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  1. #1
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    Go copy your bike's serial number... RIGHT NOW

    REALLY!

    COME ON PEOPLE!

    Bikes are stolen seems like every single day. Here in Humboldt County, CA I see people posting stolen bikes every single week on Craigslist!

    I have to wonder what the hell some people think is going to happen posting their message about their stolen bike if they....

    DON'T have a serial number
    DON'T have a picture... a GOOD picture... not some crappy out-of-focus cellphone pic.
    DON'T have a complete description of the components
    DON'T have a description of discernible damage, custom changes, or other identifying marks.

    Bikes are stolen off front porches, from the side of your house, your backyard, YOUR LOCKED GARAGE!

    Seriously... get a clue and do something to help you (and help us if you even think about posting info on your stolen bike) recover the bike.

    As soon as you notice the bike is gone...
    1. Call the police
    2. Call every pawn shop in your area
    3. Call every bike shop in your area
    4. Start looking at Craigslist for your town/area, and the neighboring town/area CL pages.

    Posting something online to the effect... "Hey, someone stole my bike. It's a red stumpjumper. Please keep an eye out for it." is just too pathetic to believe.
    What do you really think is going to happen?
    How do you think anyone can help you?

    Flip your bike over RIGHT NOW!
    Copy the serial number stamped in the bottom bracket (or both numbers if you have two), or wherever the serial number is on your bike.
    Put it in your 'notes' on your cellphone so it's with you even if your bike is stolen while you are out with it.
    Write down a description, don't forget size, bike shop decals (although I've known a bike thief scratch that off before selling a brand new bike to a pawn shop)... anything you can to help identify the bike.

    When you call the police here's what's likely to happen... but may vary depending on where you live and how the LEO's handle things in your area...

    When an officer is available for a bike theft investigation, they'll come rolling up.
    They'll ask you questions about the bike.
    If you have the SN, color, and other readily identifiable/verifiable information, give that to them.
    They will then head off back to what they were doing before the call, head off to another call, or maybe go back to the station.
    Once at the station for the day, they will do reports. This is when your bike will likely, FINALLY, enter the system.

    The importance of your dealing with Law Enforcement is this.... if the bike goes to a pawn shop, they will (providing they're straight up honest) check the bike's serial number with the local authorities, verifying whether it's in the system as stolen or not.
    If the officer hasn't done your report, the bike isn't in the system, any pawnshop checking a potential buy of a bike will not learn it's stolen.
    They pay the crook, they get the bike, you call later on (hopefully) and find out that "yes" they do have a bike matching your description.
    Of course... they don't want to just hand the bike over to you and lose their money.
    Who winds up eating the loss of money in this situation is governed by local laws.

    Anyway.... get out to your bike now and take 5 or so minutes to gather enough info that if your bike is stolen, you can come here, Craigslist, the pawnshops, the local LEO, and provide some SOLID information to help out your quest to regain ownership of your precious bike!

    It's just so damn simple... hell... even a caveman can do it!
    There... I said it!

  2. #2
    AKA Frank N. Bike!!
    Reputation: Kona0197's Avatar
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    Great advice. Thank you.
    My Bike: '03 Specialized HardRock FrankenBike
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  3. #3
    Tactical Nightmare
    Reputation: Giant Chachi's Avatar
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    Get it insured! I wrote a thread all about it as I'm an insurance agent and I highly suggest it. Good points for sure OP.
    "The true object of all human life is play" - GK Chesterton
    *2014 Giant Trance 27.5 1
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197 View Post
    Great advice. Thank you.
    At least you had a decent picture of the bike... I gotta hand you that!

    I peruse the CL bicycle listings for my area and the surrounding areas 'just in case' I find a bike that all-of-a-sudden I REALLY REALLY NEED!

    I always check out the "bike stolen" posts also.
    I'd want the same from other bikers if mine were stolen.

  5. #5
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    A suggestion-to help in identifying your bike if it's ever stolen and possibly recovered by law enforcement, hide a copy of a photo ID inside the seatpost. Be sure to black out any personal info like SSN that you wouldn't want in the wrong hands, but being able to pull the seatpost and then produce evidence that it IS your bike, and not just one of thousands of red rockhoppers (or whatever make/model) will make recovering your property easier.

  6. #6
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    Try to be smarter than a bike thief. Shouldn't be too hard as they dumber than a box of rocks.

  7. #7
    Front Range, Colorado
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    I'm a firm believer of "out of sight out of mind".

    Definitely some good advice OP and the hidden i.d in seatpost.
    You covered pretty much all aspects of a quicker recovery if it is stolen. But let's not forget deterrents to avoid an easy theft. Like no matter where it is to lock it up. Most thefts happen at home. My bikes are always locked up with 2 locks at home. And another good idea for home storage is to keep it out of sight. I cover mine with a sheet, out of sight out of mind. There is no temptation if it is not seen.

    Also another big thing people don't think about is driving around with your bike
    A theif sees a nice bike strapped to a vehicle and follows you home. Now he knows where a nice bike resides. He then chooses his opportunity to come back and lift it. So watch behind you as you get close to home for someone following you. And also don't do maintenance in the front yard or with the garage door open as this another easy way for a crook to take note of a nice bikes location. When you do arrive home get the bike inside and out of sight as soon as possible. Yeah this sounds slightly paranoid but better safe than sorry. Just take common sense precautions and go that extra step to keep from becoming a statistic.
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 11-15-2012 at 10:04 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Chachi View Post
    Get it insured! I wrote a thread all about it as I'm an insurance agent and I highly suggest it. Good points for sure OP.
    How do I insure it if I do not qualify for homeowners or renters insurance? I have been trying to figure this out but have not come up with anything that works.

    Great advice in OP.

  9. #9
    Plays with tools
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    None of my bikes have serial numbers

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Chachi View Post
    Get it insured! I wrote a thread all about it as I'm an insurance agent and I highly suggest it. Good points for sure OP.
    See above and do now..

  11. #11
    Tactical Nightmare
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    Quote Originally Posted by likeaboss View Post
    How do I insure it if I do not qualify for homeowners or renters insurance? I have been trying to figure this out but have not come up with anything that works.

    Great advice in OP.
    Feel free to PM me if you want, but I am curious as to why you wouldn't qualify for some form of renters or homeowners insurance. For reference, here is the thread that I wrote about the subject. Please ignore the trash talk in the thread as there was a troll afoot. But again, feel free to PM me with questions, as I am happy to help.

    Insure your bike! It’s inexpensive and worth doing!
    "The true object of all human life is play" - GK Chesterton
    *2014 Giant Trance 27.5 1
    http://teamdirt.org/

  12. #12
    the half breed devil
    Reputation: shekky's Avatar
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    more advice...

    you can photograph the area where ever the manufacturer puts it...usually at the bottom of the bottom bracket shell. (see photo)

    OR take the receipt from the shop with the bike's serial number in it, put it in an old water bottle then put that in the fridge...reason being, that should your house burn down, things in refrigerators usually survive. that was the logic i was given...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Go copy your bike's serial number... RIGHT NOW-img_20120114_124746.jpg  


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    None of my bikes have serial numbers
    same here. all custom one-offs...

    i've got lots of pics though...


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    ...should your house burn down, things in refrigerators usually survive. that was the logic i was given...
    i've got a lot bigger issues to deal with than some bikes if my house burns down...


  15. #15
    Tactical Nightmare
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker. View Post
    i've got a lot bigger issues to deal with than some bikes if my house burns down...
    Your stash of porn? Drug paraphernalia? Your box of sex toys?

    Sorry, couldn't pass it up! I'm just f-ing with you bud! But you know, you might be able to insure that stuff too, but it may be an awkward moment between you and your insurance agent. Just saying…..

    "The true object of all human life is play" - GK Chesterton
    *2014 Giant Trance 27.5 1
    http://teamdirt.org/

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Chachi View Post
    Your stash of porn? Drug paraphernalia? Your box of sex toys?

    Sorry, couldn't pass it up! I'm just f-ing with you bud! But you know, you might be able to insure that stuff too, but it may be an awkward moment between you and your insurance agent. Just saying…..

    Only if they ask for samples to prove authenticity.
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

  17. #17
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    i'll knock them out a few samples in no time...


  18. #18
    Front Range, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker. View Post
    i'll knock them out a few samples in no time...
    Too much information to process, circuit board overload.
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  19. #19
    passed out in your garden
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    None of my bikes have serial numbers

    I grind them off after I steal a bike too


    oops Ive said too much
    2012 Trek Rumblefish Elite
    Frankenbike (Pump/BMX track bike)
    1993 Colnago Elegant

  20. #20
    livin' the dream......
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    Good advise here. I took cell phone pics of the serial # a while ago along with a few good photos of the bike. Big believer of getting the bike in the garage and getting the door down. Lots of things in the garage that I want to keep as my possessions!!

  21. #21
    Front Range, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjkm View Post
    Good advise here. I took cell phone pics of the serial # a while ago along with a few good photos of the bike. Big believer of getting the bike in the garage and getting the door down. Lots of things in the garage that I want to keep as my possessions!!
    I know I am so anal about the garage door being down. I used to have a neighbor who would leave his garage door open at night. I would come home at 9:00 or 10:00pm and his garage would be wide open. The first couple times I went over and told him it was open. He acted surprised and thanked me. I let him know about three different times and finally stopped telling him. I didn't want to come across as a pain in the ass neighbor. It continued and every time it killed me not to walk over and let him know.
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  22. #22
    duh
    Reputation: deke505's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    None of my bikes have serial numbers
    engrave your name on it some where.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    None of my bikes have serial numbers
    mark it with your DNA... can't see it, can't copy it

  24. #24
    Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!
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    Quote Originally Posted by likeaboss View Post
    How do I insure it if I do not qualify for homeowners or renters insurance? I have been trying to figure this out but have not come up with anything that works.

    Great advice in OP.
    Renter's insurance?

    And great advice here...I like the pic in the seatpost.

  25. #25
    No Stranger to danger....
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    Good blog OP, Couldnt agree more, the first thing i do when i get a new bike is copy the serial number down, if you dont have that your stuffed.....
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

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