PDA

View Full Version : Stolen bike advise please!!! TIA



Mrs Lady C
13th October 2009, 19:00
My ds had a bmx which was a unusual colour for 5 years he gave it to a friend 2 years ago where it got stolen from within a few months of his friend owning it.
3 weeks ago I was in a shop in our small town and my ds came rushing in to tell me that he had just seen the bike he had given to his friend being driven down the high street by a child with a woman on the back, I could not immediately leave the shop as I was in the process of being served so I told my ds to have a look to see where she was going to, anyway he ran after her and told her that she had his bike to which she replied she had brought it from a boot sale over a 100 miles away. My ds came back and told me what she had said so I said I would speak to her about it, we got in the car and drove in the direction she went but we were unable to find her so I went home instead. My ds went back out and about 20 minutes later rang to say he had found the woman sat on a bench down the rd so I jumped in my car and drove to the place where she was sitting, she was unaware that my son had found her again so was a bit surprised when I pulled up and jumped out of my car and then my ds came over to us. I told her I was going to call the police as she had my ds bike she said she had brought it from a boot sale and then she went to go on the bike so my ds took the bike from her to stop her from riding off on it, she then said something about having to walk home, to which I said tough that what happens when you purchase stolen property, about a week later I get a visit from our local community police officer to ask about the bike, I explained what had happened and was told she would be back in touch with me after speaking to her sergeant then last night I get a phone call asking me if I had found the receipt for the bike I said no as you never asked me too and I wasn't the person who originally brought the bike for my ds his dad brought it, so she said she was coming to take the bike then. My Dh arrived home so I told him what was happening he was annoyed about it so when the police arrived to collect the bike he said he was not letting them take it to which they replied they would arrest him if he stopped them, so now the police have the bike until we produce a receipt from 7 years ago, which his dad says he no longer has but he brought the bike from halfords. The problem is my ds friend never reported the bike stolen when it got stolen so technical we have no proof of the bike being stolen iykwim, my ds doesn't actually want the bike he just doesn't somebody having it who may have brought it knowing it was stolen, it is merely the principle of the situation so what do I do now. :help:

taran_j
13th October 2009, 19:11
If this lady bought this item at a boot sale, i dare say she did so in good faith, and therfore would not have bought it knowing that it was stolen. Unfortunately, if you are unable to provide evidence to show that it was origionally your DS bike, then legally you are pretty much stumped. Sorry this isn;t much help.

Grace & Favour
13th October 2009, 19:13
If the original purchaser bought it on a credit card (& still has his statements) - that may suffice

Mrs Lady C
13th October 2009, 19:21
If this lady bought this item at a boot sale, i dare say she did so in good faith, and therfore would not have bought it knowing that it was stolen. Unfortunately, if you are unable to provide evidence to show that it was origionally your DS bike, then legally you are pretty much stumped. Sorry this isn;t much help.

I don't believe she did buy it at a bootsale as when she said about walking home it happened to be within half a mile of where my ds friend lives and where the bike was stolen from, we live about 3 miles from my ds friend but yes I can see what your saying about lack of prove, all my neighbours would recognize the bike as being my ds would that be of any use?

jamsandwhich
13th October 2009, 19:27
Are you certain it was stolen and your ds friend wasn't the seller? Did this lady contact the police or was it a follow up visit from them from your call to them?

Mrs Lady C
13th October 2009, 19:38
Are you certain it was stolen and your ds friend wasn't the seller? Did this lady contact the police or was it a follow up visit from them from your call to them?

Yes I am certain it was stolen, the town is covered by ctv I am not sure if that was the reason for the first visit or if she contacted the police, I didn't bother to contact them as I was satisfied with having the bike back iykwim.

obscure
13th October 2009, 19:46
I would guess that she contacted the police.

As you describe it you have no proof that she has done anything wrong and you and your son have now taken the property from her in the street. That could be seen as theft, IYKWIM.

You may be totally right in your suspicions however, if the theft was not reported and you can not provide the orginal receipt I would be very surprised if the police didnt return the bike to her.

jamsandwhich
13th October 2009, 21:09
I was halfway through replying but had to answer the door! Basically I was going to say the same as obscure - you may just have to go with the flow and accept the decision the police come to.

Mamzie
13th October 2009, 21:32
Sorry Coupon Lady, we have learnt our lesson after the childrens bikes getting stolen last week.

We will be marking everything that we own, just so that it can be proven it was ours. One of the comments the police made, was that even with our receipt, it may be difficult to prove the bike was ours as it was unmarked. Luckily Catrinas bike, was a special order competition prize, so was quite unique and I could prove that. But a BMX in a unusual colour, may have still sold lots.

Please don't take this the wrong way. But you really have no way of knowing that the lady didn't buy it in good faith for certain. If I had been her, I would very likely have called police on you and your ds. If you can see it from the polices viewpoint, the fact it wasn't reported, and then that you didn't contact them, has actually left you in a wobbly position. It must have been her that contacted them, as CCTV footage only tends to get scrutinised after a complaint.

Now if you put yourself in her place, and just think that she was a good faith buyer. imagine how she feels atm... very likely that she has also been the victim of a theft.

zoot
13th October 2009, 21:34
I would say that if your son gave the bike to his friend before it was stolen then technically it is nothing to do with your son anymore and is no longer his bike to reclaim from this lady.

black cat
13th October 2009, 21:37
Sorry if this has been answered but I am suffering from jet lag and exhaustion having got back from Tokyo this morning - 4am at Paris and 9am into Edinburgh (want to stay away for another hour to try and get back into uk time)

Anyhow, are you 100% sure this is your DS bike and not another one of the same model, you said it came from Halfords which means that I guess it will have been relatively common. If you have no proof that the bike is yours then you might just have to accept what the police are saying.

As a side note, I did not know till a couple of years ago that bikes have serial numbers on them (well the two adult ones I have had have had them). It might be an idea for people to make a note of these "just in case"

pookienoodle
13th October 2009, 21:39
I have to agree,
the bike was not yours when it was stolen,you have no proof it is the same bike or even that you once owned the bike.
How old are the kids involved?
If the mum did buy it in good faith you have just taken her sons bike.

Mrs Lady C
13th October 2009, 21:45
I would say that if your son gave the bike to his friend before it was stolen then technically it is nothing to do with your son anymore and is no longer his bike to reclaim from this lady.

My ds intended on returning it to the friend he had originally given it too.

Mrs Lady C
13th October 2009, 21:47
I have to agree,
the bike was not yours when it was stolen,you have no proof it is the same bike or even that you once owned the bike.
How old are the kids involved?
If the mum did buy it in good faith you have just taken her sons bike.

My ds and his friend are 17 my ds knows it was his bike originally, by certain marks etc that were on the frame of the bike.

Mrs Lady C
13th October 2009, 21:49
Sorry if this has been answered but I am suffering from jet lag and exhaustion having got back from Tokyo this morning - 4am at Paris and 9am into Edinburgh (want to stay away for another hour to try and get back into uk time)

Anyhow, are you 100% sure this is your DS bike and not another one of the same model, you said it came from Halfords which means that I guess it will have been relatively common. If you have no proof that the bike is yours then you might just have to accept what the police are saying.

As a side note, I did not know till a couple of years ago that bikes have serial numbers on them (well the two adult ones I have had have had them). It might be an idea for people to make a note of these "just in case"

And if you do have a bike stolen report it as stolen. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

pookienoodle
13th October 2009, 22:24
My ds and his friend are 17 my ds knows it was his bike originally, by certain marks etc that were on the frame of the bike.

sorry I didn't mean to say the bike wasn't the same one,just that you will have a problem proving it.
It must be very frustrating for you as it is highly unlikely that it was obtained by honest means.

Gizmos
13th October 2009, 22:29
sory found it hard to read the OP without breaks in it. but i think it was wrong to take the bike

Mamzie
13th October 2009, 22:30
sorry I didn't mean to say the bike wasn't the same one,just that you will have a problem proving it.
It must be very frustrating for you as it is highly unlikely that it was obtained by honest means.

Sorry, I have to say I am inclined to think differently.

It appears that the mother who was riding/with the bike with her son is the only one that contacted the police. I wouldn't imagine that someone who had stolen it originally would think of doing that, iyswim.

pookienoodle
13th October 2009, 22:39
Sorry, I have to say I am inclined to think differently.

It appears that the mother who was riding/with the bike with her son is the only one that contacted the police. I wouldn't imagine that someone who had stolen it originally would think of doing that, iyswim.

maybe they went to the police because they thought the op would also.
they have possibly had the bike for 2 years and would know that it had no security markings on it and it may even have ha the serial number removed.
they also know the chance of the police charging someone over the theft of a bike are slim to none.
thieves are very canny these days.

Mamzie
13th October 2009, 22:48
Thieves may be canny but British justice is Innocent until Proven guilty.

I can understand that an unknowing buyer of an item stolen which has proven ownership may lose out. But I can't agree with just assuming this lady is guilty. Often local police, tend to know who the dodgey characters are, even if they don't get charged very often. And it appears from the op that the police are following this through and intend resolving in that ladies favour.

Mrs Lady C
13th October 2009, 22:54
sory found it hard to read the OP without breaks in it. but i think it was wrong to take the bike

In my view that is why there are so many thieves about because people do nothing when they are victims of theft, which is the main reason my ds friend failed to report it to the police.

Gizmos
13th October 2009, 22:55
In my view that is why there are so many thieves about because people do nothing when they are victims of theft, which is the main reason my ds friend failed to report it to the police.

I certainly wouldnt have taken it - am sure that it cld have been resolved a lot more amicably

Mrs Lady C
13th October 2009, 23:01
Sorry, I have to say I am inclined to think differently.

It appears that the mother who was riding/with the bike with her son is the only one that contacted the police. I wouldn't imagine that someone who had stolen it originally would think of doing that, iyswim.

Mamzie, I live in a smallish town there is every chance she would have been identified by ctv if I had bothered to report what happened to the police, I don't believe that this woman who lives a couple of miles from me went to a boot sale over a 100 miles away and purchased a stolen bike then brought it back to a area where it originally came from iyswim. I believe unless 1 of us can prove ownership then the bike will be put in the police auctions after 6 months.

Mamzie
13th October 2009, 23:03
In my view that is why there are so many thieves about because people do nothing when they are victims of theft, which is the main reason my ds friend failed to report it to the police.

That exactly why within 10 minutes of discovering Catrinas bike had been stolen I was on the phone to police reporting it.

I posted it on FB, emailed and messaged all my local contacts, and printed out pictures to give out while dh was walking looking for it. Then we even took these into school, etc the next day. Luckily from 8m, we had people and children knocking to tell us who had taken it, and by 9.45am it was abandoned...

I am not saying I would not have approached the lady with the bike, but I would have called the Police to help then, or followed her home to pass her address on to them.

Mrs Lady C
13th October 2009, 23:05
I certainly wouldnt have taken it - am sure that it cld have been resolved a lot more amicably

That is what I intended to do until she decided to leave with the bike and then my ds took the bike off her and told her she wasn't taking the bike anywhere.

Mamzie
13th October 2009, 23:05
Mamzie, I live in a smallish town there is every chance she would have been identified by ctv if I had bothered to report what happened to the police, I don't believe that this woman who lives a couple of miles from me went to a boot sale over a 100 miles away and purchased a stolen bike then brought it back to a area where it originally came from iyswim. I believe unless 1 of us can prove ownership then the bike will be put in the police auctions after 6 months.

Whoops, cross posting...

I am sorry, but I would check this with the police. I believe the fact that CCTV identifies you as removing it from her, may actually act as her proof of prior ownership. With no earlier proof of loss or ownership of it, then I think the police are pursuing this on her behalf.

when did she say she bought it, as if she is so close, its unlikely your family would have missed them using it over the last 2 years.

Mrs Lady C
13th October 2009, 23:11
Whoops, cross posting...

I am sorry, but I would check this with the police. I believe the fact that CCTV identifies you as removing it from her, may actually act as her proof of prior ownership. With no earlier proof of loss or ownership of it, then I think the police are pursuing this on her behalf.

when did she say she bought it, as if she is so close, its unlikely your family would have missed them using it over the last 2 years.

She says she brought it over a year ago, she has to produce a receipt with a name and address to prove ownership.

DaisyChain
13th October 2009, 23:11
It was a bike that went missing 2 yrs ago and was not reported as stolen

You have no proof either that its the same one or that it was actually stolen or that the lady with it now had anything to do with it. Even if is all true it wasn't stolen from you

Your intuition may be spot on but unfortunately I think you're on dodgy ground - to an outsider it looks like you stole her bike !

The police seem to be taking it reasonably , you might just have to live with their decision.

Mrs Lady C
13th October 2009, 23:13
It was a bike that went missing 2 yrs ago and was not reported as stolen

You have no proof either that its the same one or that it was actually stolen or that the lady with it now had anything to do with it. Even if is all true it wasn't stolen from you

Your intuition may be spot on but unfortunately I think you're on dodgy ground - to an outsider it looks like you stole her bike !

The police seem to be taking it reasonably , you might just have to live with their decision.

Would it be worth contacting a solicitor for advise over this?

Mamzie
13th October 2009, 23:18
Do you know, the sadest thing about losing Catrinas bike and this thread is the horrible wake up call I am getting...

I virtually never keep receipts, and with nothing marked, you have no way of proving things which you own are actually yours....

DaisyChain
13th October 2009, 23:20
Would it be worth contacting a solicitor for advise over this?

I wouldn't, but thats only my opinion and I wouldn't have taken it in the first place

obscure
13th October 2009, 23:21
I have no legal experience but common sense says you have no chance with this even with a solicitor.

Your DS had given the bike to his friend so when you "reclaimed" it from the woman in the street he had no claim on it and the woman was effectively mugged IMHO.

I would say that she has a stronger complaint against you & your DS than you have with regard to any alleged theft 2 yrs ago of a bike that no longer belonged to your DS. I think if you push it you could end up in a bad situation.

Sorry.

frexy
13th October 2009, 23:21
Would it be worth contacting a solicitor for advise over this?

At what cost?

Mrs Lady C
13th October 2009, 23:25
Do you know, the sadest thing about losing Catrinas bike and this thread is the horrible wake up call I am getting...

I virtually never keep receipts, and with nothing marked, you have no way of proving things which you own are actually yours....

I don't know if I would have bothered reporting the bike being stolen if my son had still owned it, but I know now why it is important to report it. :(:(:(

Mrs Lady C
13th October 2009, 23:36
I have no legal experience but common sense says you have no chance with this even with a solicitor.

Your DS had given the bike to his friend so when you "reclaimed" it from the woman in the street he had no claim on it and the woman was effectively mugged IMHO.

I would say that she has a stronger complaint against you & your DS than you have with regard to any alleged theft 2 yrs ago of a bike that no longer belonged to your DS. I think if you push it you could end up in a bad situation.

Sorry.

I don't see reclaiming a bike that that you gave to a friend, which was then stolen as mugging somebody who was in procession of the stolen bike, yes we could have let her ride off on the bike never to have seen it again but why should you take that approach when somebody has property which is stolen, and then they come up with a feeble excuse of purchasing from a boot sale over a 100 miles away.

obscure
13th October 2009, 23:44
I don't see reclaiming a bike that that you gave to a friend, which was then stolen as mugging somebody who was in procession of the stolen bike, yes we could have let her ride off on the bike never to have seen it again but why should you take that approach when somebody has property which is stolen, and then they come up with a feeble excuse of purchasing from a boot sale over a 100 miles away.


Because you have no proof, it is your word against hers, and because that is what the police are for.

The other way to have dealt with it would have been to either call them from the street or to find out her address and then report it.

She may have bought it from someone else and not known it was stolen, it has been 2 years.

You chose to take the law into your own hands by taking it off her, I see that as wrong. You asked for opinions that's mine, clearly not something we will agree on.

Mrs Lady C
13th October 2009, 23:53
Because you have no proof, it is your word against hers, and because that is what the police are for.

The other way to have dealt with it would have been to either call them from the street or to find out her address and then report it.

She may have bought it from someone else and not known it was stolen, it has been 2 years.

You chose to take the law into your own hands by taking it off her, I see that as wrong. You asked for opinions that's mine, clearly not something we will agree on.

I had my mobile phone in my hand to call the police, when I mentioned calling the police she decided she was leaving that was why in the heat of the moment my ds took the bike from her, if I would have stopped her from leaving or followed her it could have been seen as kidnap or harassment, so it seems no matter what you do if faced with this situation you are stuffed.

DaisyChain
14th October 2009, 07:46
Couponlady, you really need to take a step back and let the police handle it now

I think what you did was wrong too. You may be right about the bike but you also may not. Its 7y old and could have been through any number of hands in the 2y its been missing.

If she was innocent and being 'harrassed' by an angry woman and a 17y old male, I'm not surprised she wanted to get away.

Yes you might well be stuffed simply as it was never reported as stolen and you have no proof of ownership

pookienoodle
14th October 2009, 10:47
I would be concerned that your 17yr old took the bike from the woman even if he did it for the right reasons.
If he did not know the family and know what they are like the situation coul have turned nasty.
people have been seriously assaulted for much less.
As frustating as it is for you its time to let the police handle it.

tiger
14th October 2009, 11:40
Some good advice on here couponlady. Even though you are certain it's the same bike, without any proof you need to let it go.

VeryTrying
14th October 2009, 12:40
Couponlady, I'm afraid you've got to remember that just because you are right, doesn't mean you can win with the law. Unless you have cast-iron evidence to prove your case, I'd give up now and not distress yourself any further.

It's not enough just to be honest, or just to be speaking the truth, that matters little if the other side brings on witnesses to say you did something nasty. Or it matters little with the police since you've just admitted to them that you took the bike from the other lady (or your son did). They don't care that you said the bike was originally stolen. Because it wasn't reported, solving the case won't give them a better clear-up rate. But because the other lady had reported it stolen, visiting your son had solved the case for them :(

I know you will be explaining to your son that it doesn't matter what he does, as long as he's honest, tells the truth, and does what's right. And you are quite right to do so - it's just that perhaps you should also explain that sometimes having morals doesn't actually get you anywhere. You just get comfortable with yourself :D

Freebird
14th October 2009, 12:52
I'm afraid that I also agree with others here. I'm not doubting what you're saying, but I think you handled it incorrectly as you have no actual proof - only your belief. Whilst this may be correct, it's not enough in the eyes of the law. It's up the the previous owners to deal with it and not you, even though you did it with the best intentions. Look at it from the other woman's point of view....what if she is totally innocent and DID buy it from a carboot sale from the thief? Would she not be rather scared after what happened? Also, if she was the thief, would she really have gone and reported your actions to the police? What if there actually ARE two bikes like that and it isn't even the one you think it is?

You do need to let the police handle this now and accept their decision. Hope it all works out for the best.