It's hot. It's sunny. It's .... bike theft season :(
But it's also bike recovery season, and here are all our May 2017 recovery stories!
In this edition:
Before we begin - Did you know Bike Index is a 501(c)(3) non profit? Did you know we could really use your help?
It's true, and we would love it if you could donate to the Bike Index! Please help us keep these awesome bike recoveries coming by donating here -- we would appreciate it hugely if you did.
All these servers don't pay for themselves, folks - and $5 goes a hell of a long way here at the Bike Index. So please - kick some support our way if you can.
And away we go ...
" Hey Good News, I got this bike from a friend who had bought it on Craigslist! I ran the serial and discovered it was stolen. I just turned it into the Police at the North Precinct, its under your case number... "
"Clackamas County Sheriffs office found this at a pawn shop in Clackamas county. Thanks guys!! I love when a stolen bike gets reunited with its owner!" (Ed: so do we! This is the first of many, many Clackamas County Sheriffs Office recoveries in this edition. So we're going to count them ... )
Another Clackamas County Sherrff's office find: 'I have your now recovered Trek 1000 in the backseat of my patrol car and would like to return it to you.' (Ed: That's two ...)
This is possibly the most Portland recovery ever: We had a hand in recovering the stolen Waterford that Margi Bradway - Portland Bureau Of Transportation's Active Transportation and Safety Division Manager - has owned for over 18 years. Not only that, but the spotter and all around awesome guy who got it back is a volunteer with The Street Trust (formerly BTA) as well. Here's the scoop: "Good day, and good news... Looks like Bike Index has come through for you. A colleague owns a 90's Waterford, so seeing yours being casually ridden in Old Town yesterday was out of the ordinary. I was on my way to the Street Trust (BTA); I'm a member and volunteer. Long story short, the 'story' of the person who had your bike changed considerably from where it began when I first approached and 'asked nicely' about the Waterford..."
Another Clackamas County Sherrif's office score! Yes, they're that good at this ... (Ed: that's three bikes now ...)
"Spotted by a friendly messenger who saw my posting here on Bike Index" ... (Yes, it's the same messenger you may have heard of before ... he's still at it.)
"Whoever took my bike found out who the owner was here and decided to give it back. Which is really awesome and I'm super stoked about getting it back. Thanks for all your help guys! "
"Second Life Bikes in Asbury Park notified us that the thief had come in and they recognized they bike. They called the authorities. We had notified them to keep an eye out. Eternally grateful!!!!"
"Portland Police Bureau found it and dropped it off! " (Ed: Funny story - this bike's owner knows a good friend of mine from my 'day job' world - and also they tangentially work with Bike Index co-founder Seth Herr. Small world, I tell 'ya.)
"Police appreciated the mis-match of guy trying to ride a bike with di2 system that he couldn't shift due to ripping off all the electronics, including the electronic hub that is needed to shift....." (Sadly this owner is still looking for another one of his stolen bikes - a 2014 SAGE stolen out of back of locked van along with this Moots...)
"A kind soul found it on Craigslist and went out of his way to return it to me when he saw my stolen bike report. I'm so appreciative!"
"A kind-hearted Ebay user found the bike for sale online, did their homework and suspected it was a match with my listing on Bike Index, though couldn't confirm the serial number. They alerted me and provided the listing # so I could follow up with the seller. The bike was being sold with a $200 shipping fee out of Baltimore, MD. I messaged the seller and arranged a meeting to see the bike, and brought proof of ownership (receipt from original purchase) and the Bike Index stolen bike listing. The serial number was a match! They told me they had purchased the bike on Craigslist 2 years prior (shortly after it was stolen), for $200, and they were sad but understanding that their purchase of the stolen bike was not a legal transfer of ownership ... they gave it back to me and we exchanged info, in the event they're able to track down the person who sold it to them, who we suspect is or is connected to the thief. Aside from a few scratches and a tear in the seat, the bike is still in great condition. After 2 years apart, it feels so good to be reunited!!!"
"Someone thought the bike looked out of place given the surroundings ... and checked Bike Index."
"The bike was found on Craigslist. A friend on Facebook noticed the CL ad and mentioned it to me. I had filed a police report immediately. I contacted the police again. Local police contacted the seller. Police recovered bike and brought it back home. One bike to go. Lock your doors! Report suspicious activity in your neighborhood!"
"A stranger named (redacted) saw my bike on the street and thought it looked stolen. She haggled with the guy who had it and bought it from him for not much money. She looked up the bike on Bike Index and found me!!! I'm thrilled. It's been chopped apart a bit but nothing I can't fix."
Another bike recovered by Portland Police! Speaking of which -- the PPB registered over 450 bikes during the weekend of Portland's first Sunday Parkways! That's pretty amazing, and we're looking forward to the next Sunday Parkways here at Bike Index.
Here's one that got away - Thieves broke into this locked bike room in a Portland apartment and the whole thing was caught on camera. This bike is still missing, but cops nabbed one of the thieves: "The two of the three individuals, the two that had visible faces from the camera footage are well known to the police. An officer I gave the still-shots to, passed them around and another officer was well acquainted with them (knew them both by name). I was told by the detective these guys live in an RV together that frequently sits around (redacted) Park about five or six blocks from the apartment building they stole the bikes from. The one that was arrested admitted to being the guy on the camera footage, admitted to taking property, but will not give up the third individual's name. To my knowledge the guy is sitting in jail awaiting trial today... I would appreciate people keeping an eye out for it (the bike), I have been checking every day since they took it..."
"Found it for sale on LetGo - purchased my bike from them, and now they are charged with a felony charge of trafficking stolen property. And the original theft charge."
"The Police found someone with it in the U-District, brought it back to my door! Huge shout out to UWPD!" (Ed note: UWPD is a Bike Index partner and user, and we run their campus bike registration system.)
"Bike was flagged at a pawn shop..." (Ed: We continue to appreciate how many pawn shops are now using the Bike Index to check on bikes that come through the door.)
"A security guy in China Town recovered it from a homeless man who knew it was stolen. Luckily the only thing that was changed were the pedals. Thanks a bunch! I thought I would never see my bike again!"
"Hello ... I am a bicycle shop owner in West New York, NJ. So a man ... offered this Orbea Bicycle. We buy second hand bicycles as well as selling new ones. So I was looking for a price range of this bicycle and realized this picture of your bike. I compared it and realized this bicycle must be YOURS. So I am contacting you to come to our shop because I compared it and saw that it looked way too similar to it. It doesn't have the basket or the baby rack but its still looks just fine!"
"This bike came into Rick Cycle Shop on 5/18/17 - we have the gentleman's info. Please come into the shop. He is interested in returning the bike to you. He says he purchased it from someone else ... "
"Recovered by the Eugene Police Department in a record 5 hours!"
Ed note: this is another one that got away but, man, it's an interesting story: "Didn't stop looking for it, checked several sites like Craigslist and ebay... I finally traced it back to Mexico City where it was being sold thru and e-marketplace like ebay called "MercadoLibre". In my case distance traveled was ˜1800 km (1125 mi), my bike was stolen in a border town with El Paso TX; Juarez, you might have heard of it before. They didn’t remove anything, the Look pedals, Zipp seat post, Zipp bar, cadence sensor, Garmin tail light, mount, I mean, everything. And while its possible for anyone to buy the same bike, it is highly unlikely that someone would choose the very same things I did. If they would’ve installed other brands or unbranded parts and removed the stuff that usually doesn’t come with a bike, like the pedals, or lights … but that is how they took it from a house they broke into."
Yet another Clackamas County Sheriff's recovery: "I have recovered your bike frame. Unfortunately it is only the frame with a bent rear derailleur hanger and possibly the front forks. The forks with it say “KONA” on them. It was found in a house that had been foreclosed on in the Milwaukie area. Sorry about the bad news." (Ed: that's four ...)
Fast and easy recoveries are the best: "A neighbor found (this stolen) bike in a local park!"
This stolen Jamis was recovered by - you guessed it - the Clackamas County Sheriffs Dept. And yes, that makes five recoveries so far.
"Hello I have recovered your bike - I live nearby (redacted) The bike is in good shape ... "
"Hello I have your bike, please call" (no other details provided)
"Somebody tried to sell my bike in pawn/loan store, before buying it a man from the store checked Bike Index and found it stolen. Thief instantly disappeared and he left the bike. Thank you, Bike Index! "
"A wonderful couple happened to notice my post on Craigslist (and then on Bike Index as well) and managed to buy it back! "
"Portland police found it during a cleanup of a camp and looked up the serial number using Bike Index! I was so happy I cried when they called to tell me it had been found. "
"Someone bought my bike at the Fairville fleamarket in Oakland for $200 from a guy and later discovered that that price did not represent the value of the bike. So he put it on this website (Bike Index) and I contacted him!"
"Had serial #, posted as stolen on Bike Index ... setup Craigslist keyword alert, filed police report. A week later after two attempts we arranged with undercover police and bike was returned after serial # confirmed. Fice bikes recovered and seller in Rainer valley is in jail." (Ed: The owners here turned their very, very long story into a post called: "Ashley Got Her Bike Back" and you should read it - it's a good read!
"Your bike was recovered by the King County Sheriffs Office today..." (Ed: y'all should follow the Bees on twitter at @kcsobees if you aren't doing so already)
Before we go, let me reiterate how much it would help if you could help us spread the word about Bike Index.
Are your local police looking for a way to register and protect bikes? Drop us a line!
Does your local bike shop not know about Bike Index yet? Please tell them!
Are you having a public event where you'd like to register bikes? Drop us a line!
Thanks for reading - and we'll see you on the road.