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What's the likelihood of...(7 posts)

What's the likelihood of...Lizard
Jun 16, 2001 12:45 PM
getting a stolen bike back?
This a.m., my husband opened the garage door to find his beloved 1999 Specialized Stumpjumper M2 Comp gone. THANK THE POWERS THAT BE, my new Bianchi Veloce was inside the house... yes, I like to look at it a lot (in addition to riding, of course). We checked our homeowner's policy and plan on speaking with an agent on Monday, but we're pretty sure we'll be out at least the $500.00 deductible and whatever we'll lose due to depreciation. Problem is, as you all well know, a much-ridden bike's "worth" more than the monetary value attached to it. This was his pride and joy, his means of escaping the pressures inherent to balancing a grueling work schedule and family life with four young kids.
We did file a police report this a.m. It's obvious that whoever stole the bike knew what to take as they left five other full-sized bikes (three of them new Specialized) behind and instead took the one that was the most expensive and partially dismantled. They took all three parts. We are mailing a description and picture of the bike (with Serial number) to all bike shops within a 10 mile radius of our home offering a reward for any information. We're hoping that someone will end up having questins about clipless shoes, have the parts swapped out, or try to resell it. We even offered a reward.
Is there anything else anyone can suggest? Or is it most probably a hopeless situation?
re: What's the likelihood of...rollo tommassi
Jun 16, 2001 1:08 PM
Well, you've done the right things so far: police report, bike shop alert, etc. You may also want to scan the papers for the next few weeks in the For Sale section - you may not catch the actual thief, but the unsuspecting buyer. Unfortunately, I hate to say it, but whoever took this did know what they wanted, that you had it, and when you'd be most vulnerable. I'd say it's someone you know, or know of. Beware of someone suddenly being very nice to you - they will feel either guilty or smug; both conditions elicit magniminity.

Talk with neighbors, as garage break-ins are common, and can fit a pattern. Ask them if they saw anyone around the time you believe the break occured, or if they or anyone they know has had a similar break.

As for the insurance, remember to claim the REPLACEMENT cost, not just the depreciated cost of the bike. Don't gyp (sp?) yourself by saying 'oh i only paid $900 for it 5 years ago'. Vision of sugarplums instead as you will (wink wink) need to spend $1800 these days.

Tip: either yourself or have your shop stick a laminated card inside the bottom brackets of your other bikes that reads "STOLEN! This bike belongs to...." with your phone, SS#, hometown. That way, if the perp or the buyer takes it in for an overhaul, the mechanic finds it and voila, a phone call gets made! This does work and I've seen it happen.
Thanks for the ReplyLizard
Jun 16, 2001 8:23 PM
We're still kind of in shock. We've nailed shut the side door of the garage that needs to be replaced and we're leaving the outdoor lights on tonight. We certainly don't want anything else stolen. The kids are scared, but we've assured them that it's an isolated event.
Now that we've had time to think about things, we think we *may* know who may have had intimate knowledge of what was in our garage and where to get it. ...and to think we were letting him borrow our mower to do his lawn.
Unfortunately, he's outta there, as the rental property has recently been sold. Put 2 and 2 together -- he had car reposessed and had certified mail delivered to his address from IRS. Moved in in November. Think he had money problems. We have no way to prove anything and no way of knowing where he is now.
Thank you, though, for your advice. Well taken.
Talk to your local bike shopspeloton
Jun 16, 2001 11:32 PM
Talk to all the bike shops in your area, and explain your situation. Make sure to talk to the manager AND the mechanics. Amateur bike thieves aren't the smartest bunch in the world. Many thieves will try to have the bike serviced, or try to sell it at a shop in the same area that it was stolen. At the shop I used to work at, we had stolen bikes brought in all the time. Lots of times we recognized them as stolen because we knew who the proper owner was. One time we even had a bike stolen from the shop brought back in for service!!! A mechanic who knows your situation might be your best friend. If the shops are aware of your situation, they will probably be more than happy to help out if your bike should come through the doors. They can't help though, if you don't tell them.

The last time I was in a similar situation with a friend's equipment, I was called by a shop owner that I am friends with. He had the equipment, and the jack@ss's name, phone, and address who wanted it sold on consignment. I picked up the stuff, and had the local police knock on the fool's door.

Listen to Rollo's advice about putting a lamented card with your info in the BB shell. It's a great recovery method. I would do this to your other bikes ASAP. Be careful with your garage too. I have heard of professional bike thieves that case out garages solely for their theifts. Most likely the guy you suspect though.
seek and yee may findjohnrg
Jun 17, 2001 12:23 AM
Had a bike stolen out of a bldg in NYC when I was young. English bike with Sturmey Archer 3 speed drop bars purple tape and no fenders. Closest thing to race bike in the 60's I could manage. This is mid town manhatten mind you. Neighbors dad and I and friend get in the old vw and cruise up to 105th in Harlem and turn down Lexington Ave. and see the guy with my bike near a group of his buddies. We hop out say "thats my bike" and they look kind of shocked but the crook looks like a damn fool cause we found him and his buddies see that he's indeed a fool. I grab the bike as he sheepishly lets go and I ride away faster than I've ridden before.

Moral, look around because you may indeed find someone riding it. Just be careful, today they may be packing a gun.
re: What's the likelihood of...Andrew
Jun 17, 2001 12:27 PM
I am sorry to hear about the stolen bike. I had a Cannondale MTB stolen off the back of my car last year. It had some unique parts on it so I could identify it from a mile away. I filed a police report but they have not found it. I have seen a kid riding it around town several times, but he always see's me when I follow him in my car to see where he lives. He usually turns the wrong way down a one way street. Sadly the chances are slim that you will get it back. I have heard that most stolen bikes end up getting shipped out of the area and are never seen again. The card in the bottom bracket idea is a good one. I will have to do that to all of my bikes. If you have the serial number you should go to and register it there. It is a database of stolen property that is seized by participating police departments all over the country. If the items are not registered with them they are auctioned of to the highest bidder. It is a long shot, but you might get lucky. Also make sure you try to get your insurance to pay replacement value for the bike. I had to pay a $250 deductable, but I got a much nicer bike out of it because I got my original bike for several hundred dollars below retail because it the new model year bikes were out.

Good luck,
re: What's the likelihood of...Dutchy
Jun 18, 2001 1:12 AM
You might also want to check the local Pawn Brokers/ Seconhand Dealers. I'm not sure what you have in USA but in Australia we have a chain of shops called "Cash Converters". They buy and sell used stuff. They are a legal way for crims to sell stolen goods. A friend had his bike stolen, a few weeks later it appeared at"CC" up the road. They didn't catch the guy but he got his bike back. I try (when I don't forget) to always lock up my bikes even when their in the house. Just make them harder to steal.
About 6 yrs ago another friend had his bike stolen when we were sharing a house together, they came back two weeks later for my bike. So make sure your other bikes are locked up good, they might return.