always get a sales receipt, even if it's a used bike bought from a private party. The sales receipt should include information about the seller, buyer, bike description, date of sale, and price. If for some reason you don't have a sales receipt, save your repair receipts; a record of repairs can establish ownership, but a sales receipt is always better. Save all of your documentation in a folder with all of your other important papers.

2) If your bike is stolen, file a police report.

If you do these two things, you have all of the documentation you need to prove that you own the bike, and that it was stolen from you.

Without being able to prove these things, YOU could be arrested for bike theft if you attempted to recover your own stolen bike.

steelsreal
02-02-2007, 05:15 PM
Possession of stolen goods is a crime, regardless of if you know it is stolen or not. Otherwise every criminal could claim they found, or bought it somewhere.

Either way, if I knew my bike was somewhere, I would get it back. And I would eagerly face arrest to do so.

That is good advice Rixtir. I would add that people should look under the bottom bracket to get the serial number. Bike shops are notorious for getting a number or letter wrong. One digit missing or wrong and you are in for a hell of a hassle. Also the data base the cops use will not show the bike with out the exact serial number.

It is a good idea to have your name somewhere on the bike. I like to put a laminated piece of paper inside the steer-tube. Under the top cap. Should it make it into a shop and need the stem swapped or headset adjuted, a friendly wrench might find it. Also, there is your "proof" should you need it.

Rixtir
02-02-2007, 05:18 PM
Possession of stolen goods is a crime, regardless of if you know it is stolen or not. Otherwise every criminal could claim they found, or bought it somewhere.

Either way, if I knew my bike was somewhere, I would get it back.Suppose he bought it from a pawn shop. I know, a month later he's selling it, it's HIGHLY unlikely, and more likely that he's the thief, or a fence. But the point is, sometimes there are innocent buyers out there, and they have lawful possession of the stolen item unless you can prove it's yours, and that it was stolen.

steelsreal
02-02-2007, 05:24 PM
You are right and wrong all at once!

Your point rests on "proving it". My point is the only "proof" I would need, is knowing it is my bike! I don't care if Santi Claus himself gifted it, or if it came from a pawnshop. It is still stolen merchandise. The buyer may be "innocent" but sad for him he would be out his or her cash.

I have done this before and though it was a crazy experience, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

I saw my stolen bike locked up, I proceeded to lock it with my own lock, then went to retrieve some bolt cutters. I came back with two friends and while cutting the "innocent" persons lock he returned.

He was pissed and threatened calling the police and so forth. I let him know that sounded like a great idea as I rode off on my "new" bike.

To be clear, I had built this bike from the frame up and new without a doubt it was mine.

Rixtir
02-02-2007, 05:33 PM
Well, just so you know that I'm not making all this stuff up, I just spent the last week researching and writing about this very subject.

I understand that if a bike is stolen, and a month later, it's for sale, that in all likelihood, the guy is the thief or a fence.

I'm just giving the OP the reason he needs to be careful legally. There are such things as innocent buyers out there, and they do have ownership in stolen items IF they are truly an innocent buyer. Buying a $5000 bike on a street corner for $20 wouldn't make anybody an innocent buyer, because the deal is obviously too suspicious to be legitimate. On the other hand, if some guy buys a bike from a pawn shop, and then it turns out to be stolen, under the law, he's the lawful owner of the bike against all EXCEPT the person the bike was stolen from.

That's why it's important to follow the two steps I outlined above: 1) Document your ownership of the bike, and 2) file a police report if it's stolen.

If you do those two things, you can recover your bike lawfully, without risking a trip to jail for "stealing" your own bike.

For what it's worth, some people have recovered their bikes by telling the person in possession of the bike that they could either hand the bike over, or they would call the cops. A thief might be willing to hand it over.

steelsreal
02-02-2007, 05:38 PM
I understand what you are saying.

I still 100% disagree.

You said "under the law, he's the lawful owner of the bike against all EXCEPT the person the bike was stolen from." Well no sh!t Sherlock!

Who else would have a claim other than "the person the bike was stolen from"?

My only point is that regardless of any legal standing, if I see my property in someone elses possession, I gaurantee you it is coming home with me!

Your rationale is just a matter of degree. I would argue that buying something from a pawnshop is every bit as suspicious as from a meth head on the corner. What is your imagionary cut off when it is no longer "suspicious"? If the meth head is dressed well and asking for 40 bucks instead of 20? In either case to be "legal" you would have to prove ownership.

I certainly would not let a technicality or fear of arrest prevent me from reclaiming my property. It is sort of moot as I document all my belongings anyway....

Rixtir
02-02-2007, 05:48 PM
The OP just posted this on Craigslist"

Did you buy the MARIN MUIRWOODS BLACK BEAUTY? - $160 (http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/272586368.html)

Someone posted this today:

MARIN MUIRWOODS BLACK BEAUTY xlnt value good guy deal - $160

super bike 21speed 19"inch frame call 971-xxx-xxxx

I had one of these stolen about 3 weeks ago and I'm just trying to see if it's mine, if you bought it or looked it at, please let me know, I just want to put my mind at ease.

Thanks

Let's say somebody bought this bike today, off craigslist, from the thief. The OP could legally recover the bike from the guy who bought it, IF he can prove it's his, and he filed a stolen bike report. The OP can also file a lawsuit against the thief to recover the full value of his bike (not just the amount the thief got in the sale.), again, if he can prove that he's the owner and that it was stolen. I imagine there are some bike-friendly attorneys in town who would be glad to help on a case like that.

If people out there haven't already done it, document your bikes. NOW. Use a good u-lock. And if your bike is stolen, report it to the police.

steelsreal
02-02-2007, 05:51 PM
Again we are in agreement... Thank god!

I hope the OP follows up on this. I had a friend who found one of her stolen bikes on craigslist and the police nailed the guy. He had a PILE of stolen bikes in his yard.

Good luck and please follow up when you find out more!

baravettski
02-02-2007, 09:02 PM
Thanks for everything guys. I'm trying to set up a time to check it out so we'll see.

I was new to the scene with my first bike, second one has pics, description, the whole kit so yeah, to everyone else out there, document the shit out of it.

I'll keep y'all posted.

baravettski
02-03-2007, 12:10 PM
well, talked to the person who's number is on the ad and of course they arent' the one selling it. I was told I'd get a call back and I haven't heard. if anyone else wants to try to ring it, pm me and i'll give you the actual number, I have the feeling i'm getting screened now.

thx