Had an eventful night last night. My Pitch was stolen three months ago from a downstairs car park. After all the usual retrospective face-palming about not having it insured and not having a note of the serial number, I quickly resigned myself to never seeing it again.
Then, by pure chance on Craigslist on Friday, I found it again! The guy was selling it with Marzocchi Junior Ts instead of the original Pikes (although he offered to include the Pikes in the sale) and had swapped a couple of sundry components about, but it was definitely my bike.
By usual forum rules, his spelling, grammar and punctuation should have been enough to condemn him! He ambitiously claims that the cranks are XTR (confused perhaps by the sparkly gold Saint BB) and made a few other mistakes that I pointed out to the police, as well as me still having the original rear wheel which matched the front wheel.
Despite lots of (I thought) 'proof', the police wouldn't budge without a serial number, but offered some advice on how to reclaim the bike myself (nice bit of policial inconsistency there: 'We don't believe the bike is yours, however are happy to advise you on how to steal it back').
So, I contacted the seller and arranged to meet up. Initially he suggested his place but we agreed somewhere more public. I had some mates come along, but got a bit carried away planning the 'sting'. One mate would stand down the street from our meeting spot, one mate up the street, two in the Starbucks right beside us. I told them to approach me and the seller once they saw me taking some sheets of paper out of my bag.
The sheets of paper were all the photos, component lists etc that I had sent the police. I handed them to the guy and stated my case. He was pretty shocked, just claiming again and again that he had paid for the bike, but eventually admitting he had paid for it on Craigslist. I was inclined to believe him but still insisted the bike was mine. By this point one of my mates was already wheeling the bike away while the rest were all standing behind me grinning and sipping their starbucks ).
He was also good enough to then unstrap the spare Pikes from his rucsac and give me those. This is what makes us think he was actually the thief, if he had lost out on the $600 he had apparently paid in good faith on Craigslist, I doubt he would have been so eager to compound his loss. I think the threats of the police visiting his house were enough to scare him.
I noticed though that the rear seat stays didn't have the scratches on them that I expected, seems he had to cut through them to steal the bike then source matching, second hand replacements. Shows how organised these guys are.
So pretty chuffed with our nights work, still need to fork out to get the rear brake fixed, get the rear seat stay bearings fixed (lots of play, I suspect some spacers weren't put back) and replace the worn through handlebar grips. All that plus the $100 bar tab to thank my mates still seems worth it to have my bike back!