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Bike stolen in front of me at my LBS today!!!(20 posts)

Bike stolen in front of me at my LBS today!!!dgangi
Oct 30, 2003 9:02 PM
I posted this on MTBR.com, but I thought I would post it here too as I am really pissed off that somebody had the nerve to steal a bike from a really nice shop manager...

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I went into my LBS shop today to pick up my road bike and one of the Motobecane Fly mountain bikes was stolen...right in front of me!

When I walked into the store I noticed 2 guys looking over the Fly. They both had lots of tattoos and didn't appear to have "biker bodies" (if you know what I mean). So I thought it was a little odd they were so much in love with this Fly bike. If they were just starting out, you think they would want a cheaper model. Anyway, one of them turned to me and said "what kind of bike do you ride?". And then he went on to talk about how expensive his bike was and blah blah blah. Which I thought was total BS as these guys were not in very good shape.

So one of the guys asks to take the bike into the parking lot for a spin. The shop manager said "sure" and off the guy went. This particular shop manager is very trusting of people and never asks for a drivers license when somebody wants to take out a bike.

After a few minutes the other guy says to the shop manager "Oh, I will be right back -- I have to run next door to Target". So out the door he runs and jumps into his car. At that point the shop manager knew he was had and called security. But it was too late - the bike and the 2 guys were gone.

This really pissed me off. This particular shop manager is very trusting and easy to do business with and these 2 a$$holes take a bike from him. I really like dealing with this particular LBS just for that reason -- they don't treat you like a suspicious person. But now that this happened, I'm sure they will start asking for ID before anybody can take a bike out for a ride.

You go through life hoping you can trust people, and then something like this happens and you begin to grow hard from it.

People can really suck...
Yup - people can be real a$$holes...AJS
Oct 31, 2003 2:08 AM
...but the LBS guy should have seen it coming.

That's "America" for ya...
"That's "America" for ya..."Crankist
Oct 31, 2003 6:16 AM
Just my wild guess, but I'm thinking that a similar theft may have taken place elsewhere on Earth - on the very same day!
"That's "America" for ya..."AJS
Oct 31, 2003 6:53 AM
A simple bike theft somewhere else, yes.

But just my wild guess, probably not too many other places where the thiefs go in pretending to be able to afford an expensive bike like that, and then steal it after pretending a demo ride.
re: People Suck, Still the bike shops fault.teoteoteo
Oct 31, 2003 5:23 AM
Last year every shop in town got stuck by the same two guys that stole high-end MTB's. Our shop was the exception. We are supposed to go on every test ride and are REQUIRED if the bike is over $500--the owner gives no slack. We also require the drivers license.
it's ashame, esp. when LBS need our support -nmjoe friday
Oct 31, 2003 6:42 AM
Are you serious?Fez
Oct 31, 2003 7:26 AM
You wrote:

"We are supposed to go on every test ride"

Sounds like test driving a car. What if the thief is a strong rider and drops you?

Every shop I've been is on the honor system OR requires ID AND/OR credit card.

And... I have gone on some extended test rides (longer than 45 minutes when am really considering the bike).
Not a problem...teoteoteo
Oct 31, 2003 8:53 PM
If you want a 45 minute test ride no problem but I still go with and we schedule the test ride. For exceptional customers with years of shop history we can amend the rules.

I'm not worried about a strong riding thief because to be perfectly honest I know all the hammerheads in town and if they do drop me I have their drivers license.
Although I certainly wouldn't be offended...Fez
Oct 31, 2003 9:23 PM
Doesn't it seem a bit inconvenient for your shop to have employees on the clock babysitting a bike on a test ride?

If you guys schedule these test rides on offpeak hours, maybe it works out, but how do you handle every test ride on a busy Saturday during peak seaon?

I know every shop wants to keep theft to a minimum, but does insurance cover any of these complete bike losses?
Insurance is a big part of it...teoteoteo
Nov 1, 2003 9:10 AM
Saturdays can be rough but we run 7-10 sales employees, 2 cashiers and 2 managers on weekend days. We also have a dedicated service department so everyone's job is pretty defined--the shop runs a little differently from others I've been to.

On road bikes I do a floor fit which means seat height, fore aft, and stem change if necessary--all of this is done pre-test ride inside the shop on a trainer. Then outside we go because want to see them on the road after and not just on a trainer.

From what I understand our insurance actually likes it that we are there, maybe to keep from a false claim. The owner wants us there to help the more novice customer understand the bike. I can't tell you how many times I have gone along and had to deal with a slight adjustment or minor change that helped them understand the bike. Things you and I take for granted absolutely befuddle people--STI is a good example. I also help them handle the traffic and keep from getting hit. If there newbies I try and help them understand how to look for obstacles, glass, oil, tell them how to avoid painted road surfaces in the rain. People like to learn and most of the time they are grateful that someone would take the time to teach them.

The test ride accompany is something that goes with the whole sales process. if you saw it in action I think it would seem more normal.
Insurance is a big part of it...al0
Nov 1, 2003 11:50 AM
Have you estimate the cost of additional personnel that is needed to implement your "accompanied test ride" policy?
Probably it would be cheaper to allow to steal some bikes?
Accompanied test ride is...teoteoteo
Nov 1, 2003 5:03 PM
Part of the overall better service 1st and better security 2nd. Were very successful as a shop and we have been for years. We are in that position because we don't treat customers the way other shops do.
Sometimes its unavoidable,TJeanloz
Oct 31, 2003 7:35 AM
We had a policy of getting a drivers license if we thought something was up - young kid, shopping for expensive bikes type deals. Even with that, I let one slip away once.

Kid (maybe 16) comes in and asks to test ride ~$650 a bike, we do the normal fitting, get a license, send him out. We keep a watchful on him from the window. Kid comes back 10 minutes later, wants to try the next "better" bike, goes through the routine again with a $800 bike, which he likes more, but he wants to try the next "better" model. Test rides a ~$900 bike and never returns. The amazing thing was that from moment 1, we knew he had a bad "vibe" - it was the first time I'd taken a license (which, of course turned out to be fake) in maybe 6 months.

The bottom line is that if you're any more combative/restrictive about test rides, honest customers will spout off in internet forums about your "bad attitude" - you don't have a choice but to be a little bit trusting and take the occasional loss. Total loss there was what? $600? We felt that we'd lose a lot more business than that if we got more restrictive, and that was the only incident in the ~4 years I was there.
Every shop gets hit.MR_GRUMPY
Oct 31, 2003 6:56 AM
Back, a few years ago, in my bike shop days, a customer came in a few times to look at a bike. He talked about it, but never asked to take it out. Finally, he came in, and asked to take it out for a test ride. He took off his back pack, and put his wallet in it, and set it on the counter. The people on duty loaned him a helmet and sent him on his way.
After 20 minutes, one of them checked out his back pack, and found it stuffed with old Sunday newspapers. The wallet was empty.
I'm glad that I wasn't on duty that day.
I'm 5'10, 195 lbs, have 4 tattoos and don't steal bikes! nmdzrider
Oct 31, 2003 7:16 AM
It's just a matter of time...:-)biknben
Oct 31, 2003 7:27 AM
I doubt the orignal post was meant to imply that out of shape tattoo wearers are thieves but it did read that way. :-)

Could you imagine if they had been wearing leather. The shop guys would have called the cops as soon as they walked in. :-)
Moved on to cars, have you?djg
Oct 31, 2003 8:23 AM
Plus the little butterfly doesn't count.

Jes kidding.
Picture of dzrider and friends he mailed me sometime ago...No_sprint
Oct 31, 2003 1:13 PM
No biker here. One of my tattoos is a peace sign. nmdzrider
Oct 31, 2003 1:32 PM
re: Bike stolen in front of me at my LBS today!!!Grampy
Oct 31, 2003 7:04 PM
I have this little saying that covers this type of situation. I've learned it over the last 30 years working in retail, and I keep falling in to it. I'm a slow learner I guess. Anyway it goes like this.

"No good deed goes unpunished".