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Shop owner responds to allegations of selling stolen bikes, parts

Posted by on March 3rd, 2010 at 10:57 am

The Recyclery is moving-22

Robby Fenstermaker, owner of
The Recyclery.
(Photo © J. Maus)

A flyer that has been posted far and wide on the streets of Portland contains allegations that the owner of local used bike shop chain, The Recyclery, “knowingly purchases” and then sells stolen goods.

The flyer contains serious accusations and names The Recyclery’s owner Robby Fenstermaker as being responsible for the alleged “fencing operation.” Fenstermaker says he’s aware of the flyers and maintains the allegations are likely the result of sour grapes due to the success of his business.

So far, the flyer has been seen in Southeast, Northeast, and North Portland. Here’s a photo of it spotted at NE 30th and Multnomah Ave. (sent in by a reader):

(Photo: M. Bratty)

Here’s an excerpt:

“Don’t support The Recyclery!… James ‘Robby’ Fenstermaker knowingly purchases obviously stolen bikes from sketchy people, strips them down, and sells them. He doesn’t always check serial numbers because he knows some are stolen… He is a plague on Portland’s bicycle community… We can’t prevent all bicycle theft, but we can stop a bicycle fencing operation that exists in our town.”

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard allegations like this about The Recyclery, so I called Fenstermaker yesterday and asked him to respond.

“When someone comes in, we get the serial number, all their personal contact info, run it through the City and then wait two weeks before we pay them anything… No bike thief would do that.”
— Robby Fenstermaker

Fenstermaker, 36, says that he has no idea who is posting the flyers, but he acknowledges that he did “have a lot of problems with employees last year,” — insinuating that the author of this flyer could be a disgrunted, ex-employee.

The City has very specific rules for shops that deal in used goods of any kind, and bike shops fall under the same regulations. “We run everything through city like we’re supposed to,” says Fenstermaker, “When someone comes in, we get the serial number, all their personal contact info, run it through the City and then wait two weeks before we pay them anything. You can’t sell us a bike the same day you bring it in.”

According to Fenstermaker, no bike thief would be willing to wait two weeks for payment. Regulations aside, Fenstermaker adds, “Not to mention, I don’t like tweakers, so if anyone shady comes in, I won’t deal with them.”

The challenge for Fenstermaker though, is that he’s not the only one managing interactions with sellers. He admitted that he’s had his share of problems finding trustworthy employees and he’s had to let some of them go due to unscrupulous dealings around used goods purchases:

“We’ve gone through so many employees. Finding someone that you can trust that knows how to do the job and knows what stuff is worth… There’s not many people in town that can do the job.”

The Recyclery has grown to four locations in recent years, and Fenstermaker says that kind of success wouldn’t be possible if he was selling stolen bikes — and success, he maintains, also comes with its envy-fueled detractors:

“I’ve grown this business from a basement to what it is and there’s no way you can do that in this town selling stolen bikes. I think it’s just Portland. If you’re good at anything, there will be people who… I think a lot of it is just bitter people. They just sit around and talk about stuff. I really don’t get it.”

If anyone knows who posted these flyers, I’d love to talk with them.

UPDATE: I’ve posted a follow-up story following a conversation with Sergeant Troy King of the Portland Police Bureau: Police: No complaints lodged against The Recyclery

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

102 Comments
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    Justa March 3, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Well, I for one am looking forward to the ensuing commentary. Anybody?

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    Jessica Roberts March 3, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I have heard this about the Recyclery too, from some very trusted sources. I would be interested to hear a response from someone who has firsthand knowledge of the situation (besides Fenstermacher, who obviously has an incentive to say that he is on the level).

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    AaronF March 3, 2010 at 11:18 am

    “I think it’s just Portland. If you’re good at anything, there will be people who… I think a lot of it is just bitter people.”

    Ouch!

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    Marcus March 3, 2010 at 11:27 am

    I have heard the same rumors off and on for at least a year. The problem is, I can’t find a single police report or complaint filed with the Portland police. If there is any credibility to the allegations, the person should make a formal complaint. As it stands, anonymous allegations are best viewed as a smear attack.

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    Perry March 3, 2010 at 11:28 am

    I think that if the man hasn’t been charged with a crime, then the rest is just hurtful bullsh**. Posting unsigned fliers full of accusations is cowardly.

    Got beef? Call the cops. Can’t be bothered to back up your accusations? Then sit down and shut up.

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    BikerinNE March 3, 2010 at 11:42 am

    In response to comment number 2; name your sources, if they’re so trusted.

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    Joe March 3, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I just heard a radio ad and was happy for them. this doesnt seem fair.

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    a.O March 3, 2010 at 11:56 am

    It would be unwise for the anonymous accuser to come forward now, as if he cannot prove his allegations Fenstermaker will be able to hold him liable for libel/slander for damage to his business reputation.

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    Ethan March 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Bike parts don’t have serial numbers, is he sometimes buying just parts from people?

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm

      Ethan,

      That’s part of the problem. According to Fenstermaker, the City’s regulations only capture the sale of frames (hence the serial number) and not parts.

      Marcus,

      I have contacted the Police Bureau but have not heard back from them. I will update the story and/or post a separate follow-up when I hear back.

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    beth h March 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    As my mother (z”l) always told me:

    “If you’re going to make an accusation about anything, you’d better have solid documentation to back it up. And if you don’t, then keep your mouth shut.”

    Mom clearly could’ve been a lawyer.

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    anonymous March 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    This is not the first I’ve heard of this allegation about the Recyclery, and similar to Jessica’s comment, it has come from reputable sources. To be honest, this only one of several negative comments I have heard about this establishment in recent years. I have made it a point to warn people away from this business because of their clearly unscrupulous sales practices in regards to used bikes. On many occasions I have had to inform someone that the bike they purchased from the Recyclery was worth only a fraction of what they paid and was not safe to ride without serious and costly repair. I consider this bike shop a dark stain on Portland’s otherwise respectable community of bicycle dealers and resellers.

    While I have reservations about the methods and goals of those responsible for the flyers that were posted, it certainly has served the purpose of bringing this business and its owner into the spotlight. Thank you, Jonathan, for posting this story and providing a venue for the community to weigh in on this situation.

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    BURR March 3, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    The resources the PPB puts towards monitoring second hand dealers of all types in Portland is miniscule, it is entirely plausible that the cops don’t know or couldn’t care less about a large scale stolen bike fencing operation right under their noses. And once a bike is stripped down, how the heck are they supposed to identify it after the fact?

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    Honuman March 3, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    This guy claims to have had problems with employees and that all this stems from people disliking success? That’s on par with a Rapist saying people are just mad he’s so good in bed, and that’s pretty disgusting. I personally overheard a guy who’s been working on bikes in this town for over 10 years respond to the statement ‘You could always work @ The Recyclery’ by saying he’d rather live on the streets than help out someone he’s personally known for years to be crooked as hell.

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    Marcus March 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Jonathan: A follow-up seems useful after a deeper check.

    IF there is truth to the allegations than there is a concern for the bike community.

    IF there is NO truth to the allegations than a person is being defamed wrongfully.

    Right now it seems people can only state have heard rumors and not had first hand knowledge.

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    Justa March 3, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    What if someone who’s engaging in this kind of activity is good at covering their tracks (and therefore maintaining a dearth of solid evidence against themselves)? Is that really a good reason to keep to yourself information that is vital to the well-being of your community?

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    SkidMark March 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    His former employees are not disgruntled, they have moved onto better things.

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    q'Ztal March 3, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    So this blog post is not informational yet but was meant to “shake thre tree” for actual facts; please hold off on the Oregonian like invective until we have FACTS.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 3, 2010 at 12:48 pm

      q’Ztal,

      “this blog post is not informational”

      I disagree. There have been persistent rumors for years about the Recyclery and this story shared a response to those from the man who owns the shop at the center of those rumors. This story also shares information about the flyer’s existence… and yes, like many stories, it might result in more information coming to light.

      so far, I haven’t read any “oregonian like invective” in the comments.

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    Jessica Roberts March 3, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I’m not going to “name sources,” thanks – this was said to me in confidence. And I’m glad that this discussion is happening, because while I haven’t warned anybody off them because it was secondhand info, what I’ve been told has certainly colored my impression of this business and made me unlikely to give them a try. Hopefully this thread will give us all clarity on the matter.

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    Lance P. March 3, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Sounds like a witch hunt.

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    RyNO Dan March 3, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    My comment:
    Zero data.
    Not one verified case.
    Stupid article.

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    SkidMark March 3, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Does Robbie have any objections to a Police detective running the numbers on all the frames in all of his locations?

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    Jackattak March 3, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    This is the first I’ve heard of anything, but then I’m not really in the “bike scene” and don’t hang with too many “bikey” people. I just like old bikes for getting around.

    I will continue to support The Recyclery unless someone has some concrete evidence. They have been nothing but nice to me and my wife and we’ve been going there for a while, now.

    Keep up the great work, Robby!

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    natallica March 3, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    i’m glad to see bikeportland doing a story on this.

    i, too, have heard many rumors, and am eager to see evidence come forward.

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    Jackattak March 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    And I absolutely love how those who are espousing negative comments are doing so with mere secondhand rumors.

    If you can’t back up your claims with truth, STFU. People make me sick sometimes.

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    Quentin March 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    To quote Hitchens, “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” If the bikes are “obviously stolen” then it should be easy for the anonymous person to substantiate his or her accusation.

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    scotth March 3, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    If you’re not willing to disclose your own name, then the information you’re spreading probably isn’t vital to the well-being of your community.

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    lothar March 3, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Disgruntled employees are about reliable as a prison snitch who gets leniency for his testimony as far as information about a former employer goes. Not to say that they don’t have a legitimate bitch, but by the time the story makes its way downstream it’s nothing more than hearsay.
    If I was to question Robbie’s statement it would be are all the bikes he resells bought on-sight or does he have “buying agents” that scan the area for deals that don’t require a getting someones info or receipts? I find it hard to believe that all his stock comes from people coming into his shop to sell it.
    But I have been known to be wrong.

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    matt picio March 3, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    There are 2 guys on SE Salmon near 15th who sell bikes on Craigslist from out of their garages. Rumor has swirled around them about stolen bikes for years as well, yet in the two years I lived on the block, I never saw the cops come by. Ditto for pawn shops. People like them and stores like the Recyclery can only check items that are serialized. Unless we want to impose a mandatory background check on all sellers, there’s not a lot that can be done. What do people expect a business to do when there is no method or system to track stuff like this? All you can do is refuse to deal with people who seem “shady” – and that definition is going to vary depending on the employee.

    Good story, Jonathan – getting the owner’s response to public accusations on poles all over town is great use of a popular blog/news site to provide context. Naysayers can feel free to comment or set up their own blog.

    I don’t shop at the Recyclery often, but to be honest, I have a more favorable opinion of that establishment than of Hike -n- Bike.

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    WOBG March 3, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Nice courage there, anonymous #11–and nice logic, too.

    The issue at hand is not whether the shop is deficient at building and tuning (and pricing); it’s just whether they buy and sell stolen stuff.

    Guilt in one does not mean guilt in the others.

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    MIndfulCyclist March 3, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I have heard a few things about this, but always thought it was in reference that it wanted too much for some parts. I honestly have found much better deals at the CCC and CityBikes for comparable items.

    If he has had problems with former employees doing “unscrupulous” deals, that is too bad. However, it does fall on him as the business owner since he was the one that was responsible for hiring them.

    But, it still sounds like nothing but hearsay at this point.

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    bhance March 3, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Perhaps now is a good time to mention that *anyone* – including bike shops – can use http://mobile.stolenbicycleregistry.com/ to search a bike’s serial number via their cellphone and see if it has been listed stolen with the SBR.

    This doesn’t tie into any police databases yet, but it *does* tie into Jonathan’s stolen bike listings here on BikePortland.org.

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    cyclist March 3, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    It’s telling that all of the negative comments about this place are all second-hand complaints. Nobody here has actually had a bad experience with the place, let alone any evidence that the place is dealing in stolen goods.

    I don’t necessarily buy his explanation that the rumors are all due to haters, but I’m inclined to believe him until presented with some actual evidence that the shop is actually dealing with stolen stuff.

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    Marcus Griffith March 3, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    –Start Satirical Hyperbole—

    Do you know the guy who keeps posting the bike fencing flyers buys and sells child porn? Ask around local porn shops and the same rumors keep surfacing. Chances are, a child molester in your neighborhood bought child porn from the flyer poster.

    John “going to post flyers till I die” Doe buys porno video from sketchy people and doesn’t always check the videos out because he knows some of them are child porn. Think about it when YOUR child is molested and Flyer Posting Freak profits off your child’s suffering.

    Flyer posting Freak is a plague in our neighborhoods. We can’t stop all child molesters, but we can stop a child porn video dealership that exists in our town.

    —End Satirical Hyperbole—

    Your move Flyer Poster Freak. My name is above and my mailing address is: PO Box 1221, Vancouver WA, 98666.

    Cowards that hide behind anonymous attacks are some of the worst scum of the earth.

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    Jackattak March 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Bold move, Marcus. I like it. Wish I had a P.O. Box, I’d join you. 🙂

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    Tess March 3, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I had my Co-Motion Nor’wester (black, S+S couplers) stolen from my basement a few years ago. A couple weeks after, I got a call from the Recyclery saying that they’d seen my stolen bike ad on Craigslist and that they thought they had my bike in their shop. Lo and behold, I went in the next day and there was my bike in a gently wrecked condition. I had the foresight to call the cops before I went in, and when the owner tried to sell my own, reported stolen, bike back to me, the officer was there to inform him that that was illegal. Long story short, I was more than willing to pay a finder’s fee, but less than interested in paying what the owner told me was what he paid for my bike. The owner had a hand-written receipt, with only the name of the person from whom he had purchased my bike. Needless to say, it felt a wee bit sketchy and I never went back. I also suspect I’m not the only one out there. First person witness: here I am.

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    JasonC March 3, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Comment #32 above has summed up the situation and comments here best… has someone out there actually been cheated or told to engage in unlawful business dealings as an employee of this guy?

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    Andrew March 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Robby only started registering his serial numbers with the Portland Police Department AFTER he tried to sell back a stolen bike to the ORIGINAL OWNER, and the cops said “What!?” and started treating this guy like any pawnshop should be treated.

    This is no second hand rumor. I guarantee it!!

    I might also add that there are no serial requirements on bicycle components like wheels, and saddles which are often ripped off of bikes.

    This guy hasn’t had trouble with malicious, criminal “Employees”, it is the top down influence of a hustler trying to make some money. Which to a certain extent I can respect, until it means breaking the law.

    I had to chuckle a bit to think that anyone takes Robby at his word.

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    Andrew March 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Ha, I was referencing your story Tess. Thanks for sharing.

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    Noah Genda March 3, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Tess, did Robby try to sell you the bike back? Or the “owner” as in a person who was trying to sell to the Recyclery. If he actually paid someone for said bike and then tried to sell it to your then hell yeah thats shady.

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    maxadders March 3, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Since so few people document their bikes– and the police have little time to deal with theft– there’s a lot of room for abuse. But a gray area exists as well.

    If a stranger approaches you trying to sell an obviously-stolen bike, do you buy it? It might be the one-and-only chance for the owner to get the bike back.

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    Jason March 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Marcus’ parody illustrates the problem with the flyers. Anyone can say anything about anyone but it doesn’t mean its true. Marcus was smart to put the “satirical hyperbole’ disclaimer, it should protect him from libel charges.

    The bike community should not have knee jerk reactions to allegations of a bike shop dealing in stolen goods. Have the allegations checked out and if they proven true, than we can tar and feather the guy.

    It might be worth while to do a follow up article on the steps local bike shops take to minimize dealing in stolen goods and what they do when they find out they have a stolen bike.

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    Case March 3, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Maxadders, would I buy a bike off the street if it were obviously stolen and some crackhead wanted $20 for it? Yeah, I would, it’s the only chance for the real owner to get it back.

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    BikeChicksRule March 3, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    I agree with most of your comments about legality and proof. The bottom line is, Tess, if Robby called to let you know he had your stolen bike and wanted to give it back to you, after paying for it instead of selling it to someone else, I think that says something.

    The City of Portland has at least two dedicated detectives that monitor used bike shops to verify whether or not the bikes have been registered through their system. Employees who buy or sell used bikes must register with the City. If YOU don’t register your bike and it gets stolen, how is one supposed to know it’s stolen?

    The issue here is not whether this particular business person is true to his word. What it comes downs to is intent and integrity. If you don’t agree with the way this individual runs his business, don’t give him yours. Simple enough. I, on the other hand, have had my bike rebuilt twice at the downtown location and received exceptional service at a fair price.

    Ten years in business with four locations says something in this small, lovely, bicycle friendly city of ours. Until Mr. Fenstermaker is charged with possession of stolen goods, I will continue to frequent The Recyclery.

    Happy riding!

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    trail user March 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    You’d be buying stolen property. What is not unheard of is posting on craigslist about a recovered stolen bike and the responder calls the cops on you after getting your personal info. Technically, you can’t ask for any money at all, I’d imagine. What I would do is not give my personal location to the owner, but give him the combo and location where the bike is locked. The finder’s fee money(or money that was used to buy the stolen bike from the thief) can be placed under a rock at an agreed upon location, at which point you tell him where the handlebar and rear tire is locked up. Keep in mind I don’t know the law regarding trying to recover the finder’s fee of stolen property, but having the cops called on a Good Samaritan does not sound right.

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    Morgan March 3, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Washington may be a bit different, but it can’t be TOO diferent as far as the laws applying to the resale of used goods.

    Bicycles puchased by the business must be accompanied with an original proof of purchase and a photo ID. At that point the shop may turn the bike and sell it the next day. All sellers must be over 18.

    Bicycles sold WITHOUT a proof of purchase must be accompanied with 2 forms of ID (one photo id and a CC or something with their name) and a signature from the seller. They must be kept for 30 days (untouched) before resale. The records of sale (including description, seller’s signature, price of sale and SN) must be kept until the police dept has a chance to run all ofthe SN against a record of stolen bikes.

    In the case of a “hit” on a stolen bike, the shop loses any money paid for the bike and the police return it to the owner. They also request the information of the party who sold the bike.
    God help the shop who does not have this paperwork.
    You get 1 chance to screw up and not have your paperwork in order. The second time, you lose your licence to sell used products.
    I would assume that a shop as large as the Recyclery (4 locations) would have a rather organized system in place as this could screw ALL the locations.

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    Justa March 3, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    I’m glad to see that there is a healthy degree of skepticism surrounding this issue, because admittedly as of yet little to no concrete evidence has been brought to light in this conversation.

    That said, I am yet another one of those individuals who has heard detailed firsthand accounts from many trusted sources–way too many for comfort. I’m not going to repeat those stories verbatim here, because it’d just be a lot more secondhand testimony.

    I’ve had my own negative experiences with this guy, but since they’re not directly related to his reputation with bikes, I don’t need to detail them here. I’d just like to state that the backlash he’s starting to feel is anything but knee-jerk; it’s been gaining momentum for years.

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    Melissa March 3, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Is there anyway to get a cheap lojack anti-theft device for a bike?

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    Case March 3, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Trail User, getting a bike back to the owner would be worth the $20, it’s not that much to me. However, if I were prosecuted for paying to recover a bike I would be pretty disappointed. So point taken.

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    Anon Y. Mouse March 3, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    trailuser:

    If you think you have a bike that’s not yours, I think the best thing to do would be to take it to the PPD Property and Evidence Division and get a receipt.

    http://www.portlandonline.com/Police/index.cfm?c=41011

    Then attempt to contact the owner so they can recover it from the authorities. This keeps everything above the board and legit, entitles you to potentially claim a finder’s fee, and you’d be much less likely to be accused by the victim of the theft.

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    maxadders March 3, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    So what if a tweaker walks in to a used bike shop (like the one in question) and has a $2000 bicycle. The clerk is fairly certain it’s stolen, but the thief’s fairly certain it’s worth something– and demands $200.

    Should the clerk buy it, just to help out the real owner? The owner could always balk at the $200, show up with cops and paint the clerk as a crook on the internet.

    I’m not trying to imply anything here–just playing devil’s advocate. It’s a sticky situation that can easily become very accusatory if one party decides the other can’t be trusted.

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    KWW March 3, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Morgan has the right track, this issue is big in the used camera market as well. If Recyclery really wants to walk the talk, they should cite specific instances of where they have gotten positive ‘hits’ on stolen property and what they did about it.

    Truth be told though, Craigslist is a bigger problem than this retail store.

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    Honuman March 3, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Tess…I heard that same story from employee side. When It was brought to robbie’s attention the bike was stolen his claim was
    “My gain, her loss.” This was before you showed up with police support.

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    morgan March 3, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Maxadders:

    If the employee is on the clock, than I would consider he/she as a representative of the store, and any transaction done should be considered “through the store”. I wouldn’t do it on the floor at the VERY least. The owner and employees must respect the shop location as a “sterile” environment for truthful buying and selling.

    Only a few members of the staff I worked with were even permitted to evaluate product for sale and even fewer were permitted to cut checks, so there are several easy levels to keep the business safe from a bad purchase. There was also a max monetary sum that was permitted for any single sale (say, $300). If you wanted more, awesome! let’s put it on consignment and you will get a bigger sum, all the while keeping the shop safe from getting burned on a stolen bike getting picked up from the cops.
    If someone brings in “obviously stolen” stuff, the best thing to do as a shop is get the SN and any kind of ID you can copied from the seller and have the SN run with the rest of your purchases

    It was so important for the location I worked at to give an above-board vibe that if stuff was ever denied at the shop (whether it was because it was shady, or they didn’t like the price) and some other customer wanted to make an offer on it, they were not permitted to engage in a transaction within the store and asked to “move it outside”.
    It sounds a little harsh, but business owners CANNOT be too careful about this kind of behavior because it only takes two mistakes and you are screwed.

    Honestly it only takes ONE well publicized incident to ruin your rep for honest buying and selling.

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    AmberQ March 3, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Wow, Robbie must have millions of employees watching over his shoulder for all those “stolen bike” sales to have all those witnesses. I thought Portland was too big to have this small town gossip.

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    naomi March 3, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    I’m so glad I’m not involved in portlands bike scene sewing circle. It’s so cliquey and gossipy I could barf.

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    John Russell (jr98664) March 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Well, even when I went to them to sell my totaled bike for parts, they still told me that I would have to wait two weeks for the money. By the time that came, they said they already had enough bikes though. They seemed fine to me.

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    sabes March 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    I heard rumors that people are being abducted by aliens. Now, I don’t have any concrete evidence, but I have a couple trusted sources that say that it does actually happen! Sorry, I can’t reveal these sources since I was told in the strictest of confidence.

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    Vance Longwell March 4, 2010 at 8:17 am

    In the article Fenstermaker states,

    “When someone comes in, we get the serial number…”

    Jonathan then goes on to paraphrase Fenstermaker saying,

    “He admitted that he’s had his share of problems finding trustworthy employees…”

    Fenstermaker is then quoted as saying,

    “We’ve gone through so many employees. Finding someone that you can trust…”

    Well, which is it Fenstermaker? Are you in compliance with regulations or not? He clearly states that the allegations of reselling stolen property are baseless, but then goes on to imply that these regulations may have, in fact, not been followed. I assume that by ‘we’ Fenstermaker means him and his employees.

    “We run everything through city like we’re supposed to…”

    As comments have already pointed out, non-serialized merchandise can’t even be processed this way. Under the circumstances, why wasn’t Fenstermaker careful to point out that he can only process serialized bicycle frames? Why lie and state that ‘everything’ is processed when it’s not?

    Lastly, there are numerous businesses in the area that sell used bicycle goods. Why haven’t any of these other businesses been singled out for such treatment? Ever? Not once? If a place like City Bikes can do what they do without alienating an employee to the point they’d enter into civilly libel behavior in all those years, what is the difference with The Recyclery? Presuming of course that these allegations are not true, and this is merely the act of a disgruntled employee.

    I should disclose that I have a bias against this business, though I do not know Fenstermaker personally, nor have I dealt with him individually at any of his locations. I have received unqualified, unprofessional, service there from, presumably, employees. Also, in my expert opinion he’s profiteering by exploiting people’s ignorance and selling second-rate items at tremendously high prices. The shop itself, including and especially the service-area, were dirty and unkempt. I also overheard mis-information being brazenly espoused to an inquisitive customer while visiting a store; the one time I’ve been in.

    Add to this Fenstermaker’s comment about tweakers is insensitive, and offensive. Since there’s no definitive criteria for ‘tweaker’ I’m left to conclude that Fenstermaker and his employees are using their personal judgment to determine who is a ‘tweaker’ and who is not. This fairly smacks of at least a partially discriminatory policy regarding who Fenstermaker and his employees are willing to deal with.

    What drives a person to author this document, and then spend even more time putting it up everywhere? If Fenstermaker hired an attorney it would be a simple matter to track down the author through finger-prints, witnesses, and the materials used to make these flyers. Knowing this, the author is assuming what they must have surely known, was a great risk. Why? Why take such a giant risk without any evidence at all?

    Portland is loaded with used bike garbage. Why is Fenstermaker the only one who seems to have so many problems?

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    Jackattak March 4, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Never fear, Sabes # 59! I have first-hand knowledge that people are abducted by aliens.

    Once I came across some aliens in my backyard, and they picked me up with their ray beam eyes and shook me like a dawg!

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    Jacob March 4, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Wow, the person that posted that flyer needs to freakin’ grow up.

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  • […] story about public accusations of illegal activity by The Recyclery bike shop has sparked a lot of dialogue. Yesterday, I spoke about this issue with Portland Police […]

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    Jacob March 4, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Vance,

    “We run everything through city like we’re supposed to…”

    I think that means if it’s required to be run through the PD then it is, it doesn’t sound like he’s lying to me.

    Also, 99% of the used shops in PDX or anywhere sell overpriced garbage, it’s not just this shop.

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    Vance Longwell March 4, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Jacob # 64 – Hmm, see and I thought ‘everything’ meant ‘everything’. If you are implying that he misspoke, then look again at the language I used. “Under the circumstances…”, I would hope that Fenstermaker would feel obliged to chose his words carefully; and moreover why not take the opportunity to point out that this is fairly unregulated, and that he’s not responsible for determining whether or not the vast majority of his inventory is there under no mandate to be ‘ran by the city’? In my opinion doing so would discredit his business’s character so he chose to tell a lie instead.

    Surely Fenstermaker knows full well that in fact not ‘everything’ in his stores has passed some enforcement standard, yet he says they do. A mistake, perhaps, but that speaks to the competency level of he as a businessman, a businessman were supposed to trust isn’t buying stolen bicycle goods. If he misspoke, well that’s a mighty big mistake, again competency. If he didn’t misspeak, then he lied, because not everything in his stores is subject to regulation.

    If he would lie about everything in his store passing some enforcement muster, might he also lie about knowingly reselling stolen property?

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    April March 4, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Wow. I agree with Vance. Color me surprised. o_O

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    maxadders March 4, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Sorry, but if I come across a set of handlebars in the CCC used bin, is it supposed to have a Certificate of Authenticity? How do I know they weren’t stolen last month, then donated?

    You’re just not going to get a pedigree on these small items, ever.

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    katiey w March 4, 2010 at 10:31 am

    I’m thinking only a few of the people who’ve posted comments here know Robby personally and know him well. I do. These allegations have been made FOR A REASON. You get two hundred people screaming DANGER,DANGER! and is that just all in their heads? A mass hallucination? In the article Robby makes a point to have it mentioned that his employees have been untrustworthy and that they also buy bikes, not just him. Can’t you see he’s trying to cover his ass? He knows he’s done wrong and his trying to cover his ass in case it is brought to light by passing the blame onto “untrustworthy” and “disgruntled” employees. Maybe he should find some better management skills if so many of the people he hires are as unsavory as he claims.

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    wsbob March 4, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Vance #60, I give you credit for your perspective on Fenstermaker’s answers to Maus’s questions. Fenstermaker may be on the ‘up and up’, but reading his answers left me feeling a bit skeptical.

    Maybe he should have been a little more specific about the issues he was having with his employees. His comment in that regard in the Maus interview only seems to address his ‘profit and loss’ concern…

    “…Finding someone that you can trust that knows how to do the job and knows what stuff is worth… There’s not many people in town that can do the job.”

    What stuff is worth? How about finding someone to hire as employees, that have a sense that the stuff they’re looking at to buy is stolen, being laundered, and so forth? Are people that can do that part of the job really not numerous?

    Actually, about 8 months ago, I went into the SW 11th store looking to buy a used stem. Store had 10-15 mostly funky low end stems in a small box, with one pretty decent TTT that I think is going to work for me. I don’t know a lot about bike components, but the kid working there…definitely British by his accent, was very knowledgeable and helpful to me and the other customer looking to to buy a really fine carbon fiber bike.

    There’s nothing really wrong with Fenstermaker’s comment in regards to tweakers except that it’s a little too pat for a guy that’s trying to allay concerns that he may be dealing in stolen goods. Currently, it’s more or less in vogue for people to say ‘I hate tweakers’. That’s mostly just a phrase people carelessly throw around today to be righteously contemptuous.

    I really hope Fenstermaker is a straight up honest businessman. The world certainly needs more of those, and I wish him well if he is one. Crooks on the other hand can be very clever and able to defy the most determined efforts to reveal their operations for long periods of time if not forever.

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    Justa March 4, 2010 at 10:50 am

    #69’s last point is a good one.

    Personally, I don’t care who “wins” this ongoing debate. In fact, I’d prefer if if no one ever had to learn about this guy the hard way, think whatever you want about the people defaming him.

    Even if the issue polarizes people, it’s been brought to light and you can bet that even the most loyal Recyclery patrons will be a lot quicker to notice discrepancies in the way Robby does business.

    Hopefully the knowledge of public scrutiny will be enough to keep him toeing the line, regardless of his actual past.

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    Tess March 4, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Noah: he tried to sell my own bike back to me, for the dollar amount he claims he paid for it from the person he bought it from. And while he may not have known it was stolen when he bought it, it was a nice bike in very shabby condition, and I would have been immediately suspicious if someone tried to sell me a Co-Motion (or Serotta, or Seven, or De Salvo, or any other boutique handmade bike) that was covered in goo, had a nasty seatpost, and was missing headset spacers. So yeah, I’m glad he called me to let me know he thought he had my bike. If I hadn’t brought a cop, though, it would have cost me $500 to take it back. Ridiculous.

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    Elly Blue (Contributor) March 4, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I’m bummed to see this story on BikePortland. Joining the chorus agreeing with Vance–it seems like a lot of used bike shops probably have to navigate some grey-area territory. If the people watching like and trust you, they won’t notice or care. If they don’t like you for some reason, however unrelated, they apparently put accusatory posters up in Ladd’s Addition.

    It sounds like there are plenty of valid reasons that people might not want to patronize the Recyclery. There are various ways to address this (or not) but focusing on one extremely hot button issue and turning it into a witch hunt and slander campaign is a very low road indeed. Jonathan, with respect, this story could have used a lot more reporting before seeing the light of day.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 4, 2010 at 11:25 am

      Elly,

      Thanks for your comment, but I don’t think I understand.

      You write, “focusing on one extremely hot button issue and turning it into a witch hunt and slander campaign is a very low road indeed.” How exactly is this story doing that? I reported on a flyer that is posted widely around town, I called the person named in the flyer and asked them what they thought about it.

      99% of the stories I publish “could have used a lot more reporting.’ On that note, I have posted a follow-up today that features the perspective of a Police Bureau sergeant.

      I agree with a lot of other stuff in your comment, but I don’t agree with how you’ve connected the “witch hunt” “slander campaign” terms with my reporting.

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    Tess March 4, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Some post script: I had the serial number. The bike had my name engraved on the BB shell. I had a police report, and a case file #. It was probably the only reason they sent a cop to meet with me at all.

    I don’t want to say that the Recyclery has acting knowingly as a fence for stolen bikes. But the ineptitude (at least then; they may have more reasonable measures in place by now) of paying for a bike before running the SN astounds me.

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    Vance Longwell March 4, 2010 at 11:29 am

    wsbob #69 – Thanks for that. I wanted to join with you in hoping that everything is legit at The Recyclery. Moreover, I can’t see anyway it’s possible to avoid ‘dealing’ in stolen goods, at some point, doing what he’s doing. I would be the first to forgive mistakes, even in judgment, and allot the man a certain number of fudges, as it were. However, and as katiey w #68 points out, too many rumors, unfounded or not, and one simply must become suspicious. As is clearly the case, suspicion then, has this businessman saying things that don’t add-up.

    I’m only ‘in this one’ because here’s a community enforcing, or attempting to enforce, community standards sans the obligatory slew of needless laws, and regulation.

    In my opinion if Festermaker wants to keep having success then the onus is upon him to now damn these accusations with careful, truthful speech. It’s important to me to see Festermaker behave as though he cares a lot about this too because we’ve all had stuff stolen, and I’d hope he could sympathize with that, if not outright empathize. What we got instead was essentially, “People are just jealous.”, and that doesn’t reflect a caring attitude.

    Nonchalant and cavalier are simply not ways a completely innocent person responds to allegations this grave. Making contradictory statements like – I know we are not buying and selling stolen goods – Some of my employees may be buying and selling stolen goods – really doesn’t exonerate the guy of anything either. In fact, it only serves to erode any support he may have otherwise enjoyed, from me anyway.

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    Elliott @ Austin on Two Wheels March 4, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Jonathan,
    As a fellow online editor and publisher, I’m with you and see nothing journalistically wrong with this article. You are reporting on something relevant that has happened in the cycling community and allowed the business affected by these accusations to respond. Your job is not to blindly support the shop but to report the facts and give interested parties a chance to comment. You’ve done that and done due diligence to get additional information. I have to strongly disagree with Elly on this one.

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    Amos March 4, 2010 at 11:49 am

    A news site reports news, and like it or not, this is news.

    News is, by definition, “new”, so the story should be reported when it is new, and then, if needed, it should be followed up on if more information presents itself.

    Jonathan has done his job as a journalist. He has reported facts and gone to lengths to show both sides of the story. Perhaps what most people find troubling about this story isn’t the report itself, but the reaction by readers to it.

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    Elly Blue (Contributor) March 4, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Jonathan, the flyer is the slander campaign, and whoever’s behind it probably feels very validated by getting your assistance in spreading it. It’s an unsubstantiated statement by an anonymous person. You have no way of knowing who it is: business competitor, vindictive ex-partner, next door neighbor angry about a tree branch overhang—it could also be total, fact-based truth, but if it were why post flyers anonymously instead of having the satisfaction of properly unmasking a crook by working with police and reporters?

    Anyway, in reporting on the flyer as news, you amplified their message but added no new information other than Robbie’s own (also unsubstantiated) statement. With this, your readers can only evaluate one person’s word against another’s. Most of us don’t have firsthand knowledge of the Recyclery or Robbie, so we’ll go on rumors, gut feelings, similar experiences we may have had with other bike shops or other people, unrelated associations, etc. This isn’t fair to anyone.

    So yes, I think you should have waited to report this story until (if) you had actual facts to write about.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 4, 2010 at 12:15 pm

      Elly Blue wrote:

      the flyer is the slander campaign

      Glad we’ve cleared that up. It’s the flyer, not bikeportland.

      And how someone feels based on a story i publish is between them and their feelings.

      And who said I was “reporting on the flyer as news.”? As the headline attests, I have framed the real news here as Robbie’s response, not the flyer itself.

      Also, while I agree with you about the flyer being unsubstantiated, my decision to publish this story was not based solely on that flyer. I have heard from many people over many years with similar allegations. And, when I talked to Robbie about this, I shared that with him.

      And why won’t the accuser(s) come forward? There are a lot of reasons why people do things anonymously, especially when they involve someone’s business. FWIW, in the past few days I have talked to people who will go on record about things they saw at The Recyclery.

      I also don’t really see what’s wrong in publishing something so that people can “evaluate one person’s word against another’s.” I think people are smart, especially people who read bikeportland. Everyone knows it’s an anonymous flyer, so they should (and I think do) take what it says with a grain of salt — similar to how I think people read anonymous comments.

      I am hearing your feedback, I respect it, and I am taking it in. Thanks.

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    Elliott @ Austin on Two Wheels March 4, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Elly,
    I’m not sure how you find out more if these are posted anonymously. How does the cycling community benefit from these flyers being posted around town and not giving the owner of the shop a forum (this site) to respond?

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    wsbob March 4, 2010 at 11:57 am

    “…If they don’t like you for some reason, however unrelated, they apparently put accusatory posters up in Ladd’s Addition. …” Elly Blue

    I hope you’re not suggesting ‘they’, are all the people with questions about this person’s business operations. The poster is an anonymous, stupid, ugly, cowardly act. Means little. I don’t sense that all the people with questions about this business had a hand in the postering.

    Personal accounts from people that have had bad experiences with the business is another thing entirely.

    A person with the largest business operation of their type in the area they’re located is inevitably going to come under some scrutiny. The answer that I think most people are hoping for in routine investigations of any business, is that the business is doing things the right way.

    For some unexplained reason, Fenstermaker was a little slow to get the second hand dealers permits. It took some personal consultation with the boys in blue to get him to come around. Why? The areas largest second bike and bike parts dealer is having trouble putting together the approximately $1000.00 for 4 permits?

    If Tess’s #71, bad experience is the only incident of substance that can be associated to Fenstermaker’s bike shop, he’s got nothing to worry about.

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    t.a. barnhart March 4, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Elly, your logic is kind of flawed. it’s like saying the news shouldn’t report terrorist attacks because it validates & publicizes the terrorists’ goals. letting the victim of the attack (Fenstermaker) speak for himself is the best antidote to this, along with the story in the Oregonian that the police have found NO evidence of wrongdoing. i think most people are sympathetic to him; i know i’d have no qualms about buying (more) products & services from the Recyclery (they were awesome when i was trying to keep my old beater functional).

    pretending something isn’t happening doesn’t make it go away. daylight cleans up a lot of nasty shit.

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    Brandon Joerges March 4, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    As someone outside of Portland, it doesn’t appear to be a witch hunt sparking series of articles. Where the purported “witch hunt” is happening is in comments from people who already do not do business with The Recyclery and those that feel The Recyclery is actually fencing stolen parts or does shady business (like heavily low-balling payment on used bikes/parts of high value to clueless customers). Nobody has said their own parts/bikes have been fenced through The Recyclery but lots of “heard from a trusted source” stuff.

    Key takeaway: Blindly agreeing with a trusted source that holds no proof is a fool’s decision.

    If anything, the three articles surrounding this debacle should have been held and written as one article. Other than that hindsight vision, good journalism.

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    Elly Blue (Contributor) March 4, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Maybe I’m wrong, but presenting slander as news makes me very, very uncomfortable. It empowers whoever made the poster (who, again, we have no idea who they are), and sends the message that this is a great way to address any issues you have with someone; it makes the target guilty in until proven innocent, at least in the eyes of the public; and it all just seems like a cheap shot.

    Anyway, I’m not saying don’t report the story, just that this is an unfair way to do it. How many people will google this business name, read only this story, not read the comments or the follow-ups, and make up their mind then and there and forever? For all I know, the rumors are true, but what if they aren’t? You’ve just put a giant brand on this guy. A big difference between that and a bunch of flyers that a few dozen people saw, read with varying levels of cynicism, and which have probably all been taken down by now.

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    Jackattak March 4, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Jonathan –

    The accusers won’t come forward because they would be slapped with a libel suit so fast and hard it would make their heads spin.

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    Elliott @ Austin on Two Wheels March 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Actually, Elly, this shows how something like this doesn’t work. I don’t live in Portland or have any connection with the business, but I read this article and think, “hmm, some chicken shit put out a totally baseless ad hominem attack. The owner responded by telling people the good faith processes he takes to prevent the resale of stolen items. Bike Portland reports that the police have no record of complaints.” This makes me think if I want to slander a business I better have my shit together or I’m going to look like a fool.

    I’ve worked in over 50 political campaigns, and there is nothing you can do prevent someone from making totally baseless comments. What you hope for is a media that is open to hearing your point of view and willing to report the verifiable sourced facts that contradict the false statement. BikePortland has done that. To not have done it would have been irresponsible.

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    AaronF March 4, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    As someone who has never done business with the Recyclery, I assign much more weight to the statements Robby made than I do to an anonymous flyer.

    I find Robby’s responses to be a bit evasive and dismissive, which colors my perception much more than the flyer. Saying “I wouldn’t buy from tweakers because I don’t like them” just isn’t a persuasive argument to me. Instead I’d like to read about how he gets 2 forms of ID and so on. I’ve seen groups work in teams where one is dressed up to sell and the other waits outside.

    He might not be guilty of a stolen bicycle fencing operation, but it’s all enough for me to go some place I already trust more instead of trying out the Recyclery. Sounds like he doesn’t need my money too badly anyway. He’s a huge success, right?

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    a.O March 4, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Jonathan, FWIW I agree with you. This was a very widespread rumor — even an old unhip guy like me heard it. It was worthy of investigation and discussion.

    And most importantly, it is thanks to your reporting that we now know more facts about the situation. I feel like I can now make a much better judgment about the Recyclery because of these two stories.

    I agree that it would have been better to wait another day to get the police information before publishing, but that’s really just nit-picking. Nobody’s perfect, and the stories cross-reference each other, so no harm done IMHO.

    I think Ely has spent too much time playing in traffic.

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    Justa March 4, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    I thought playing in traffic was the one thing most of us had in common!

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    beth h March 4, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Public opinion can turn on a dime and tends to have a VERY short attention span. Neither of these realities tends to produce reasoned, thoughtful discourse; especially when those making libelous statements do NOT produce evidence to back up their claims. The tone of many responses here saddens me.

    *********

    On another note: The BIG lesson here should be that bicycle security is, first and foremost, the responsibility of the bicycle OWNER. The police, understaffed as they are, can only do so much.
    The bicycle owner is the FIRST line of defense against thieves.

    When you buy a bike, new or used, write down the make, model and serial number and store this info in a safe place.
    Take a full-size photograph of you holding the bike as soon as you get it, and another when you’ve made modifications to it, as proof that it’s yours. If you carry renters’ or homeowners’ insurance make sure you include your bike on the list of items to be covered, and be able to produce documentation showing it’s yours.

    For used bikes, asking for a handwritten bill-of-sale from the seller (with buyer’s and sellers’ names and contact info, plus sale price and date) is not too much to ask. If the seller refuses, walk away from the sale.

    Store your bike indoors whenever possible; demand indoor bike parking at work or school, or at the very least a secure, strong rack that is hard to cut through.

    And finally, give up your love affair with the cable lock. Bike theft is real and it’s never going away. Get over your indignation and carry the biggest, heaviest, toughest lock you can.

    These points may sound harsh, but if we refuse to accept the possibility of bike licensure and registration, then we need to prove that WE are doing EVERYTHING we can to discourage bike theft.

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    joe metal cowboy kurmaskie March 4, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    My two cents – fwiw I was a reporter and editor at a daily newspaper for seven years – This story would have run iF I’d been at the editorial helm. It put out the FACT that these flyers are out there, it allowed the owner of accused business a public forum to respond, it’s getting follow up. It’s brought a situation to light that might now bring more facts forward. It has also opened the do for flyer person(s) to substantiate or go away. And it gives others a chance to step up and back up a longstanding question that’s circulated in the bike community. To m, the owner of the bike shop should welcome this- it’s a chance to clear things up and or knock away lies.
    JM does not control how the bike community reacts but my gut and training always told me that shedding light on things was better than letting them fester. And the beauty in all of it is the follow ups- the rest of the story as Paul Harvey made famous.

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    Patrick V. March 4, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    I thought the article and reporting was fair and balanced. I am not a regular visitor to the recyclery but I’ve never gotten the vibe from Robby that he’s sketchy or a bad business owner. My personal opinion is that the flyers are being posted by someone with a personal grudge.

    Any small business owner runs the chance of coming across stolen goods but as a matter of practice I do not think the recyclery engages in this knowingly.

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    Jackattak March 4, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    @ beth h –

    I find your comments very helpful. As somewhat of a “n00b” to riding a bike for transportation, I was wondering “how” and “why” so many bikes are stolen so often, and quite fearful of riding my vintage bike around town for transportation because of all the horror stories. My wife also has a vintage bike that she would like to use as transportation but is fearful to lock it up anywhere due to all the horror stories of stolen bikes.

    What you just posted is exactly what the two of us do when we ride our bikes to places. A cable lock? I cringe at the thought of using something like that, personally.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is twofold:

    1) Thanks for helping quell my (unsubstantiated) fears of locking my bike up in public.

    2) I don’t think what you said was harsh at all. Rather, I believe it was common sense.

    🙂

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    beth h March 4, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Sadly, common sense borne out of experience.

    (I STILL miss my Huffy BMX bike, and I lost it back in 1972.)

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    Jiller17 March 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Elly-

    How would you have presented the story?

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    cyclist March 5, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Jonathan:

    While the local news might not agree, “he said/she said” is not really reporting. Your follow-up with the Portland Police is. The difference is pretty plain, but I’ll try to make it clear by way of an example.

    Let’s say I make up a flier that says “Jonathan Maus uses Bike Portland as a front to launder money for a meth lab,” and I make 1000 copies and post them on or near any surface that a bike might pass by in this town. Then KPTV sends out a camera person who gets you on camera saying “That’s ridiculous” and then interviews a couple of people on the street who say, “A friend of mine said he always seemed a little sketchy.” At the end the guy at KPTV says, “That’s all from the Bike Gallery, I’m Mr. Newsman at KPTV, Oregon 12.”

    Does that sound fair? Wouldn’t you want them to go do the bare minimum of legwork and go to the local cops to see if you’ve ever been accused of wrongdoing in the past?

    I’m awfully glad you followed up with the cops today, I just wish you’d had the judgment to do so before you published originally.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 5, 2010 at 1:11 am

      cyclist,

      thanks for the feedback.

      The key difference between this situation and your hypothetical is that I have heard similar allegations to the ones made in the flyer for years and by several different people. Therefore, the flyer had more weight to me than just a random allegation. As for the follow-up story with the police sergeant… i did contact them in hopes of including their information in this story, but I didn’t hear back and I thought (and still think) this story stands on its own.

      thanks.

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    David Zundel March 5, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I saw this story and hoped to read some answers. Sadly I didn’t.

    Jonathan, you wrote: “FWIW, in the past few days I have talked to people who will go on record about things they saw at The Recyclery.”

    So, I hope you work on a follow-up story, giving Robbie his merits and demerits.

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    Jackattak March 8, 2010 at 1:59 pm
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    David Zundel March 8, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    @Jackattak

    I had read the story on The Recyclery having no police complaints.

    This story still needs more follow-up.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 8, 2010 at 4:01 pm

      Hi David,

      I agree with you that the story needs more follow up. I’m working on a story that will flesh out the experience of “Tess” and that includes the perspectives of three former employees. Thanks for the comment.

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    Quentin Tarantino April 11, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    The following two miscreants were turned away from the St. Johns Recyclery after trying to sell stolen parts. They entered and left my place of business in a big hurry on the evening of April 1. They were obviously scoping out bicycles and parts they could steal from our bike rack, after having done so a week and a half prior.

    Their vehicle is a white, late-model Dodge Ram 1500 pickup, duallies in back, xtra cab. It has an Oregon license plate, 742 DHY. These fellas probably don’t have 32 teeth between the two of them.

    Attention all thieves: Working people are tired of having their bicycles messed with while they’re at work.

    Next up is me getting a spike strip to stop these tweaker trucks so I can call the police.

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