stolen Bromptons on eBay and Gumtree

Warekiwi
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Joined: 11 Sep 2010, 4:47pm
Location: Ware, UK

Stolen bikes on Gumtree!

Postby Warekiwi » 11 Sep 2010, 5:07pm

I'm a keen cyclist living in Hertfordshire and recently had one of my bikes stolen from a double locked porch in front of my flat. The position is very well lighted and generally only frequented by owners/tenants and delivery people. Within 8 hrs the aforesaid bike turned up on Gumtree.com-- it was very easily identifiable due to some unusual features that were clearly visible in the Gumtree pix PLUS I have all the serial numbers AND it (along with my other machines) is registered on BikeRegister.com. Even when presented with all the info the Hertfordshire police were very reluctant to follow it up but after an article in the "Mercury" -local paper( Sept 9th) they seem to have become a bit more active-- too late for my property but hopefully they will recapture other stolen bikes! Since then I have started monitoring Gumtree adverts and there is very obviously a large number of stolen machines being handled there. For example--
Go to gumtree.com and put 07538638674 in the search window

FIVE advts turn up---four bikes plus a pair of jeans!

65306921 name "sheriff"

65306715 name "joel"

65304733 name "lekan"

63102175 name "joshua"

63016710 name "joel"

Fishy or what??? Four people sharing the same mobile number?

In the case of my bike a similar situation occurred -- it seems to me that if Gumtree just monitored phone numbers vs. names they could at least reduce the incidence of stolen proerty being handled on their site! I suspect they are in no hurry to do so as it may reduce their turnover!

GrahamNR17
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Joined: 15 Nov 2009, 6:31pm

Re: Stolen bikes on Gumtree!

Postby GrahamNR17 » 13 Sep 2010, 4:57pm

Gumtree, Freeads, Adtrader, Preloved, Ebay....... they're all the same, chocca with nicked gear, not just bikes. It's sad nobody will do anything about.

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Colin63
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Joined: 31 Aug 2008, 9:46am
Location: Lancaster

Re: Stolen bikes on Gumtree!

Postby Colin63 » 13 Sep 2010, 6:59pm

I've never looked at Gumtree before, but I just did and what an awful and depressing experience. I found what sounds like a Dawes Super Galaxy "complete with mirrors on handlebars valued at over one and a half thousand quid" beings sold for £120, and other beautiful bikes going for a song for tiny amounts of money. I presume that much of this funds drug use. I couldn't live with myself.

cody1
Posts: 45
Joined: 20 Nov 2009, 9:36am

Re: Stolen bikes on Gumtree!

Postby cody1 » 2 Oct 2010, 8:08pm

gumtree is endemic with stolen bikes there is one guy on there who is selling four or five bikes every week and nothing ever seems to get done about it. he has been reported to the police several times according to a guy who uses the gumtree forums and the police even have his address. i think the best thing to do would be to make enquirys about these stolen bikes and get an address off them and then give this address to the police so that they can go to the address and arrest them.

spanner
Posts: 143
Joined: 24 Jun 2009, 1:26pm

Re: Stolen bikes on Gumtree!

Postby spanner » 2 Jun 2011, 11:18pm

Colin63 wrote:I've never looked at Gumtree before, but I just did and what an awful and depressing experience. I found what sounds like a Dawes Super Galaxy "complete with mirrors on handlebars valued at over one and a half thousand quid" beings sold for £120, and other beautiful bikes going for a song for tiny amounts of money. I presume that much of this funds drug use. I couldn't live with myself.

it does not mean that the nearly new bikes for sale on gumtree are being sold by drug users ive bought three bikes off gumtree and all three sellers were respectable persons the peugeot aspin was being sold by someone on behalf of his brother who is in the army and currently in afghanistan and hadnt used the bike for several years a raleigh europa was being sold by a french student at edinburgh university who was returning to france and a flying scot continental was sold by an ex veteran cycle club member (of which am a member) because he needed the money to get his garage roof which was leaking repaired.
also a lot of sellers are people who have decided to try cycling again after a long break of many years and find they cant hack it so decide to sell the bike just to get it out of the way and therefore sell it for silly money because to me a dawes super galaxy for £120 sounds a real bargain to me(btw i paid £300 for the scot) and its now worth £600

spanner
Posts: 143
Joined: 24 Jun 2009, 1:26pm

Re: Stolen bikes on Gumtree!

Postby spanner » 2 Jun 2011, 11:27pm

Warekiwi wrote:I'm a keen cyclist living in Hertfordshire and recently had one of my bikes stolen from a double locked porch in front of my flat. The position is very well lighted and generally only frequented by owners/tenants and delivery people. Within 8 hrs the aforesaid bike turned up on Gumtree.com-- it was very easily identifiable due to some unusual features that were clearly visible in the Gumtree pix PLUS I have all the serial numbers AND it (along with my other machines) is registered on BikeRegister.com. Even when presented with all the info the Hertfordshire police were very reluctant to follow it up but after an article in the "Mercury" -local paper( Sept 9th) they seem to have become a bit more active-- too late for my property but hopefully they will recapture other stolen bikes! Since then I have started monitoring Gumtree adverts and there is very obviously a large number of stolen machines being handled there. For example--
Go to gumtree.com and put 07538638674 in the search window

FIVE advts turn up---four bikes plus a pair of jeans!

65306921 name "sheriff"

65306715 name "joel"

65304733 name "lekan"

63102175 name "joshua"

63016710 name "joel"

Fishy or what??? Four people sharing the same mobile number?

In the case of my bike a similar situation occurred -- it seems to me that if Gumtree just monitored phone numbers vs. names they could at least reduce the incidence of stolen proerty being handled on their site! I suspect they are in no hurry to do so as it may reduce their turnover!

if that had been me i would have gone to see the bike as a potential purchaser and if it was my bike i would have asked for a test ride and jumped on it and ridden off on it after all the seller is very unlikely to report it as stolen are they? but my first port of call would be the police station to report that i had recovered my bike
i always do things on my bikes that means i can prove that the bike belongs to me ie copper grease on the freewheel threads stem and seat post as no potential thief is going to check this out are they lets face it they are too stupid to look and most likely dont know anything about cycle mechanics either!

Raph
Posts: 576
Joined: 13 Mar 2007, 8:14pm
Location: Banbury

Re: Stolen bikes on Gumtree!

Postby Raph » 7 Jan 2012, 5:39pm

Also put your name on hidden bits. On most of my gear I've put name/phone no./address stickers inside, e.g. taken the casing off amplifiers and put stickers inside so if I get ransacked at a gig at least I don't need a stack of serial numbers to prove the gear's mine - or at least that there's a connection between me and the gear if the guy says in front of the cops that it's all his.

It won't help where a thief dismantles the bike completely but for a bike sold on as is, turning up with a burly mate or even better a cop, and pulling back bartape to reveal a sticker with your name on it, or taking the saddle off (perhaps under pretext of checking saddle height?) to reveal your name rolled up and shoved up the seatpost, can make a quick identification beyond doubt that you've had previous access to that bike - even if that isn't in itself proof that it's yours, it will be firm disproof of the seller's story that his aunt gave it to him or he bought it at the local auction etc.

Raph
Posts: 576
Joined: 13 Mar 2007, 8:14pm
Location: Banbury

Re: Stolen bikes on Gumtree!

Postby Raph » 7 Jan 2012, 5:42pm

PS I tried on Gumtree to sell my 8yr-old's bike that he'd outgrown, no replies whatsoever. Maybe I needed to put a price on it low enough to compete with knock-offs?

Vladimir
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Location: London
Contact:

Re: Stolen bikes on Gumtree!

Postby Vladimir » 1 Apr 2012, 9:14pm

I was once on the way to go and pick up a bike from gumtree.
I got to the station; but didn't go through with it; didn't even exit the station, as the more I thought about it, the more certain it seemed that the bike was stolen.
Just decided I couldn't live with myself if I was riding someone else's stolen bike.
I certainly don't want to sound high and mighty; but maybe if more people did that; maybe the thieves would not have a market?
And I'm not talking about gumtree either, this is true for many other places online, such as ebay, preloved, etc, ESPECIALLY the bloke down the pub who is selling his bike for £50
Last edited by Vladimir on 1 Apr 2012, 9:33pm, edited 1 time in total.

Vladimir
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Re: Stolen bikes on Gumtree!

Postby Vladimir » 1 Apr 2012, 9:28pm

Raph wrote:PS I tried on Gumtree to sell my 8yr-old's bike that he'd outgrown, no replies whatsoever. Maybe I needed to put a price on it low enough to compete with knock-offs?


yes, exactly the same thing happened to me. I had a cheap-o MTB I wanted to sell; that I paid about £150 for, but then spent another £100 on it as bits were going wrong, so it was not the worst bike you could own, but I was struggling to get £125 for it. As part of the listing I put down what it cost and what I had spent and how I was only asking half price for a bike that was only about 5 months old, but it all fell on deaf ears and nobody would buy as I was underpriced by thieves.

I even pointed this out in email exchanges I was having, but they just didnt seem to care, all they wanted was a cheap bike and didn't care about handling stolen goods. I even had one person I was communicating with tell me that he knew that my bike wasnt stolen from the way I listed it, and that the cheap as chips bikes were definitely stolen (due to their price) but that despite this, he expected me to compete with the stolen bike prices anyway!

Bottom line, too many people are willing to handle stolen goods (which I believe is an offence - but I might be wrong).

Read a few posts recently on the london cyclist blog about people recovering their bikes via gumtree after having them stolen, and for some reason, how police are unwilling to do anything about it, in the end the posters had to go down with mates on vigilante "stings". I would have thought that police would be even mildly interested, especially if you have a receipt to prove ownership; it would be an open and shut case, turn up and see the frame number on a bike. take the thief to court (how much more evidence do you really need other than a report of theft that is less than a couple of days old, a matching frame number, and some half baked story about how it's been in the family for a few years). In the particular post I was reading, the poster did a manual "sting" operation, told the thief he was the rightful owner, and the owner then changed his story to "I bought this bike in brick lane 2 days ago", which I suppose could happen to police officers doing a sting, but even then, they could charge for handling stolen goods...

the mind boggles

sorry about the rant.

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Stolen bikes on Gumtree!

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Apr 2012, 10:19pm

"Handling stolen goods" is one of those short offence titles which doesn't cover everything which has to be proved.

22 Handling stolen goods.E+W(1)

A person handles stolen goods if (otherwise than in the course of the stealing) knowing or believing them to be stolen goods he dishonestly receives the goods, or dishonestly undertakes or assists in their retention, removal, disposal or realisation by or for the benefit of another person, or if he arranges to do so.


http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/60/section/22

It's the "knowing or believing" bit which is generally the hardest to prove. Remember, it's up to the prosecution to prove the case with admissible evidence, not just a matter of shoving somebody up in front of the beak and making him justify possessing the bike or whatever. In many cases this is largely going to revolve round what the suspect says. To be admissible, in general the interview has to take place when the suspect as had the opportunity of legal advice and any decent solicitor is only going to give that advice once they are confident they have heard the full extent of the police evidence. The suspect is entitled to decline to answer questions - the only sanction being that if they delay an explanation,it may be the subject of comment at court eg, Why didn't you give that explanation sooner?" to which "My solicitor advised me that he felt the police had not been frank about the evidence they had" may well be a winner.

It's interesting in this context that when I've mentioned how circumstances outlined on threads would constitute a crime given the guilty knowledge disclosed in posts I've been almost derided. Many people with no experience of the inside of a police station are pretty keen to blab to get out. Somebody who knows the ropes will listen to the case against them and tailor the explanation to fit.

I'm not trying to excuse idleness. IME, the person who knows all the details, including the frame number of their stolen bike is rare. I've only ever had one bike stolen - almost 50 years ago. An observant friend caught the thief later with the bike. He walled him up in a telephone box and called me and the police. I was there first and the person admitted it to both of us. That admission was denied at court and he was acquitted. And I had the frame number and details of every nut and bolt.

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Stolen bikes on Gumtree!

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Apr 2012, 11:25am

The goodies do win sometimes.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=62160

Vladimir
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Re: Stolen bikes on Gumtree!

Postby Vladimir » 21 Jun 2012, 8:21pm

thirdcrank wrote: The suspect is entitled to decline to answer questions - the only sanction being that if they delay an explanation,it may be the subject of comment at court eg, Why didn't you give that explanation sooner?" to which "My solicitor advised me that he felt the police had not been frank about the evidence they had" may well be a winner.

It's interesting in this context that when I've mentioned how circumstances outlined on threads would constitute a crime given the guilty knowledge disclosed in posts I've been almost derided. Many people with no experience of the inside of a police station are pretty keen to blab to get out. Somebody who knows the ropes will listen to the case against them and tailor the explanation to fit.


Sorry, thirdcrank, what exactly do you mean by this? You have thoroughly confused me. I am interested in your stories :)

johnsouthwales
Posts: 51
Joined: 28 Oct 2012, 2:06pm

Re: Stolen bikes on Gumtree!

Postby johnsouthwales » 11 Nov 2012, 3:25pm

tiredcrank - are you saying during the 1960s the chap who had the bike was locked in a phone box, and he admitted taking it. and when it came to court he was aquitted? i don't get that. he may have denied admitting it to you but overall the theft of the bike existed.

from what would have happened, he would have been charged when the police arrived (if he denied stealing the bike to the police). did he admit to the police he took it? when you had all the details on the bike, surely that would been backup and enough to charge?

i don't like giving out my frame number to anyone, not even the guy in a second hand shop who i asked to keep an eye out for a particular stolen bike. i'm prepared to give half of it and if it shows up, i'll give the other half later.
Once a personal frame id is disclosed, who knows what becomes of it. and if i give it to police, they would only go and ask someone in a second hand shop to keep an eye out for a bike with a particular frame number.

what would be the chances of having a bike recovered and stolen again and the thief has got the frame number? billion to one. or some thief looking up a stolenbike site, reading the frame number online, and daft as it sounds, comes across the stolen bike many months later and steals it off the thief or the buyer..

That's where smartwater comes in - that is the back up to eliminate anything untoward

johnsouthwales
Posts: 51
Joined: 28 Oct 2012, 2:06pm

Re: Stolen bikes on Gumtree!

Postby johnsouthwales » 11 Nov 2012, 3:45pm

if an £800 bike is going for £150 on gumtree, obviously it's knocked off. there are some genuine sellers on there but it gets spoiled by the bike thieves.

It's just the same with any for sale outlets - most people list the manufacture and model of a bike. but when it comes down to vagueness, mtb for sale, bike for sale. whether it is online or a newspaper. or even a shop window advert. sometimes on gumtree the heading would be mountain bike but when clicking on it, it gives the make in there as it would be in a sellers interests to give a description. It makes tracing a stolen bike harder.

I thought non descriptive adverts were dealt with years ago..probably not

sometimes, the buyer contacts the seller and if it gets sold, the buyer says sorry that the marin has been sold but i do have a specialized for sale if you are interested, especially if that person didn't advertise the second bike in the first place.

if anyone is using the same number under different aliases, gumtree should be banning them