Found: Condor frame

glue_factory
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Found: Condor frame

Postby glue_factory » 6 Apr 2009, 4:19pm

Hi,

While out running in South East London at the weekend, I found an abandoned Condor frame. It had the remains of the mech, saddle and wheel but is pretty much just the frame. It's got a *fair* amount of paint chips too. Judging from the weight I'd say it's more of a tourer than a road bike (it's certainly not as light as Condor road bike I used to have).

Is it worth me reporting it to the police ? Does it sound familiar to anyone on here (I've retained some key details :-) for identification purposes) ?

Cheers,

Matt

thirdcrank
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Re: Found: Condor frame

Postby thirdcrank » 6 Apr 2009, 4:35pm

If the frame number is legible, reporting it to the police should, in theory at least, mean it gets back to the owner if they have reported it as lost or stolen. I don't think the police will be keen to take it off your hands unless it immediately shows up as already reported missing.

Once you do effectively take care of it, you are in a bit of a legal limbo. The frame will always belong to the true owner but unless they are traced it effectively becomes yours. Don't fall between two stools. If it's really worthless, bin it immediately and don't report it. If you think it would be worth holding onto if unclaimed, at least wait a few months after you have reproted it so that the owner does not come along and claim it back when you have spent money.

I cannot speak for the Metropolitan Police area but round here, police station property stores are usually awash with found / recovered junk bikes that just remain unclaimed till the next auction. On the rare occasion when anything really decent turns up, the owner will have reported it already with photos, detasiled description etc.

glue_factory
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Re: Found: Condor frame

Postby glue_factory » 6 Apr 2009, 5:03pm

Cheers - sounds good advice, which I think I'll follow.

Matt

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gaz
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Re: Found: Condor frame

Postby gaz » 6 Apr 2009, 7:03pm

thirdcrank wrote:The frame will always belong to the true owner ....


A word of caution here.

Around twenty years ago a friend of mine rescued a BMX from the skip/hedge/flytipping. He refurbished it adding may new parts.

The owner of the frame turned up and claimed it. He had reported his bike stolen and there was no doubt this was the frame. From the police's viewpoint the bike, i.e. frame and everything attached, belonged to the claimant. There seems to have been no dispute that the new components were not the originals, it simply didn't seem to matter.

The injustice of it made a short article in the local rag, the claimant got the whole bike.

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Mick F
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Re: Found: Condor frame

Postby Mick F » 6 Apr 2009, 8:04pm

Yep.
Frame = Bike in the eyes of non-believers.

My frame is October 1986.
Wheels, complete groupset, tyres, saddle, etc ........ 2007/8/9

Who knows what guise my bike will turn up in 2010.
Mick F. Cornwall

thirdcrank
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Re: Found: Condor frame

Postby thirdcrank » 6 Apr 2009, 8:05pm

If the police handle that sort of situation properly, there are legal procedures for dealing with it. The main point is that it is sometimes possible for ownership to change and if it doesn't it can be a question for legal argument. Remember, deciding a question of ownership is really a civil matter, and the police receive little training in the civil law. It's certainly not the role of the police to pass summary judgment based on common sense.

If the there is a dispute over the ownership of property in police possession, it would be normal to invite interested parties to take proceedings in the Magistrates' Court under the Police Property Act. Although the chief constable would normally be shown as the defendant, the claimants effectively argue it out between themselves and the court then orders the CC to hand the stuff to the winner. There is something similar available in the County Court, High Court, for higher value property and I cannot remember* what it is called, but it works in broadly the same way.

If stuff is not in police possession, then their role is very limited. If they believed property had been stolen but had no reason to believe that the person currently in possession had committed an offence, then they might be restricted to telling that person that the property appeared to have been stolen. That might restrict their ability to sell the stuff to somebody else without telling them.

The reason I tried to avoid all this (and more ) in my original advice is that who wants all this hassle for an old bike frame? (And it is often the junk where the wheels of justice grind small and fine. If something decent is in police possession, the lawyers are generally on the phone by about 11 am the next morning - i.e. early doors by their standards.)

* I've belatedly remembered it's called 'interpleader'
Last edited by thirdcrank on 14 Jun 2009, 9:42pm, edited 1 time in total.

saudidave
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Re: Found: Condor frame

Postby saudidave » 6 Apr 2009, 9:48pm

I don't know about stolen bikes specifically, but my experience of having property stolen and keeping records of it was a joke.

Some years ago, my house was burgled and my very expensive Technics hi fi gear was stolen. I supplied the ppolice with serial numbers, model numbers and photographs of the actual kit.

3 months later, the police rung to say they had my gear, so I took half a day off work to go from Bolton to Wigan where they had it.

When I got there, Plod proudly flung open the door of a storage room to diplay some recovered Technics hi fi gear. It wasn't the same as mine, the serial numbers were different, the model numbers were different and it was brushed aluminium finish. Mine (and they had a photo, remember), was matt black.

I suspect the frame is yours if you want it. They struggle to catch murderers, let alone bicycle thieves.

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MikewsMITH2
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Re: Found: Condor frame

Postby MikewsMITH2 » 6 Apr 2009, 11:17pm

I think it is obvious whether this is a working bike that someone rode to work or school last week (in which case report it) or whether it is an unwanted piece of junk that has just been dumped (in which case keep it if you want). Years ago my mate Les Williams arrived home to find a decent bike neatly parked by his back door. He took it to the local police station and reported it "found". The rule then was if it wasn't claimed in 6 months the finder could claim the goods. I thought this was the law until today. Six months later Les enquired about the bike which hadn't been claimed and took possession of it. The very same day he rode it down to the local shops and was stopped by a person who said "Oi that's my bike!" They both went to the Police station Les was obliged to return it to its rightful owner (which he thought was most unfair as the guy hadn't even bothered to report it missing). It transpired that the owner had ridden the bike to Les's locality to play football and parked it at his Grandmother's house which was a few doors away. In his rush he had parked at the wrong house and when he returned to the correct house his bike was gone.

Now the cops are more concerned with collecting revenue...what would be the position if a modern day Les had bought the bike at a police auction and then met the rightful owner?
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Ivor Tingting
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Re: Found: Condor frame

Postby Ivor Tingting » 6 Apr 2009, 11:58pm

If not reported stolen or no criminal act taken place (unlikley as frame was abandoned) the civil law side is the tort of conversion. Also depending on time elapsed statute of limitations a claimant could bring a claim under this tort for return of frame however they would have to establish ownership and that no legitimate sale terminated this or that it was indeed reported stolen at the time. If original owner was traced and decided to make a claim against current custodian then the legal owner is not entitled to profit on being reunited with the frame. ie be in possession of a frame in a better condition than when it left his/her possession, if indeed it was just the frame that he/she lost as opposed to a whole bike that was stripped and the frame abandoned. The new current custodian who has added new components has legal title to these so can lawfully remove them as they are his. However a court might decide that it is more equitable for the current custodian of the frame to pay a monetary value to the legal owner as a reparation. Interesting legal problem though but one that is never likely to see the light of day unless the frame has a considerable value, a collectors item.

Read the Merchant of Venice – Portia declaring that Shylock is only entitled to the bond as agreed - a pound of flesh and nothing more, not a drop of blood, not a hair more or less than a pound of flesh. If he in cutting the flesh spills a single drop of Antonio’s blood then Shylock forfeits all his lands and goods.

If you were feeling very public spirited maybe you could contact Condor to see if they have kept a record of who originally purchased that frame number?
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.

thirdcrank
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Re: Found: Condor frame

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Apr 2009, 7:40am

I did say above, "... who wants all this hassle for an old bike frame?" It may be expensive to buy a handbuilt lightweight frame, but that's not in the same league of £££ as saying 'Good Morning' to a lawyer. Whatever the law may be, finding yourself in a position of having to defend your actions can be intimidating and expensive. (Another complication I did not mention is that the owner of land normally has first claim over stuff found on their private property. There are all sorts of bye-laws covering stuff found on the railway, and in taxis or buses.)

Here, it's that finders = keepers thing. It is possible (criminal law here) to steal something by finding and keeping it. The element of guiltiness (mens rea) necessary for any crime to be committed is only there if the finder believed they could trace* the owner and did not try to do so. This is why a frame number / postcode stamp assume some importance - a similar weight of unidentifiable miscellaneous tubing would be different. Also as IT implies, you cannot normally steal something that has been abandoned - but there are exceptions.

Identifying, recovering, returning property to its owner has sometimes been poorly done by the police, sometimes because accurate logging = more of the dreaded paperwork, sometimes because owners are unable to give much detail to make something truly identifiable (recognisable by somebody unfamiliar with its appearance.) That takes us back to serial numbers. It would be nice to think that more widespread use of computers would help but I'm not optimistic.

In the end its Sod's Law. Do a check and it's likely that there will be no trace. Don't bother, and it will have been widely circulated as suspected as having been ridden by a look-out in the Brinks Matt Bullion Robbery.

* nearly posted this as 'race the owner' :oops: That would be summary justice.

pigman
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Re: Found: Condor frame

Postby pigman » 7 Apr 2009, 8:35am

if it genuinely looks forlorn and abandoned, keep it and apply a rattlecan paint job.

tpjm191
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Re: Found: Condor frame

Postby tpjm191 » 14 Jun 2009, 9:13pm

Hi Matt,

I have been looking for my stolen condor road bike. it was stolen back in early 1990's. It was reported to the local police at the time. It is of sentimental value to me as was built to order back in 1989.
I think I still have the original receipt somewhere with frame number. The frame size was medium about 21 1/2 inches.

Roughly was a Reynold 653 tubing, chromed rear and front ends and right hand chain stay. paint job was white on main tubes with a coloured swirling marble effect where the tubes join together. Had an internal semi sloping fork crown and all the usual engravings on bottom bracket and rear brake bridge.

I remember the components a mixture of durace and campag with campag omega v profile but of course these could be changed.

Is there any chance the frame you found is mine.

Tim

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Mick F
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Re: Found: Condor frame

Postby Mick F » 14 Jun 2009, 10:38pm

Hi Tim,

If you look at Glue_Factory's posts, he's only made two of them, and the last one in early April.

I think it's best if you Private Message him, perhaps he may have an alert to his email system.

Good luck.
Mick F. Cornwall