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Poll: When do you consider a bike abandoned?(15 posts)

Poll: When do you consider a bike abandoned?timfire
Oct 17, 2002 9:56 AM
One of the threads about stealing below got me thinking. This issue I believe is more muddy not *neccessarily* wrong. When do you consider a bike abandoned, meaning a bike that's been sitting, albeit locked, on the street for some length of time.

As I'm sure others do, I see bikes all the time on my various biking routes that may be locked, but just sit there for weeks or even months (especially in the winter). Most of the time they slowly become stripped, till only the frame and fork remain. I'm often tempted to strip these bikes for parts. I know if it sits too long the cops will come by and break the lock and take the bike eventually.

What do you all think? Should you never strip a bike on the street regardless of how long it's been sitting? Is it OK after a certain length of time? I admit I start getting tempted after I've seen that the bike has been sitting there for about a month or so. I also admit I've done it once or twice with bikes that were already half-way stripped.

--Tim Kleinert
You will never be able to rationalize any of this to a cop. (nm)onespeed
Oct 17, 2002 10:11 AM
I consider it abandoned when it is clearly put out in the trashGregory Taylor
Oct 17, 2002 10:22 AM
I've gotten some of my favorite bikes that way. Trash night in my neighborhood is like a giant, very cheap, yard sale. I mostly go after bikes and lawnmowers - those are my specialty. Haven't had to buy a lawnmower in 15 years.
Only after you buy it at the police auction. (nm)Turtleherder
Oct 17, 2002 10:23 AM
you make it/buy it/was it given to you? yours n/mToothpick
Oct 17, 2002 10:23 AM
i'd also agree w/the trash scenario. n/mToothpick
Oct 17, 2002 10:24 AM
thorny issueweiwentg
Oct 17, 2002 10:23 AM
actually, I don't necessarily see this as wrong. if the owner wanted the bike s/he would not have left it out for months (probably not, I guess).
in the U of M, bikes left parked outside the dorms after move-out are considered abandoned by the start of the next term. they are then sold off, I presume for charitable causes. unless one of these bikes was a Merak with Record 10, I wouldn't take it. if it was ... sorry, onespeed, you're outta luck.
I don't know about bikes left out in the open. if the local police don't have a policy of repossessing bikes after a set period of time (and then auctioning them for charity), I don't think stripping them is wrong. of course, if you can afford it, don't strip abandoned bikes.
All I am saying isonespeed
Oct 17, 2002 10:38 AM
If a cop happens upon you stripping a bike that is "abandoned" on the street, and they determine that the bike is not yours, you are never going to be able to give the cop a satisfactory explanation.

The scenario posted was bikes abondoned on the street, not a university campus. Schools obviously have policies that deal with these instances. Cities in my experience, do not.
Stealing is stealing, no matter how you want to assuage...BrianNYC
Oct 17, 2002 10:44 AM
your own conscience by coming up with bastardized concepts of what "abandoned" means. The law does recognize the concept of "abandoned property," however, a locked bike, no matter how long sitting there unclaimed, is not "abandoned" (and the lock is not really the key here, if it is not your property and you take it, without some overt indicia of abandonment (and that is more then sitting out someplace for a period of time, it is stealing). By your logic, you could go take your neighbor's patio furniture if it has just been sitting in their backyard "unused" for long enough, or go into other's safe deposit boxes at your bank if they have not been visited for years, and take what you want.

The posters who go through trash have it right, property left out on the street in the trash is abandoned, on someone's property but in a trash can is another story, but perhaps defensible.

My question for you is - would you want someone to take your bike or filch parts from it if you locked it on the street? Or would you say, "Oh well, thats ok, I left it there for week, that's life?" I bet not - so why wouldn't you apply the same rational to someone else's property?
i dont think thats what he meant .....Spirito
Oct 17, 2002 9:48 PM
take a walk in the east village. i regularly walk past 2 reynolds 531 framesets that are chained to a post and have been stripped of all their parts at least 2 months ago.

they are good frames but starting to rust and i often think i would like to be able to "rescue' them and build them for friends who need a cheap bike. their kryptonite locks i know how to open but i know its stealing. i asked some cops about using them and they indicated that its still considered theft and that they "regularly" pick up these frames and salvage them for smaller community groups.

i dont see them slavaging anything. i dont steal and am always quick to point out to guys offering stolen bikes that i am dialing the cops and that they are pieces of shit. however, i know the 2 frames i see will end up in the trash one day and wish that i could find them a good home without retribution.

i feel its gleaning and not stealing and thats what the original poster was inquiring about.

Situational ethicsLeroy
Oct 17, 2002 12:04 PM
can rationalize anything. Lyin', cheatin', stealin' are wrong.
re: Poll: When do you consider a bike abandoned?aliensporebomb
Oct 17, 2002 12:52 PM
I started working in downtown Minneapolis about four years

When I first started working down here I noticed a really
nice black Gary Fisher mountain bike locked to a post on
the way in to work riding the bus.

Finally, I noticed last winter it was still there and I
actually walked down there to find it with snow halfway
up it and the chain and cassette rusted to hell.

It was basically worthless after four years out in the
rain and
snow and salt and what-not.

It had a bike license, I made a note of the number and went
back to work. I was going to call it in to the cops but
the next day the bike was gone.

My guess is the security guard at the parking garage near
where the thing was locked up noticed me looking at it and
called it in.

It's sad, but bikes sometimes get abandoned. A co-worker
here rode a bike in at the end of the season and let it
overwinter in our loading dock because it was "too cold"
for him to ride it home in the middle of winter in MN. I
never found out if he ever took it home....
Com'on people...timfire
Oct 17, 2002 2:52 PM
I really don't believe EVERYONE thinks it's wrong. Or at those who don't care aren't brave enough to say it publically.

Com'on, people. Scenerio: Everyday for a month or two on your daily commute you see a bike locked to a parking sign or whatever, half-stripped and rusting out.

Anyone who cares even the least about their bike isn't going to leave it out like that.

I don't know, I just wanted to start a discussion. At first I didn't think about it, but I kept seeing obviously abandoned bikes. Off hand I can think of at least a half-dozen bikes that I know haven't moved for nearly 2 months. Some of them are partly-stripped, some aren't. (Also, none of the bikes I've seen could be considered "good" bikes, there're mostly 80's department store bikes worth maybe $50 bucks at most.)

Also on the cop issue, this isn't saying it's "right," but I bet you wouldn't get much of a hassle from a cop if the bike was already partly stripped and it wasn't a "good" bike.

I hope I didn't offend anyone, I just thought it would be a good discussion topic.

--Tim Kleinert
Oct 17, 2002 4:21 PM
Abandoned property "escheats" to the state, which holds it for a certain period. Individuals don't get it, normally. Your laws may vary.

Oct 17, 2002 6:07 PM
that would be the city policy ... I was wondering about that.