Lesson learned: go unto your shed and record every detail of your bikes

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  • Lesson learned: go unto your shed and record every detail of your bikes
  • Already done for that reason, police often struggle to return bike to rightful owner and the person who was selling it may well have bought it legitimately hence the nightmare dilemma. Glad to hear that you eventually got it back though. Although did you have insurance? Did they pay out? in which case it’s their’s now! 😉

    atlaz
    Member

    I have photos and records of all of my bike frame numbers “in the cloud”. Emailed them all to myself so they’re easily found

    JohnB
    Member

    Thank you for the gee up. Off to do it this evening. A good friend has just been cleaned out off all his bikes from a locked and alarmed shed.

    Where do they all go?

    bradley
    Member

    JohnB, we must all, sadly, assume that all the high-end bikes, be it MTB or road are all stolen to order. Especially bikes pricing over the £2K mark, otherwise they would just be too easy to find again…

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    That’s what this site is for
    http://www.immobilise.com/

    log photos and identifying features, serial numbers and full specs.

    Premier Icon jsinglet
    Subscriber

    Last year the police, in Hampshire I think, found a lock up with lots (> 100) of high end bike frames. The bikes had been nicked and stripped. The frames are too easy to trace so they sell all the parts.

    atlaz
    Member

    JohnB, we must all, sadly, assume that all the high-end bikes, be it MTB or road are all stolen to order

    I don’t know if that’s the case. It’s not fine art or sports cars. I can’t imagine thieves are told “Get me a Carbon Nomad” and hunt for one. I’d imagine they know what a good bike looks like and when they work out a house has one or more they take it and know how to sell it.

    bradley
    Member

    I don’t think so atlaz. There are too many high-end expensive bikes being stolen for it to be your average chancer just ‘stealing’ a good bike he knew about…

    bradley
    Member

    If, also, it’s a crime ring, they wouldn’t really have to ‘hunt’ for a bike, they would have contacts in various locations who record known locations of bikes, perhaps, and just steal it once they have a request for it. It sounds far-fetched but this stuff does happen…

    boltonjon
    Member

    Great news that you’ve got your bike back though!

    Hence why i’ve stopped buying 2nd hand spares of Ebay as i’d like to prevent myself from ever unknowingly buying stolen goods

    I’m assuming that all STW sellers are legit (they might not be though…)

    Has anyone ever been suspicious that a riding buddies ‘new’ bike was in fact a stolen bike?

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    I could never find a serial number on my C456. Do they have one?

    Mine was nicked too btw.

    🙁

    Hence why i’ve stopped buying 2nd hand spares of Ebay as i’d like to prevent myself from ever unknowingly buying stolen goods

    I’ve been a lot more wary of this since having my bikes nicked, not just eBay but even the classifieds here and on Pinkbike.

    shedfull
    Member

    What follows is a lesson in writing down and recording any details you can of your bike, especially serial numbers.

    A year ago, my Carbon 456 was stolen, alongside a KTM 200 motorcycle. The 456 was built up from a on-off paint job that On One did as a sample and there were other oddities, like DT Swiss E2200 hubs laced to Mavic XC717 rims, that made it a very individual bike. I thought it likely that, at some point, it might come up for sale somewhere.

    I set up an eBay search for the bike, forks, KTM, KTM frame, E2200, etc. Anything I could to find the bike or motorbike if they were listed. And last week the 456 was listed. Police were called and went round to investigate.

    But I’ve just spent a very stressy week, trying to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the bike was mine. The police, faced with a current and an original owner, both saying they own the bike, have to prove beyond doubt, one way or another, who’s right. It took a 5 page document listing full specs, blown up pics of sections of the bike and a statement from On One that they had only made one frame in that colour, plus a DC who knew bikes and bike bits. But the bike is now rightfully mine again.

    All I really needed was the frame number, which I’d never recorded.

    So, please, to save yourself a lot of anguish, go out to your bikes tonight with a camera and a notepad and record frame numbers, serial numbers of all the components (forks usually have serial numbers, too) and any quirks that make your bike, your bike.

    And maybe even get one of these for each bike.

    The remedy
    Member

    Serial number is at the rear just above the rear dropout on the disc side.

    boltonjon
    Member

    Yeah, I’ve heard some horror stories about Pinkbike too (never used it) – but not heard anything bad about STW sellers….yet

    I’m interested to know what now happens to the chap who was trying to sell the OPs 456 on Ebay

    He is breaking the law as he is dealing with stolen goods – whether he knew it or not

    Any feedback OP?

    Junkyard
    Member

    goes off to do this now

    Rockhopper
    Member

    I took digital pictures of all my bikes, good quality high resolution close ups showing frame numbers, scratches, Gucci kit that I’d fitted etc then I uploaded them to Photobucket so I now have a permanent archive that can be accessed anywhere that’s got a computer and internet access.

    +1 for immobilise.com, all our stuff (bikes, cameras etc) are on there. Many police forces use it, whereas force crime recording systems are just that, force-wide only. My bike could get nicked in Oxford, turn up underneath Johnny Scrote in Swindon, and the eagle-eyed bobby who collared Johnny would not be able to find out he was on my bike. If he gets someone to check immobilise, he will

    He is breaking the law as he is dealing with stolen goods – whether he knew it or not

    Wrong. For the handling offence to be made out you have to know or believe the goods are stolen.

    The well publicised work of PC Richard Smith in Hampshire (threads here and on bikeradar, follow-up article in March MBR) would also suggest there is an organised element to theft of high-value bikes

    http://bikedibley.com/60-stolen-frames-uncovered-by-hampshire-polic

    “Three of those are appearing in court this February charged with conspiracy to steal and are expected to recieve a costodial sentance each. The account saw £240,000 pass through it which is strong evidence”

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=10040&t=12789758

    “From what we have recovered the value of the original complete bikes is
    currently estimated to be at least £90,000. Of which I think I have approx
    £50,000 unidentified”

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    So what happened to the other “owner” who turned out to be lying ?

    (or have I missed something in the above)

    scaredy, not the OP but if the other owner had bought the bike in good faith (paying a fair market value for instance) earlier this year then they would not be committing an offence and would have a claim to the bike. Issues like this can be solved under the Police Property Act where both parties go to mags court who decide who the owner is.

    And as MC says, if insurance paid out then the bike is theres not the OP’s.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    but if the other owner had bought the bike in good faith (paying a fair market value for instance) earlier this year then they would not be committing an offence and would have a claim to the bike. Issues like this can be solved under the Police Property Act where both parties go to mags court who decide who the owner is.

    … and then they could identify who they’d bought it from, presumably ?

    If I bought something 2nd hand I wouldn’t feel all that able to defend my legitimate ownership without at least doing that – would you ?
    I’d also either feel VERY aggrieved at whoever sold the bike to me or else I’d be a right piece of shite for buying a knock-down bargin that was obviously iffy

    Other party should at least be considered as a thief or a receiver of stolen goods until they come up with a convincing explanation IMO

    And as MC says, if insurance paid out then the bike is theres not the OP’s

    Yeh, they being the insurance company, not the other supposed owner

    Premier Icon Speshpaul
    Subscriber

    If you go in to any half decent LBS they will open an account when you buy a bike and record the serial number against your account, it protects you and your warrenty and the LBS on warrenty claims.

    The question is why don’t (or didn’t in this case.)On one do this ?

    If they could write a letter saying that it was the only one made in that colour why couldn’t they match a serial number to it?

    rootes1
    Member

    never did get my mk1 suntour equipped Zaskar back, despite seeing it around shrewsbury a few times…

    jswan
    Member

    Glad you got it back OP.

    My pals bike was nicked from his work recently, It showed up on Gumtree and another site within a week so police were informed, not a lot was done about it which suprised me. £1500 gone

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    To look at the issues seriously the frame is the least valuable part as said above too easy to trace etc.

    In the hypothetical world that I was a master bike thief/reseller it wouldn’t be too hard to pick up the bikes from the smack heads and then strip and “dispose” of the frame. While shipping the rest out for parts.

    giant_scum
    Member

    An ex-work colleague of mine was a one man crime wave mostly Tiso’s in Glasgow! But when he moved onto stealing bikes from shops( 2 from the Hub at GT) I grassed him up. Even although the Police were informed about all the bikes he had they didn’t search his property! Although the Hub did get one of their Santa Cruzs back.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    That’s my afternoon sorted too!

    Nice one for the Immobilise web site link.

    boltonjon
    Member

    giant_scum – good work for reporting your work colleague

    Do you know what his punishment was?

    scaredy, I agree. Sadly the bane of our lives in investigating handling offences is the “car boot sale defence”. Pretty much sinks every case in the water as the suspect can claim ignorance on market value, expected a bargain, and had no idea who he bought it from.

    I HAVE managed to convict someone of handling after finding a garage full of bikes and bits and him claiming to use the local car boot, but only because he said he’d bought it weeks ago, when the bike had only been stolen days ago, combined with huge amounts of similar previous convictions.

    And yes, poor choice of wording by “they” I meant the insurer….

    jswan, I’m a little surprised and disappointed. We’ve done “stings” on ebay/gumtree sellers and had success and Ive read of similar on here, sad to hear others have missed out on a gift-wrapped opportunity to do some interesting policing with a likely positive result 😕

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    i had the serial number of my stolen 200quid camera when it appeared on ebay (stolen from the delivery suite while my son was being born in theatre fwiw)

    police refused to do anything about it,
    unless they could get the seller to send me a pic of the serial number? like he was gonna do that
    he wouldnt give me his address and let me collect for cash either

    the police said it was because theyd previously gone round to get bikes that the owner couldnt prove were his and that seller would just use the ‘car boot defence’ they wouldnt go get it
    and when i sent him an abusive email afterwards its exactly what he came back at me with

    giant_scum
    Member

    boltonjon AFAIK no punishment, they obviously took the bike of him but they didn’t follow it up with a search of his house. Not that bothered about the Tiso side of it but when he started stealing from bikeshops enough was enough, he had re-sprayed the Santa Cruz and put new decals on it!
    Set him up like a proper kipper, he was selling it on ebay through somebody else, so sent the hub the link told them it was there bike and they put the highest bid in on it and they arranged to meet him at GT to ‘buy’ the bike from him, would have loved to have seen his face!

    rootes1
    Member

    the police said it was because theyd previously gone round to get bikes that the owner couldnt prove were his and that seller would just use the ‘car boot defence’ they wouldnt go get it
    and when i sent him an abusive email afterwards its exactly what he came back at me with

    police – rubbish when it comes to this sort of thing…

    but often these ‘softer’ crimes are linked to more serious crime – sorting out scrotes might have a bigger effect..

    shedfull
    Member

    The police told me that it’s really, really hard to prove that the owner of a stolen bike acquired it under the dubious circumstances needed to make a handling charge stick. Thieves aren’t daft, either – they keep the bike for a while then a mate of the thief does the selling. If police start to investigate, the seller denies knowing that the bike was stolen and who the thief was.

    My bike wasn’t insured – I did make lots of enquiries about insurance and bike only schemes on my collection of bikes cost more that it costs to build a new bike every year while contents insurance is limited to who will insure my house with its newly discovered flood risk. In a way, no insurance made life a lot easier. It also made me more determined to get the bike back.

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