prevent a bikethief selling on

Report your stolen MTB bike/bits here

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prevent a bikethief selling on

Postby johnsouthwales » Mon Nov 05, 2012 02:49 am

any suggestions? my personal favourite is a passport for bikes, even if it costs an extra tenner or less on the price of a new bike. all it needs is a plastic card with a hologram and the frame number stamped on and put it in the box.
and when the buyer sells it on, you give the card to the next owner. making it impossible for a bike thief to sell it on without it.

if not a card, have the frame number printed on the receipt. after all. you can go and buy a mobile from carphone warehouse and all the details are on the receipt, even the imei number. so if i sell my phone, i can pass it on as proof

if i buy a bike from a shop new, all i will get is a receipt for the total, it may say the make of the bike, but it won't have the frame number on it. Legally, a receipt is proof of purchase which means proof of ownership. Most likely the ink on the receipt will fade way in a couple of years so you're stuffed if using that to sell on.

it would be awkward if a manufacturer accidentally puts the wrong card, but a buyer will realise this and request a new card from the manufacturer, and likewise if the other person who has the other wrong card too.

i know it's still going to happen when someone takes one for spares, so a card cannot prevent a sell on but at least eliminate it. whether other countries will adopt this practice is not really relevant as long as the manufacturer issues the identity, that's fine.

but a drawback could be, if someone did steal a bike to ride around on, what can the police do? nothing different than now. how can they tell if a bike stolen in peterborough is being riden around in coventry without doing a spot check? i wouldn't be able to tell between two specialized hardrocks next to each other if they are the same colour and same size.

carrying around the bike passport could run the risk of not only stealing the bike but the card as well if the owner is on the bike. bikejacking.

the only option left is spotcheck, take your id card to the police station within 5 days. then again, someone with a stolen bike could go to the next town 20 miles away and go home before the 5th day if giving a false address.
but how could they trace a person if they don't show up at a station? they can hardly trace a frame number to an address as it's not linked. and i'd doubt if an officer will ask the rider to tip the bike upside down to read it.
they be sued for damage if it scratched the handlebar and seat. the old frame numbers were on by the wheel nut, and often an older bike would have the number filled in with weld and smoothed with a grinder, re-grooved and repainted. but there is a right old fiddle to cut in a new fake number, and often end up spending more time and money than it's worth the bother.

why didn't they do this decades ago i never know. or is it too complicated? would the police start complaining that they are spending more resources processing bike checks?

what you think? the only reasons why a bike gets stolen is for them to ride around on it, sell, part ex, spares or spite.

if anyone's got suggestions, let us know.

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Re: prevent a bikethief selling on

Postby johnsouthwales » Mon Nov 05, 2012 03:01 am

locked bikes get stolen.. buy a better lock..a better lock get cut...where does it end?

if a bike is locked witha 16mm lock, all they do is lift it up the front wheel and push it. if the front and back are locked, they carry it. many towns don't have bike parking frames, especially little quiet villages.

go and do an errand, go to the shop for a pint of milk, armed with two 16mm locks plus a D-lock for good measure.
and a rottweiler to keep guard. not forgetting someone could just as easily take a bike while you are talking on the phone in a park, or simply tying your lace :(

anyone seen the mock bike theft video htv west?

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Re: prevent a bikethief selling on

Postby PHILATHAM » Mon Nov 05, 2012 07:52 am

good points about getting something to pass on re the frame number etc. as regard the officer spot checking a bike, in Cheshire at present you can be stopped and if the bike cant be traced immediatley and the officer believes it could be stolen they will give you a letter stating that the bike is being seized in order to do more checks. If you come back to the station and it all checks out you get your bike back. However, they find that most bikes seized are then left without being claimed by the person who had them seized, so almost certainly not their bike ! Very good way of detecting bike crime as they can then follow up with the person who had the bike seized and also have more chance of reuniting the real owner with their property.

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Re: prevent a bikethief selling on

Postby johnsouthwales » Mon Nov 05, 2012 13:18 pm

as long as it's not an illegal seizure. that is a good point, i'll consider that. the only two things i can see with that is one that the police don't really have that much storage space, and the second one is if the police damage a genuine owners bike. how careful are they likely to be or would it be a case of slinging it in a corner?
sometimes a person who is stop checked can phone home and tell the person to go into their desk and look for the frame number.. but if a thief has jotted down the frame number and the other person on the phone says to the officer the number, they are then fooling the police.

if i'm in shrewsbury for the day on the train and got spot checked and they seized it, i have to come home, then travel back up.
the only thing that would prevent this kind of thing is to register the bike ad the person spotchecked can provide some form of id such as a bank card. or better still, a security question in the website that only the owner will know so the police can verify that way.

as for the rest of what you were saying phil, if there are a stack of unclaimed bikes confiscated, that would suggest some maybe stolen or they can't find the receipt. or like i was saying earlier, the ink fades away on a receipt afer a couple of years. or they bought a bike off ebay. and ebay delete transaction history after a few months if a bike was bought two or three years ago. but paypal send an email for the transaction and if the buyer keeps that, that could illustrate the link to the bike. or maybe it was a present or won it in a competition.
or they swapped a tv for a bike? boot sale.
or one of the things that does happen is that the owner didn't write down the frame number.

the list is endless, and i wouldn't like to see a genuine bike owner losing their bike because of some glitch.

or maybe they can't find the proper owner because the proper owner didn't write down the frame number and the bike got passed between pillar and post for a few years. or the real owner didn't bother reporting the theft because they knew the police wouldn't do anything.

if it becomes a public perception that they won't do anything, i wonder what gives them that impression in the first place :)

if the police can do a pnc check with the bikeregistration, there is no problem with that at all. the rider has got to give their name, address, dob before the officer does the check and if they don't match it up, bingo...

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Re: prevent a bikethief selling on

Postby johnsouthwales » Mon Nov 05, 2012 13:22 pm

it would be a nightmare if an already stolen bike ends up on the bike register, and that would be because the owner didn't log the number or didn't report it

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Re: prevent a bikethief selling on

Postby supersonic » Thu Nov 08, 2012 15:55 pm

Home made micro dots. Very small font for your postcode or details, print, laminate, cut up, then put them in the frame, forks, bars, stem, saddle, seat post etc.

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Re: prevent a bikethief selling on

Postby johnsouthwales » Sat Nov 10, 2012 13:15 pm

i agree with that micro dotting.

I know it sounds catankerous, most people buy a bike to keepfor years if not forever. A lot of others buy a bike and after a couple of years, they decide to upgrade and sell it on. Nothing wrong in that. What people do not like is having a bike plastered with the previous owners postcode on it. Personally i would walk away from a bike that's been security coded with some elses details on it as that could lead to some problems later if i was riding around or selling it on. Try explaining to someone why you have a newcastle postcode on it when i'm in south wales when a bike gets sold pillar to post.

What i am finding is that i am always coming back to square one with whatever system is used - the police.
Unless an officer has got a reason to suspect, as far as i am concerned of is that possibly an officer could well have a tete-le-tete with someone who is sitting on a bike chatting away and doesn't suspect a thing.
If a police officer is staking out a city centre bike rack, as far as i'm concerned of, somebody elses stolen bike is in that rack being ridden around by someone and he doesn't know.

With my own bike that got taken, even if mine has a secret hiding place for some form of id, the police have to find the bike first before they can do anything - or at least the person. If they cannot do either of them, then the chip or whatever is as useful as a ashtray on a motorbike.

The only time a chip or any form of id will work is when it is found.

I can see the chip being useful in identifying but that doesn't really prevent it from being sold on if the buyer hasn't a clue it is hidden somewhere. I know of a few places where i would conceal it, but would the police find it even if they found it? The guy in the second hand shop or carboot sale wouldn't have a clue if it's stolen or not if he can't find it. Then again, if i sold a bike on, i'd tell the buyer where i've put the micro stickers which is only fair.

It's just the same with sticker tags, they only work when a police officer recognises the bike is stolen.

Once they have got the elimination of selling a stolen bike sorted, even if it reaches 99%, that still means that someone somewhere will buy a stolen bike as they wouldn't give a dam anyway but that's their lookout.

Once they sort that out, then the next step can be taken if they are just riding around on it. Identification and the role police play. Unless every single bike in the uk is registred and stickered, then the police have a bit of a chance- but how? they could be scanning the same bike over and over, they won't remeber which bike has been checked.
They could go around all the bike racks and scan them all when nobody knows about it as they're doing their business.
But that doesn't mean that the same riders show up on other days, different people turn up at different times on different days.

As far as i'm concerened, a stolen bike is already registered with a tag. If someone had a bike stolen say in 2008 and didn't report it or didn't have the frame number, the thief still has the bike or sold it on, the new owner hasn't a clue and registers it online, even though the circumstances are exeptional

So if a stolen bike is registered and tagged, and a policeman scans the stolen bike, it will show up clear....madness

At the end of the day, if a bike is tagged, it's still possible that it won't get scanned. and the only way it will get scanned is by random spot-checks, found abandoned, found in a bike thieves den, or the police officer has been trained to suspect all tagged bikes are potentially stolen and end up in a situation where everybody will get stopped now and then, even if it means checking the same person over and over until the genuine public get tired.

The purpose of a tag is psychological - a form of deterrent for the thife.. but at the same time it arouses suspicion for the police. Do people really think that the police think just because it's tagged it means the bike is legit?
How many bikes with tags on them have been stolen? who has the scanning machine that reads the police.. ok, a buyer could look up their website to check the frame number, and it would be pretty daft for a bike thief to try and sell a tagged bike. But it doesn't eliminate it. Probably the second hand shop dealer wouldn't want to touch a bike that has loads of tag stickers on it and that's where the psychology comes in again.

The amount of people who are registered online seems to be on the low side, so it will only work if every single person registers. But people don't like stickers on their bikes, it spoils the appearance. Maybe it would look nicer if the sticker actually blended in with the paintwork, and one of the daftest palaces i seen stickers on is the handlebar.
Either the handlebar gets replaced or the sticker gets ripped off and any old sticker covers up where the old one used to be.

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Re: prevent a bikethief selling on

Postby BrindleScoops » Sat Nov 24, 2012 21:15 pm

It might be just me, but so long as your bike is properly insured, would you really want it back?? I treat mine like children and they are always mint. If some oik threw it in the back of a transit, damaged whilst breaking through locks in the process, got it all scratched and scuffed moving it on etc, i would be pretty peed off if i had to take it back instead of taking new insurance replacement.
My biggest fear is that should I crash, burn and die, my Wife would sell my stuff based upon what I told her I paid for it.

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Re: prevent a bikethief selling on

Postby johnsouthwales » Tue Nov 27, 2012 17:01 pm

that is the drawback on any circumstance whether it was insured or not. Not forgetting an isurance company will not pay out for a bike that is locked but not attached to a fixture. and then again, the minimum lock they insist on is bronze level safe secured.
how does a thief treat a bike? thrown about, marked, bumped, scuffed, rough ridden.
if mine was damaged in any way, i wouldn't want it back. and the longer this goes on, the likelyhood of damage occurs.

the only way i can get a replacement is if the police catch him, take him to court and ordered to pay for a replacement.

so far, i don't think the police have done jack. if it wasn't for the cctv, we'd be well stuffed. and so far they don't know who he is, and another version they told me is that he could be local but they don't know where he lives (if that makes any sense).

a little note was published in one newspaper last week, and hopefully tomorrow the photo of the thief will be published. why the police haven't published it in their website i never know.

overall, i would guess that the police have spent 1% manhour and effort time, and that's being generous

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Re: prevent a bikethief selling on

Postby johnsouthwales » Tue Nov 27, 2012 17:20 pm

time and time again i read stories of someone stealing a bike and taking it to a second hand shop for a few pounds.
i thought all this had been sorted out in the 90's.
it's no good the shop asking for id (which does help a little bit) but id does not prevent a stolen bike being sold.
bikes have been taken off thiefs by second hand stores after asking for id, and they only get found out when the bike owner comes across the shop by chance.

an insurance company will ask for a receipt when making a claim (and far too often the ink fades and rubs off) but a receipt is not quite proof of ownership because the frame number is not printed on the receipt.

if the bike make and model is actually on the receipt, that could help, but all that does is provide evidence that 'a' bike was purchased.
what if a bike thief had purchased a bike, and later steals the same model, and uses the original receipt to sell on the stolen one?

if you go into a second hand shop today and buy a bike, it is probable that they will give a receipt, and that's all it is...a receipt showing the sum. most second hand shops won't supply on receipt the make, model and who would think of writing down the frame number on a receipt? maybe some do if they are writing it out manually.

a thief could well use any old receipt and use that to deceive the buyer.

the system has been too complacent for years. a bike passport...the only way to deal with it

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