Had your bike stolen? Useful tips for recovery

StolenBikes
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Had your bike stolen? Useful tips for recovery

Postby StolenBikes » 20 Jan 2013, 4:29pm

So if you're reading this, chances are your bikes been stolen... Below is a quick guide to maximizing your chances of getting your bike back.

Quick Links...
Steps to Take
  1. Report it to the police. Go on do it now we'll wait, by reporting it not only are you helping your own chances of getting your bike back should the police happen across it, but you are also highlighting that bike theft is a huge problem.
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  2. Let other organisations know (Insurers, lock manufacturer). If you bike was insured you need to let them know asap, otherwise you might invalidate your claim. Some lock manufacturers also operate a anti-theft cover, which means that if your bike was locked properly they'll pay, again time is of the essence any delay might effect a payout.
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  3. Have a look around. Many bike thieves simply move the stolen bike to a new rack in the local area, so it's well worth checking this out. The reason they do this is it reduces the chances of them being caught with the stolen bike.
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  4. Get the word out. Mock up some flyers and pass them out. Local bike shop's, cycling clubs, cash converters, markets and car boots are all good places to start.

    Get the word out online too, this forum is a good place to start. You then have online stolen bike registers, such as stolen-bikes.co.uk. Social media is also a good place to help spread the word. If you've got a good story to go with the theft you might even be able to convince your local rag to publish your story.

    Some people also post their flyers up on Gumtree and eBay, I have mixed feelings about this as I have seen it work but the logical side of me says that your letting the bike thief know your checking that website and therefore reducing your chances of it appearing.
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  5. Keep an eye out. If you want to recover your bike it's time to put in some leg work, check your local car boots, markets, cash converters and any other place used bikes might be bought/sold in your area.

    Setup email alerts for eBay, Gumtree and other classifieds using Find That Bike. Often a bike will pop up for sale online a couple of months after the theft, giving you a very real chance of recovery.
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  6. If your bikes spotted. Phone the police, many people will tell you to bring in the heavies yourself to get your bike back but this will just land you in hot water.

    If the police are truly unhelpful (and they may well be), then the following has proven successful for some..

    Arrange to buy/win the bike, when you've arrange a time/place to pickup (make sure it's a very public place or a house) contact the police again to see if their more helpful.

    If once again they tell you they have better things to do, go to meet the seller. Once you've spotted the bike phone the police (out of ear shot of the seller, make up an excuse if needs be such as forgetting the money), tell them you need help and to get to the address then hang up and put your phone on mute (they will try to phone you back). Act like nothings wrong and waste time, if you can try and get the bike off them using an excuse (flipping it over and spinning the wheels is often a good trick). *


If you have any questions or suggestions you can PM me on here or email me using john@stolen-bikes.co.uk

Best of Luck,
John

* Only do this if you feel it's truly safe to do so, you've got to remember these people are criminals having already stolen a bike, and they think you're meeting them with a decent amount of money in your pocket. It's a good way to get mugged, so take extreme caution.
John @ Stolen-Bikes.co.uk, FindThatBike.co.uk and RegisterThatBike.co.uk

craggybend
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Re: Had your bike stolen? Useful tips for recovery

Postby craggybend » 13 May 2016, 8:39pm

Think ahead and register with " Immobolise" National organisation that is used by and supported by Police Forces up and down the Country. You can put all your bike details, serial number description etc on the Data Base, so should the worse happen you already have a record of the bike. Apparently all Police Forces check the Data Base when they recover find property which they think may be lost or stolen.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Had your bike stolen? Useful tips for recovery

Postby Tangled Metal » 13 May 2016, 10:56pm

My bike got nicked I logged it on every bike database I could and set up alerts on the sales sites. It was reported to the police. In my statement I also told them it had been registered and stenciled by one of his colleague's. The police officer had no idea about that register. She said that she'd have to make enquiries about that.

Anyway, about 4 months later they caught a major bike fencing ring operated by Bulgarians. Recovered £80,000 worth of stolen bikes and bits. Most of the bikes never got returned to their owners. My bike certainly didn't. Apparently the other bikes stolen at the same time were returned within a month. I also know that the.thief was known. I work with several people who had found out who it was,

Basically if your bike is stolen don't expect it back. It'll be split up, sold on for a few pounds, possibly being ridden around by some guy who bought it for ridiculously low price without asking questions. If the police recover it you can expect they'd only make cursory attempts to return it to the rightful owner. Chances are it'll be sold in a police auction out similar. I have no faith in the police over this, it's just too low a priority.

Sorry for being so negative.

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kylecycler
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Re: Had your bike stolen? Useful tips for recovery

Postby kylecycler » 13 May 2016, 11:55pm

I haven't had a bike stolen (yet) but the thread elsewhere on the forum just now - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=106033 - is deeply worrying.

I'll register with Immobilize, although the fact that I've been cycling extensively for the past six years and have spent an awful lot of time on this forum, and yet this is the first time I've heard about Immobilize, either means I'm awful thick or word needs to get around more - Tangled Metal's sad experience makes you seriously doubt whether the likes of Immobilize will ever be effective, but these things seriously need more exposure.

StolenBikes wrote:[*]If your bikes spotted. Phone the police, many people will tell you to bring in the heavies yourself to get your bike back but this will just land you in hot water.

If the police are truly unhelpful (and they may well be), then the following has proven successful for some..

Arrange to buy/win the bike, when you've arrange a time/place to pickup (make sure it's a very public place or a house) contact the police again to see if their more helpful.

If once again they tell you they have better things to do, go to meet the seller. Once you've spotted the bike phone the police (out of ear shot of the seller, make up an excuse if needs be such as forgetting the money), tell them you need help and to get to the address then hang up and put your phone on mute (they will try to phone you back). Act like nothings wrong and waste time, if you can try and get the bike off them using an excuse (flipping it over and spinning the wheels is often a good trick). *[/list]

* Only do this if you feel it's truly safe to do so, you've got to remember these people are criminals having already stolen a bike, and they think your meeting them with a decent amount of money in your pocket. It's a good way to get mugged, so take extreme caution.


I suspect the OP knows this story, but you can decide for yourselves whether this young lady was brave or foolhardy. Either way, the photo is priceless. :)

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/0 ... _bike.html

Gawn yursel', hen (as we would say in Scotland)! :D

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mjr
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Re: Had your bike stolen? Useful tips for recovery

Postby mjr » 14 May 2016, 9:16am

The reason you don't hear about immobilise from many people is that it was a "goldmine for burglars" for more than two years https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2015/0 ... -register/ and wouldyou trust they've fixed similar faults that haven't been told to the BBC? https://www.grahamcluley.com/2015/01/im ... ster-data/

Only register your bike with such commercial services AFTER it's stolen. No point advertising it.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

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kylecycler
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Re: Had your bike stolen? Useful tips for recovery

Postby kylecycler » 14 May 2016, 12:48pm

mjr wrote:The reason you don't hear about immobilise from many people is that it was a "goldmine for burglars" for more than two years https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2015/0 ... -register/ and wouldyou trust they've fixed similar faults that haven't been told to the BBC? https://www.grahamcluley.com/2015/01/im ... ster-data/

Only register your bike with such commercial services AFTER it's stolen. No point advertising it.

Thanks. Considering I hadn't heard of Immobilize (I might not be thick but I'm a bit naive), I didn't know any of that either. I'll follow your advice.

I once had a car stolen from my driveway. I'd left the keys in it, intending to take the dogs out, looked out and it was snowing so didn't bother and forgot the keys were in the car - thought I'd locked it.

Next morning it wasn't there. I reported it stolen, then borrowed my sister's car and spent most of the day trawling around everywhere in the local area where I thought it might have been dumped. No luck. :(

Fortunately, even though I'd left the keys in the car, the insurance company were willing to cover the claim, although I wouldn't expect a break like that again. I went to their office to see about things then walked to the dealer where I bought to car to hire one till the claim was sorted out. Passed Tesco on the way there. There was a car just like mine parked just beside Tesco's front door. I was feeling a bit depressed, obviously, and it didn't help to see one like mine. Same colour and everything. Same registration number... :shock:

I went to a phone box and phoned the police (no mobiles back then). I can still 'see' the police officer walking towards me with his hands behind his back - his face was a picture - 'sheepish' is the word - they were supposed to be looking for my car and I'd found it myself - he seemed genuinely embarrassed and actually apologized! :oops:

I'd to leave it till the detectives turned up and dusted it for prints then got it back. There was no damage, but even then I was lucky: if the insurance claim had been processed, it would have been the property of the insurance company and they would have sold it, which seems absurd but that's how it works.

Fortune favours the stupid, sometimes. :)

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Mick F
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Re: Had your bike stolen? Useful tips for recovery

Postby Mick F » 15 May 2016, 9:10am

Take the liberty of editing the OP.
There's a difference between YOUR and YOU'RE.
Mick F. Cornwall