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John Whalvin’s Boardman CX was stolen just three days after he bought it

A cyclist from Hampshire whose bike was stolen just three days after he bought it has been reunited with it – after spotting it for sale on eBay.

John Whalvin’s Boardman CX bike was stolen from outside the library of Southampton Solent University, reports the Daily Echo .

Mr Whalvin, from the village of Rownhams near Southampton, suspected that the thieves might attempt to sell the stolen bike online, and spotted it for sale on eBay two days later.

His wife, posing as a potential purchaser, visited an address in Eastleigh to view the bike and rang police, waiting there until they arrived and arrested the would-be vendor, who said he had bought it via another website.

“When I found it online I was physically shaking and when we got it back I felt a whole weight of relief,” said Mr Whalvin.

Police arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of handling stolen goods and bailed him until September 9.

We’ve reported in the past on a number of cyclists who have got their stolen bikes back after spotting them for sale on websites such as eBay or Gumtree, and Craigslist in the United States.

In 2009, a cyclist whose bike was spotted for sale on eBay praised Avon & Somerset Constabulary  for their help in getting it back, recovering it the same day he alerted them to the sale and even delivering it to his home.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

18 comments

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 1 year ago
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In another story. https://twitter.com/DavidLivey/status/491989304999428096

David Livey spied his stolen bike on Gumtree, arranged to meet, asked for a test ride and rode straight to a police officer  24

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srchar [100 posts] 1 year ago
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Glad to hear of a bike being returned undamaged!

I got my stolen Felt road bike back (with £400 worth of crash damage) after a bike-mad copper spotted a tiny little scrote running around on it (it's a 60 and clearly wasn't his bike).

The thief went to court and was ordered to pay me £200 (tenner a week for 20 weeks) to "cover" the damage. I'm not sure why it wasn't the full amount and, 8 months later, he has paid nothing. I've chased the court several times and always get told to wait a few weeks and email again.

Even when the police get a conviction, there's no justice.

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HarryCallahan [24 posts] 1 year ago
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A junk yard bike with smooth running gear a good option for transportation.

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29erKeith [39 posts] 1 year ago
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srchar wrote:

Glad to hear of a bike being returned undamaged!

I got my stolen Felt road bike back (with £400 worth of crash damage) after a bike-mad copper spotted a tiny little scrote running around on it (it's a 60 and clearly wasn't his bike).

The thief went to court and was ordered to pay me £200 (tenner a week for 20 weeks) to "cover" the damage. I'm not sure why it wasn't the full amount and, 8 months later, he has paid nothing. I've chased the court several times and always get told to wait a few weeks and email again.

Even when the police get a conviction, there's no justice.

police should be able to go round after a while or get bailiffs to pop round and take his flat screen TV, XBox etc to the value + costs and put it in his local cash converters. he'd think twice next time.

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bikebot [1633 posts] 1 year ago
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29erKeith wrote:

police should be able to go round after a while or get bailiffs to pop round and take his flat screen TV, XBox etc to the value + costs and put it in his local cash converters. he'd think twice next time.

The courts do have authority to use bailiffs, the problem is just priorities and workload.

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BrokenBootneck [105 posts] 1 year ago
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Had my Boardman CX Team nicked from the "Secure Bike Locker" at Solent Uni at the End of June, no sign of it so far!
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jacknorell [942 posts] 1 year ago
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bikebot wrote:
29erKeith wrote:

police should be able to go round after a while or get bailiffs to pop round and take his flat screen TV, XBox etc to the value + costs and put it in his local cash converters. he'd think twice next time.

The courts do have authority to use bailiffs, the problem is just priorities and workload.

Actually, the court approves the action. You'll have to make the application, which also costs money, btw. I've had to do this previously. It's a major PITA.

On another note: They used to hang horse thieves and cattle rustlers...

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sgcoates [7 posts] 1 year ago
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Definitely the right strategy. I had 2 bikes nicked from my garage, one of which turned up on ebay about a week later. I called the police & they said not to do anything as "you don't know who you're dealing with".

I guess the point they were making was that if it turns out to be some local gangster it's probably best not to get involved, especially as they know where you live.

Unfortunately, the police took several days to follow up and what do you know, by then it was long gone & no evidence against the seller. Luckily the bikes were insured, but try getting decent insurance after you've already made a claim.

Next time, if they get past the alarms, chains, anchors etc. I'll do the same as this guy myself and take the risk.

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srchar [100 posts] 1 year ago
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jacknorell wrote:
bikebot wrote:
29erKeith wrote:

police should be able to go round after a while or get bailiffs to pop round and take his flat screen TV, XBox etc to the value + costs and put it in his local cash converters. he'd think twice next time.

The courts do have authority to use bailiffs, the problem is just priorities and workload.

Actually, the court approves the action. You'll have to make the application, which also costs money, btw. I've had to do this previously. It's a major PITA.

Exactly this. For commuting purposes, I now ride a Vitus Vee 1, which is an absolutely terrible POS, despite what the glowing reviews (road.cc included) say. I'd love to think that a Wiggle Felt F95 (£400) wouldn't get nicked, but it looks more expensive than it is, so would probably go walkies rather quickly.

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bikebot [1633 posts] 1 year ago
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jacknorell wrote:
bikebot wrote:
29erKeith wrote:

police should be able to go round after a while or get bailiffs to pop round and take his flat screen TV, XBox etc to the value + costs and put it in his local cash converters. he'd think twice next time.

The courts do have authority to use bailiffs, the problem is just priorities and workload.

Actually, the court approves the action. You'll have to make the application, which also costs money, btw. I've had to do this previously. It's a major PITA.

On another note: They used to hang horse thieves and cattle rustlers...

I wasn't aware of that, but I bet the little scrote already was. Ain't that just a great big smelly bag of poo.

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FarehamOxonian [3 posts] 1 year ago
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My 2009 Giant Defy was stolen from outside work the day after I'd spent over £300 upgrading it. I managed to find it on ebay, contacted Hampshire police but 'by the time they got round to doing anything' it was too late as it had already been sold on.

Luckily, my home contents insurance policy at the time covered me.

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pants [218 posts] 1 year ago
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sgcoates wrote:

Next time, if they get past the alarms, chains, anchors etc. I'll do the same as this guy myself and take the risk.

or, play it smart and send your wife to do it like the guy in the article.

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Max_headset [17 posts] 1 year ago
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I gave North Wales Police the details of my stolen Mtb on eBay and they could not be arsed. I even emailed the officer who had emailed me a few months after the theft to see if I had heard anything only to get a response she no longer worked in that geographical area.

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Gizmo_ [1333 posts] 1 year ago
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pants wrote:
sgcoates wrote:

Next time, if they get past the alarms, chains, anchors etc. I'll do the same as this guy myself and take the risk.

or, play it smart and send your wife to do it like the guy in the article.

Not sure I'd send the wife... but I'm sure I could locate a mate or two who'd be happy to assist...  3

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Generalspenny80 [5 posts] 1 year ago
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What i don't get about this country is how everyone else has money stopped at source i.e. Tax, NIC, Child support etc. Yet the courts have no power to access benefits paid to these scumbags. Even if it were £2 a week at least this action would perturb thieves and gets the victim some sort of result...

They already have criminal records and they won't have any money....so what does a court order actually achieve apart from costing the taxpayer more money?? hiring bailiffs to go and collect second hand tat which is probably stolen is a joke...

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dazman22 [8 posts] 1 year ago
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How many of us actually insist on proof on ownership when buying stuff though?

I tend to ask now (and insist on it for bigger purchase like whole bikes), due to personal experience of having stuff stolen, but like most of us don't always remember to ask when buying and often don't keep receipts etc to show when selling. A couple of sellers have even asked if I'm joking "why do you think it's cheap?", or just hung up, but that's not enough to prove anything unfortunately. When I'm selling, I list the fact that I have receipts in the advert in the vain hope it'll make people think about it.

There wouldn't be a market for stolen stuff if we all checked.

Try it next time you're buying and selling...

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Max_headset [17 posts] 1 year ago
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Fascinating.. tonight a neighbour told me a local said I've been dissing North Wales Police on Facebook... oddly I don't do that but of course I dissed them on here last night. The person who complained is a local policeman with who I have no dispute. If however he is reading this and cares to use his many connections to eBay to checkout some scouser called o0smithy0o who sold a silver Cove G Spot in March which he had been using for "light XC use" probably because he had probably broken the 36mm fox vanilla RC2 shock that came on it and put a pair of 120mm Reba's on instead, however the strategically placed 'niche core' stickers the titanium spring on the RC2 fork and the mismatching front and rear brakes would tell any fool the bike was a cut and shut based on my old G Spot.. well any fool other than North Wales Police... back over to you if you are reading this.... you are of course all road riders and nobody will understand this mumbo jumbo.. i have the crime number if you need it....

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eschelar [51 posts] 1 year ago
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One option that might work - put the lad in a jail cell. Tell him he has to pay the 200 quid before he gets out. Give him a cell phone and tell him that the state has no budget to provide him food while awaiting his payment.

Payment within the week!