Stolen Bike Forum

by PeteH   October 4, 2011  

Hi,

I consider myself an honest guy and would not knowingly buy a bike that I knew was stolen. Apart from the legal aspect that, even after I've bought it, it still belongs to someone else, being a cyclist myself I know just how much we come to love our bikes and also just how much of our hard-earned gets spent on them.

I'm also in the position where I had my garage broken into and my pride-and-joy Trek road bike pinched last week. In the grand scheme of things I know it was just a piece of metal, but it was my piece of metal and I've been on some brilliant rides on it. Its particularly galling because, having a triple chain ring, it is quite uncommon, would be instantly recognisable to someone in the know. And the Police, bless 'em, they're being as helpful as possible but you can tell they just don't have a clue.

I'm quite new to this site but like what I see so far. So I have a suggestion that you create a Forum where people can list their stolen bikes. Even if its just a resource people can check before they bid on that brilliant deal they've just seen on eBay.

I'd be the first poster.

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There are sites where this can be done already. Check out bikeshepherd.org - where your can register your bike, tag it, report it stolen, get the word out through social media channels, and, with the help of the cycling community (not just the police) get it back. If anyone finds a bike, for sale, abandoned, whatever, you can check on the site to see if that bike is stolen and help return it to its owner, and/or report it to the police. Yes, I work for them, so I'm biased, but if you look at the ever growing list of recovered bikes on the site, you'll see that it works.

posted by JenniferT [18 posts]
4th October 2011 - 12:27

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I registered my bike on this site, since I have nothing to lose. Hope the site is successful for you, it looks quite similar to the Immobilise.com site (my bike has one of their rf transponders stuffed in its innards)

One thought, though - I wonder when they recover a bike, how often do the Police use sites like this? I'd bet not often. I've spoken to three different police officers regarding my bike theft, not one of them had even heard of Immobilise and yet Immobilise says it is affiliated with most every police force in the country.

Pete

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posted by PeteH [159 posts]
4th October 2011 - 13:04

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Sorry to hear about your bike PeteH.Not a bad idea either about having a forum list, although we wouldn't want to compete with bikesheperd.org either. I suppose the main thing here is to get such sites better known, and bikesheperd is building a name for itself, and for there to be plenty of places for other cyclists to find out about stolen machines.

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4152 posts]
4th October 2011 - 13:37

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Just thinking out loud, but wouldn't it be worthwhile for bikeshepherd to have an API or a ready built 'badge' so that sites with classifieds like road.cc, BR, or even eBay, could offer their visitors a quick 'is it robbed?' check feature.

I'm not sure if bikeshepherd is a commercial venture or not (selling those tags?), but if it is, then they could/should be paying to get such a badge in place as advertising on bike sites.

Enough said, I'm off to see them Dragons in their Den …

posted by ped [171 posts]
4th October 2011 - 14:06

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tony_farrelly wrote:
although we wouldn't want to compete with bikesheperd.org either. I suppose the main thing here is to get such sites better known

Hi Tony, I wouldn't see it as competing necessarily, in my position the more sites are aware of my loss, the better. So definitely better known.

I do think it is very useful that the site is directed at the cycling community, though, plus at least has attempted to be international. I mentioned earlier that my attempts to describe the bike to the Police (in terms of groupset etc.) were met with glazed eyes, yet presumably any one of us on here would be relatively savvy to this within reason.

My experience with the Immobilise site (immobilise.com) for example has been quite disappointing so far. Their little transponder gizmo sounded great, and their marketing boast that they are in cahoots with most UK police forces was a clincher.

But when the thing actually gets pinched I talk to the police, the guy has only vaguely heard of Immobilise and had no idea either about the transponder or about the kit he'd need to read it (presumably someone, somewhere in Wiltshire police knows something and even has the detector sitting on his desk, but that doesn't fill me with confidence....). Of course I reserve the right to completely change my mind if the police recover my bike and get it back to me...but I'm not holding my breath.

The other thing from my perspective - I'm only 45 minutes from Portsmouth - is that someone pinches the bike, whacks it in the back of his van, sails across the channel and is selling it in France the next day. No matter how keen/effective the UK police are they're wasting their time.

Pete

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posted by PeteH [159 posts]
4th October 2011 - 16:12

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