Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

When someone offers to return your stolen bike

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

When someone offers to return your stolen bike

Old 01-18-22, 11:09 AM
  #1  
Cyclist0108
Occam's Rotor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 7,248
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2366 Post(s)
Liked 2,321 Times in 1,157 Posts
When someone offers to return your stolen bike

Background: Kid lives 700 miles away. Someone broke into a storage shed and stole a couple of bikes a few days ago. This was his backup/commute bike, $1K new in 2015. Was thinking about selling it and upgrading, but does not have a lot of surplus income, so the bike is worth a fair amount to him. He posted the vitals on BikeIndex and spread the word yesterday. Late in the night, he gets a text from someone saying they purchased his bike from offerup or something like that, offering to return it. No mention of money or identity. Apparently he purchased it from a van full of bikes, so I doubt this person was simultaneously naive enough to do that innocently but then also would get the news from BikeIndex.

What is the best way to proceed? Currently he has notified the police and arranged to meet in a well-lit grocery store parking lot along with several capable friends and a cop on "standby" (whatever that means).

As you can probably tell, I am quite skeptical, but the guy (reluctantly) sent a photo and has the bike.
Cyclist0108 is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 11:23 AM
  #2  
Iride01
MotuekaCascadeChinook
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 10,282

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4150 Post(s)
Liked 2,675 Times in 1,862 Posts
If it was stolen, I'd let the police handle it entirely and just find out what my homeowners insurance or any other possible insurance I have might pay on the bike and not worry about getting the stolen bike back.

A beater bike isn't worth the potential issues that taking ones own thugs to a meeting with the unknown person claiming to be a good Samaritan might devolve into.
Iride01 is offline  
Likes For Iride01:
Old 01-18-22, 11:43 AM
  #3  
Parasites
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
i would definitely call the police
Parasites is offline  
Likes For Parasites:
Old 01-18-22, 11:53 AM
  #4  
Cyclist0108
Occam's Rotor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 7,248
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2366 Post(s)
Liked 2,321 Times in 1,157 Posts
He has.

Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Currently he has notified the police ... and a cop [will be] on "standby" (whatever that means).

.
Cyclist0108 is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 12:17 PM
  #5  
70sSanO
Senior Member
 
70sSanO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 4,713

Bikes: 1986 Cannondale SR400 (Flat bar commuter), 1988 Cannondale Criterium XTR, 1992 Serotta T-Max, 1995 Trek 970

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1523 Post(s)
Liked 1,474 Times in 930 Posts
My concern is it only happened a few days ago and someone has already bought the bike and afterward checks to see if it was stolen.

Just meet at the police station parking lot if he really wants to do it himself.

John
70sSanO is offline  
Likes For 70sSanO:
Old 01-18-22, 12:47 PM
  #6  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 12,751

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2679 Post(s)
Liked 1,490 Times in 973 Posts
A real life Robin Hood, surely
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Likes For Darth Lefty:
Old 01-18-22, 01:37 PM
  #7  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 27,160

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r, Trek FX Alpha 7.0

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4479 Post(s)
Liked 2,075 Times in 1,423 Posts
Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
A real life Robin Hood, surely
or a real-life extortionist ... sorry I'm jaded
rumrunn6 is offline  
Likes For rumrunn6:
Old 01-18-22, 01:37 PM
  #8  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 27,160

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r, Trek FX Alpha 7.0

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4479 Post(s)
Liked 2,075 Times in 1,423 Posts
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 01:48 PM
  #9  
Cyclist0108
Occam's Rotor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 7,248
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2366 Post(s)
Liked 2,321 Times in 1,157 Posts
I think the likelihood that this is legit is basically zero.

My guess is this guy either is, or works with, the original burglar/bike thief. At best, it is someone who purchased stolen goods and then got nervous.

I told him to get more input from the police.

My personal preference would be to suggest the person who now has the bike deliver it to the police station where my kid filed the police report. If he gets the bike back intact, he can then follow up with a small reward (or not). But buying back your own property in a parking lot simply rewards a thief.

I suspect the thief wants to unload it because BikeIndex has now made it harder to (re)sell or pawn.

The one thing I don't understand is why the thief (or accomplice) wouldn't simply ditch the bike. Why risk contacting the owner (unless this is a lead-up to a mugging or something)? The bike simply isn't worth much, compared to the multitude of high-end bikes a thief would likely encounter.

Last edited by Cyclist0108; 01-18-22 at 01:51 PM. Reason: typo
Cyclist0108 is offline  
Likes For Cyclist0108:
Old 01-18-22, 01:50 PM
  #10  
Cyclist0108
Occam's Rotor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 7,248
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2366 Post(s)
Liked 2,321 Times in 1,157 Posts
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
or a real-life extortionist ... sorry I'm jaded
I read it as sarcasm. (I'm probably far more jaded.)
Cyclist0108 is offline  
Likes For Cyclist0108:
Old 01-18-22, 02:10 PM
  #11  
gpburdell
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Georgia
Posts: 629
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 219 Post(s)
Liked 181 Times in 120 Posts
Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I think the likelihood that this is legit is basically zero.

My guess is this guy either is, or works with, the original burglar/bike thief. At best, it is someone who purchased stolen goods and then got nervous.

I told him to get more input from the police.

My personal preference would be to suggest the person who now has the bike deliver it to the police station where my kid filed the police report. If he gets the bike back intact, he can then follow up with a small reward (or not). But buying back your own property in a parking lot simply rewards a thief.

I suspect the thief wants to unload it because BikeIndex has now made it harder to (re)sell or pawn.

The one thing I don't understand is why the thief (or accomplice) wouldn't simply ditch the bike. Why risk contacting the owner (unless this is a lead-up to a mugging or something)? The bike simply isn't worth much, compared to the multitude of high-end bikes a thief would likely encounter.
We can suppose all sorts of stuff.

PWB (person with the bike) apparently has possession of it and is interested in some sort of transaction to get it back to the original owner.

Yes, it's possible PWB is associated with the theft and is seeking to get some cash out of owner. Or maybe PWB did naively buy it from the thief, showed it to a buddy (or parent) and they suggested something was fishy. Or perhaps PWB bought it figuring it was stolen and then looked for the owner to get a reward higher than what he bought it for.

All sorts of options - all of which are essentially immaterial to the decision at hand.

Safest course of action is to coordinate with the police and tell PWB to turn it at at xyz police station. Owner needn't be present.

That should give an indication of whether PWB is legitimately trying to do the right thing.
gpburdell is offline  
Likes For gpburdell:
Old 01-18-22, 03:54 PM
  #12  
Flip Flop Rider
Senior Member
 
Flip Flop Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: South Carolina Upstate
Posts: 2,035

Bikes: 2010 Fuji Absolute 3.0 1994 Trek 850

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 730 Post(s)
Liked 512 Times in 296 Posts
I would just assume the person with the bike had something to do with it getting gone. It might not be true, but that's my thinking. Not much to do about it but get it back as cheap as possible
Flip Flop Rider is offline  
Likes For Flip Flop Rider:
Old 01-18-22, 04:10 PM
  #13  
Riveting
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Posts: 1,221

Bikes: '13 Diamondback Hybrid Commuter, '17 Spec Roubaix Di2, '17 Spec Camber 29'er, '19 CDale Topstone Gravel

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 588 Post(s)
Liked 443 Times in 260 Posts
I takes nerve to contact and then try to "sell" the bike back to the person you stole it from. So I'm leaning towards the "person with bike" being legit and trying to get the bike back to the original owner. And if I were them, I'd want to sell it back to the owner for at least as much as I paid the thief for it. The law (about not being in possession of stolen goods and losing what you paid for those stolen items) is the reason nobody ever calls the cops when they think they bought stolen goods. The buyer of the stolen goods is the only one who gets screwed, when they are trying to do the right thing.
Riveting is offline  
Likes For Riveting:
Old 01-18-22, 05:23 PM
  #14  
Cyclist0108
Occam's Rotor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 7,248
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2366 Post(s)
Liked 2,321 Times in 1,157 Posts
Well, in fairness (or being smart), he hasn't mentioned money one way or the other, and apparently has agreed to drop it off at the police station. If he does all that, I am inclined to suggest a modest reward/compensation.
Cyclist0108 is offline  
Likes For Cyclist0108:
Old 01-18-22, 05:48 PM
  #15  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 3,164
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1494 Post(s)
Liked 1,592 Times in 1,022 Posts
Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I think the likelihood that this is legit is basically zero.

My guess is this guy either is, or works with, the original burglar/bike thief. At best, it is someone who purchased stolen goods and then got nervous.

I told him to get more input from the police.

My personal preference would be to suggest the person who now has the bike deliver it to the police station where my kid filed the police report. If he gets the bike back intact, he can then follow up with a small reward (or not). But buying back your own property in a parking lot simply rewards a thief.

I suspect the thief wants to unload it because BikeIndex has now made it harder to (re)sell or pawn.

The one thing I don't understand is why the thief (or accomplice) wouldn't simply ditch the bike. Why risk contacting the owner (unless this is a lead-up to a mugging or something)? The bike simply isn't worth much, compared to the multitude of high-end bikes a thief would likely encounter.
I think the setup for a "mugging" angle is very unlikely. If you are going to mug someone, then stealing their bicycle and pretending to return it seems like an unnecessary step in the process.
Attempting to sell it back to the original owner sounds more likely.
Be very interesting to see if it does get dropped off at the police station. My guess is that the "good Samaritan" might vanish into thin air shortly if it looks like there is no money in it for him.
PeteHski is offline  
Likes For PeteHski:
Old 01-18-22, 06:31 PM
  #16  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 27,160

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r, Trek FX Alpha 7.0

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4479 Post(s)
Liked 2,075 Times in 1,423 Posts
Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I read it as sarcasm
ppl often believe that about me while I am being sincere
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 06:33 PM
  #17  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 27,160

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r, Trek FX Alpha 7.0

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4479 Post(s)
Liked 2,075 Times in 1,423 Posts
Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Well, in fairness (or being smart), he hasn't mentioned money one way or the other, and apparently has agreed to drop it off at the police station. If he does all that, I am inclined to suggest a modest reward/compensation.
now that is promising news
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 06:34 PM
  #18  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 27,160

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r, Trek FX Alpha 7.0

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4479 Post(s)
Liked 2,075 Times in 1,423 Posts
Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
I takes nerve to contact and then try to "sell" the bike back to the person you stole it from. So I'm leaning towards the "person with bike" being legit and trying to get the bike back to the original owner. And if I were them, I'd want to sell it back to the owner for at least as much as I paid the thief for it.
now I'm wondering, will he turn in the thief
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 06:38 PM
  #19  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 27,160

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r, Trek FX Alpha 7.0

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4479 Post(s)
Liked 2,075 Times in 1,423 Posts
in the mid-late '80s & later, I would not rarely be approached by men in vans w/ stereo equipment to sell (I never bought)

also sometimes, not rarely, while traveling interstate in my auto, over the years, I have heard ppl on the side, broadcasting the location where one could buy CB radio equipment cheap. as-in: "such & such rest area" (I never bought or even investigated)

but I have met ppl in parking lots to legitimately buy used bikes from the owner/rider

Last edited by rumrunn6; 01-19-22 at 07:51 AM.
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 06:59 PM
  #20  
Cyclist0108
Occam's Rotor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 7,248
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2366 Post(s)
Liked 2,321 Times in 1,157 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I think the setup for a "mugging" angle is very unlikely. If you are going to mug someone, then stealing their bicycle and pretending to return it seems like an unnecessary step in the process.
I was thinking more in terms of the return going bad and something involving a spontaneous confrontation, which is best avoided.
Cyclist0108 is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 07:22 PM
  #21  
70sSanO
Senior Member
 
70sSanO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 4,713

Bikes: 1986 Cannondale SR400 (Flat bar commuter), 1988 Cannondale Criterium XTR, 1992 Serotta T-Max, 1995 Trek 970

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1523 Post(s)
Liked 1,474 Times in 930 Posts
The one piece that doesn’t add up really well is the money the person with the bike paid for the stolen bike.

Even if it was $75 to $100, that is still enough to make me pretty ticked off.

It just seems like there is a back story to this.

John
70sSanO is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 07:31 PM
  #22  
cjenrick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 409
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 177 Post(s)
Liked 127 Times in 94 Posts
forget the police, the guy wants to return the bike, don't punish a good guy,
get the bike back and forget. be glad you got it back, because it is a rare occurance.(sp)
attitude of gratitude. glass half full. don't make enemies.
walk down the street without looking over your shoulder.
cjenrick is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 08:40 PM
  #23  
LarrySellerz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 792
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 959 Post(s)
Liked 183 Times in 142 Posts
Im confused, what is the worry? Buy the bike back. It's kind of like "extortion" but it's better than not having a bike.. is the worry that he will jump the kid for money or something?
LarrySellerz is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 08:40 PM
  #24  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 7,402

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1835 Post(s)
Liked 1,088 Times in 689 Posts
Make sure the kid has no credit cards and no more that $10 in his wallet if he does go to meet the PWB.
pdlamb is offline  
Likes For pdlamb:
Old 01-18-22, 08:44 PM
  #25  
Cyclist0108
Occam's Rotor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 7,248
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2366 Post(s)
Liked 2,321 Times in 1,157 Posts
The guy agreed to drop it off at the police department. If he does, he gets a reward.
Cyclist0108 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.