Blogger's eight stolen bikes recovered from ebay seller

Delight and relief for bicycleslut

by Mark Appleton   March 15, 2011  

Charlotte and two of her retrieved bikes.JPG

A bike blogger who together with her partner had eight bikes stolen, has had them all returned thanks, in part, to the efforts of her readers.

Charlotte Barnes who blogs as the bicycleslut – she is a lover of many bikes, you see – came home from holiday in February to find her lock-up had been raided and the bikes gone.

Naturally she blogged about the trauma of losing the bikes - many of which she had built herself -  and that’s where the power of the internet set wheels in motion.

Bloggers blogged, tweeters tweeted, forum posters posted and before long
Charlotte was alerted to the presence of the bikes on ebay where they were listed for sale by someone using their real identity.

The Met Police Cycle Task Force were contacted, a visit was paid to the seller and pretty soon all eight machines – which included a Dolan and a Roberts – were returned to a grateful Charlotte and partner Julian. The police found plenty of other bikes at the seller’s address but Charlotte said he has denied knowingly handling stolen goods.

"The seller was very co-operative with the police and protested his innocence and of course it's not an offence to buy items without knowing where they came from.

"Bizarrely two of the bikes were at the local bike shop getting serviced so my partner's road bike came back with a new chain and cassette and they were all squeaky clean. 

"Somebody was arrested for the burglary but I don't have high hopes about there being a successful prosecution. But for me the lessons learned are the three Rs of  recording your bikes' details, registering them with the police's online BikeRegister initiative and reporting any theft promptly to the police."

Charlotte has also beefed up security at the her new storage facility, ensuring the bikes are locked together to prevent easy removal and even investing in an infra-red wireless IP camera which will take a picture of an intruder and instantly email it to her.

On returning the bikes to her, the police had already tagged and recorded them on the Bike Register service, something Charlotte is recommending that we all do. 

6 user comments

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Read about this at the time. Fantastic news that they've been recovered!

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
15th March 2011 - 15:10

5 Likes

I wonder if her blog mentioned her 8 bikes and that she was off on holiday... ? Just a thought..
Thinking

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1090 posts]
15th March 2011 - 18:07

6 Likes

Well amongst lots of interesting stuff, including the not very impressive response from her insurance company, I suppose a thief could have pieced that info together, but it's much more likely to have been a local toe-rag than a regular reader of Charlotte's blog.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4160 posts]
15th March 2011 - 18:24

3 Likes

You're probably right. But to be safe I won't be telling Twitter what bike I have and when I'm off on holiday. How one can write a blog on cycling and not take at least one bike on holiday is a mystery to me..

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1090 posts]
15th March 2011 - 19:41

5 Likes

Interesting that the police were not sure whether the seller was knowingly selling stolen goods. Bear in mind that the cops can and do charge buyers of stolen bikes with handlign stolen goods, as several people have found out after buying bicycles at Brick Lane to their cost.

I'm off to Las vegas next week. But then my treasured BMX race bike will be in the cellar of my house and my wife, sons and our au pair will be around.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2307 posts]
15th March 2011 - 21:17

8 Likes

Still innocently saying about it, if she did on her blog, doesn't mean she deserved this happening to her, I'd be heartbroken, It's rare stories like these have a happy ending.. I'm glad it did! Applause

Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

Pickle's picture

posted by Pickle [2 posts]
16th March 2011 - 12:04

6 Likes