As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

Stolen Bike?

RhinoRhino TheRhinLOLRegistered User regular
edited May 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I bought this bike off craiglist because I didn't want to pay a lot... any old piece of junk would of did me. I just wanted something casual to ride and help me exercise. the ad was for $30 bike, hardly used, in good condition, everything works.

Prefect, ok. So, I buy it from this lady. It was a man's bike (but didn't really put those to details together until now). I asked her why she was selling and she said it was because she didn't use it any more. The bike looks brand new.

Anyways, my girlfriend was going to buy me a little rear end basket thing for it (to carry things) and while she was researching it, she found out that new this bike sells for around $300 online (she called one bike shop, they are trying to sale it for $535 new).

I emailed the lady back and asked her if it was a mistake (and sent her the link to the bike online) and she replied "oh, haha, it's ok. Listen, it was just taking up room and I needed to get rid of it. It's yours now, I don't mind selling it for cheap, I just wanted to get rid of it to free up room."

I called the police and talked to them for a bit, they said I should check the serial number and call them back so they could run it against bikes that have been reported stolen. I checked around and couldn't find one.

What should I do here? Like I said the lady doesn't want it back.

Can I get a receipt from her? What would be a good excuse? Could I say I need one for taxes? If I had a receipt, then at least if the police bust in my door I have proof that it wasn't me that stole it directly.

also, should I just take it into the police station and have them look at it? My girlfriend couldn't find a serial number either.

edit: also can I get in trouble for this? I don't want to get arrested or something.

93mb4.jpg
Rhino on

Posts

  • Options
    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Keep trying to find a serial number. If you don't know where to find it, go to a bike store and ask them where it is on that bike model.

    Yes, you should be asking for a receipt, at least something that proves you bought the bike from another party. If she refuses, tell her it's an expense thing.

    I highly doubt it's a stolen bike that she's selling because she'd definitely be selling it for more if she were trying to make a buck. There's a chance she's trying to unload a stolen bike herself and is getting rid of it for cheap, but I'd relax in this case.

    Have receipts, try to find the serial number and get it checked out at the police station, and you should be okay.

    Vivixenne on
    XBOX: NOVADELPHINI | DISCORD: NOVADELPHINI #7387 | TWITTER
  • Options
    BrotherVoodooBrotherVoodoo Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    No one would ever know it was a stolen bike unless they checked a serial number at a pawn shop or unless it was gathered as evidence somewhere else. I feel like you're trying way to hard here. They can't prosecute you for anything so you really don't need a receipt.

    BrotherVoodoo on
    13669_988031669590_13908669_57296127_2429910_n.jpg
  • Options
    eternalbleternalbl Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    No one would ever know it was a stolen bike unless they checked a serial number at a pawn shop or unless it was gathered as evidence somewhere else. I feel like you're trying way to hard here. They can't prosecute you for anything so you really don't need a receipt.

    Possession of stolen property?

    The likelihood that he'll be caught is pretty much nil, but when you reach a certain age you become accountable for your actions. I don't know the possible consequences, but I'm sure they aren't worth 30 bucks.

    eternalbl on
    eternalbl.png
  • Options
    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    yeah "buyer beware" and all that

    some responsibility still falls on the buyer here... some, but not much

    in most cases nothing will come of it, but if you really want to cover your bases, make sure you can prove you've checked out the bike's serial number with the police, and you should be fine

    Vivixenne on
    XBOX: NOVADELPHINI | DISCORD: NOVADELPHINI #7387 | TWITTER
  • Options
    oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Relax. It's not your civic duty or anything to figure out if the bike you bought is stolen and return it to the owner.

    If for some reason someone tries to accuse you of stealing it (very unlikely), you have your emails with the seller as evidence you bought it.

    oldsak on
  • Options
    BrotherVoodooBrotherVoodoo Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    eternalbl wrote: »
    No one would ever know it was a stolen bike unless they checked a serial number at a pawn shop or unless it was gathered as evidence somewhere else. I feel like you're trying way to hard here. They can't prosecute you for anything so you really don't need a receipt.

    Possession of stolen property?

    I guess. I think the chances of anyone finding out it was stolen are pretty slim even if it was. I mean, you would have to see his bike, then check its serial number. Why anyone would be doing that for any reason and why his bike would be in a place that could be checked by someone randomly seems both incredibly unlikely and bizarre. So yeah it'd be possible, just like it's possible to get a citation for illegal fireworks that are in your basement not being shot off.

    BrotherVoodoo on
    13669_988031669590_13908669_57296127_2429910_n.jpg
  • Options
    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I don't think the OP thinks it's his civic duty to return it to the owner, he just doesn't want to get in trouble for possibly buying stolen property

    Vivixenne on
    XBOX: NOVADELPHINI | DISCORD: NOVADELPHINI #7387 | TWITTER
  • Options
    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    eternalbl wrote: »
    No one would ever know it was a stolen bike unless they checked a serial number at a pawn shop or unless it was gathered as evidence somewhere else. I feel like you're trying way to hard here. They can't prosecute you for anything so you really don't need a receipt.

    Possession of stolen property?

    I guess. I think the chances of anyone finding out it was stolen are pretty slim even if it was. I mean, you would have to see his bike, then check its serial number. Why anyone would be doing that for any reason and why his bike would be in a place that could be checked by someone randomly seems both incredibly unlikely and bizarre. So yeah it'd be possible, just like it's possible to get a citation for illegal fireworks that are in you're basement not being shot off.
    if you can knowingly avoid trouble, why wouldn't you?

    just because it's unlikely doesn't mean you shouldn't take some responsibility for preventing this sort of drama from happening if you're willing to, and the OP is willing to

    he IS being a bit paranoid, I give him that, but if he genuinely feels suspicious and a little bit worried, he can find the serial number, check it with the police, and make a record that he HAS checked in with the police

    it's a small thing to do really, and if it gives peace of mind, then why not do it

    Vivixenne on
    XBOX: NOVADELPHINI | DISCORD: NOVADELPHINI #7387 | TWITTER
  • Options
    eternalbleternalbl Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    eternalbl wrote: »
    No one would ever know it was a stolen bike unless they checked a serial number at a pawn shop or unless it was gathered as evidence somewhere else. I feel like you're trying way to hard here. They can't prosecute you for anything so you really don't need a receipt.

    Possession of stolen property?

    I guess. I think the chances of anyone finding out it was stolen are pretty slim even if it was. I mean, you would have to see his bike, then check its serial number. Why anyone would be doing that for any reason and why his bike would be in a place that could be checked by someone randomly seems both incredibly unlikely and bizarre. So yeah it'd be possible, just like it's possible to get a citation for illegal fireworks that are in you're basement not being shot off.

    I dunno about you, but when I was in elementary school and early in high school I could spot my bike anyplace. Little things would tip it off too. A scratch here from doing 1 thing, or the way 1 part is just a little off.

    Really though, I wouldn't want to take a chance with something that would come down to 'knowledge'.

    And by that I mean, worst case scenario he is charged because the bike is stolen. Now given he's wondering if the bike is stolen, and asking people about it, could it be argued that he then knew that it was a good possibility?

    eternalbl on
    eternalbl.png
  • Options
    Richard_DastardlyRichard_Dastardly Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Dude, you're way to worried over this. Unless I'm mistaken, you can only get in trouble for knowingly receiving stolen property or at least having a good idea that what you're getting isn't legit.

    You have nothing to worry about.

    Richard_Dastardly on
  • Options
    cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Dude, you're way to worried over this. Unless I'm mistaken, you can only get in trouble for knowingly receiving stolen property or at least having a good idea that what you're getting isn't legit.

    You have nothing to worry about.

    But it doesn't mean jack if he can't prove it. That's why he needs a receipt.

    cooljammer00 on
    steam_sig.png

    3DS Friend Code: 2165-6448-8348 www.Twitch.TV/cooljammer00
    Battle.Net: JohnDarc#1203 Origin/UPlay: CoolJammer00
  • Options
    RhinoRhino TheRhinLOL Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Dude, you're way to worried over this. Unless I'm mistaken, you can only get in trouble for knowingly receiving stolen property or at least having a good idea that what you're getting isn't legit.

    You have nothing to worry about.

    But it doesn't mean jack if he can't prove it. That's why he needs a receipt.

    would the email "trail" I have stand up in court?

    Rhino on
    93mb4.jpg
  • Options
    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    dude you won't be taken to court

    generally speaking proving that you didn't know it wasn't legit to the cops will have them leave you alone

    Vivixenne on
    XBOX: NOVADELPHINI | DISCORD: NOVADELPHINI #7387 | TWITTER
  • Options
    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    You're not going to get in trouble either way, but you should still find the serial number and check it with the police, like they said, so that if it is stolen the original owner can get their bike back.

    I mean, duh.

    The serian number is usually (but not always) on the underside of the bottom bracket, between the pedals, or on the seat post right above the bottom bracket.

    Daedalus on
  • Options
    Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    You called the cops as soon as you suspected the bike might be hot. You've done your civic duty. If it does turn out that the thing was stolen, then the police will likely want your help in tracking down the thief, via email and physical addresses, serial numbers and such, but given the circumstance the chances of them considering you a suspect are virtually nil.

    Seattle Thread on
    kofz2amsvqm3.png
  • Options
    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Except they can't track shit unless he provides them with a serial number first (and even then it's a slim chance, but at least it's a chance). Obviously he's not going to be a suspect, but on the chance the bike is really stolen, it'd be nice if it got back to its real owner.

    Daedalus on
  • Options
    BrotherVoodooBrotherVoodoo Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    eternalbl wrote: »
    I dunno about you, but when I was in elementary school and early in high school I could spot my bike anyplace. Little things would tip it off too.

    I'm assuming he's old enough to ride it more than a few blocks/short miles. I routinely bike in a big city and have had my bike(s) stolen more than once. Never found em except one time when I got it back after 2 years when someone tried to sell it to a pawn shop. It was fucked to pieces and I didnt even want it by then. But the point is I searched and searched the day it got stolen, it could have been anywhere in a 1-10 mile radius and I would have had no idea where to look. The chances of you coming across you're own bike after it's been stolen are pretty infinitesimal.

    BrotherVoodoo on
    13669_988031669590_13908669_57296127_2429910_n.jpg
  • Options
    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    For what it's worth, it's not actually that unusual for people to sell expensive bikes for very little money, especially if they didn't use it.

    It happens when they buy them in a flush of determination ("I'm going to ride five miles every day") and then it sits in a garage for six months to a year. It's also not unusual for a lady to be using a man's bike, since the distinction only tends to be made at the very low and very high end. Most mid-range bikes don't tend to come in male and female versions.

    japan on
  • Options
    NappuccinoNappuccino Surveyor of Things and Stuff Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    japan wrote: »
    For what it's worth, it's not actually that unusual for people to sell expensive bikes for very little money, especially if they didn't use it.

    It happens when they buy them in a flush of determination ("I'm going to ride five miles every day") and then it sits in a garage for six months to a year. It's also not unusual for a lady to be using a man's bike, since the distinction only tends to be made at the very low and very high end. Most mid-range bikes don't tend to come in male and female versions.

    I'd say most major differences are aesthetic... I wouldn't worry too hard about this being a stolen bike, but its always nice to know for sure.

    Nappuccino on
    Like to write? Want to get e-published? Give us a look-see at http://wednesdaynightwrites.com/
    Rorus Raz wrote: »
    There's also the possibility you just can't really grow a bear like other guys.

    Not even BEAR vaginas can defeat me!
    cakemikz wrote: »
    And then I rub actual cake on myself.
    Loomdun wrote: »
    thats why you have chest helmets
  • Options
    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2009
    japan wrote: »
    For what it's worth, it's not actually that unusual for people to sell expensive bikes for very little money, especially if they didn't use it.

    It happens when they buy them in a flush of determination ("I'm going to ride five miles every day") and then it sits in a garage for six months to a year. It's also not unusual for a lady to be using a man's bike, since the distinction only tends to be made at the very low and very high end. Most mid-range bikes don't tend to come in male and female versions.

    Plus, the only difference between a men's bike a woman's bike (besides the occasional garish pink paint jobs) is that the cross bar is lowered on a woman's frame to accommodate long skirts at the expense of frame rigidity. Considering that most women don't ride bikes whilst wearing a skirt anyway and the fact that it adversely affects the performance of the bike, a lot of the time women will opt for a men's frame anyway.

    I think the worst that can happen if it turns out that this bike was stolen is that the police will confiscate it and ask for any details you have on the person who sold it too you. This usually means you don't get your money back either, so in this instance you'd end up sans one bike and down $30. The civic thing to do is to certainly make every effort to identify the bike from a serial number so that it could be returned to the owner if it turns out to be stolen and hopefully provide some evidence towards an arrest of a bike thief, even although this means you may come up short.

    It would be good to find that serial number anyway - even if it isn't stolen, you can register the number so that if the bike gets stolen off you, you have a way of tracing it.

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • Options
    DeadfallDeadfall I don't think you realize just how rich he is. In fact, I should put on a monocle.Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I commend you, Rhino, for your efforts to make sure it's not stolen. If it was my $500 bike, I'd damn sure hope that if somebody received it unknowingly they'd try to get it back to me.

    Definately go to a bike shop and see if they can help you find the serial number. A lot of the time it's right under the bar in a hard-to-see place. A lot of people, myself included, have their bikes registered with the National Bike Registry so that if it is stolen, your serial number is just a phone call away. I don't know if you can call to see if that particular serial number is registered if you're not the owner, but their number is 1800-848-2453. That's if you can find the serial and it is registered.

    Good luck.

    Deadfall on
    7ivi73p71dgy.png
    xbl - HowYouGetAnts
    steam - WeAreAllGeth
  • Options
    RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Dude, you're way to worried over this. Unless I'm mistaken, you can only get in trouble for knowingly receiving stolen property or at least having a good idea that what you're getting isn't legit.

    You have nothing to worry about.

    But it doesn't mean jack if he can't prove it. That's why he needs a receipt.

    (If he's in the US) he doesn't need to prove bupkis.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • Options
    ProtoProto Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    places to find the serial number:

    underside of the bottom bracket (may be under a cable guide)
    seat tube near where it meets the bottom bracket
    on the rear chain stays
    on the head tube

    Proto on
    and her knees up on the glove compartment
    took out her barrettes and her hair spilled out like rootbeer
Sign In or Register to comment.