In the October 2018 edition, we have … quite a lot.
- First: Bike Index recovered our 5000th bike this month! And the bike has a name - 'Walter'
- A stunning, unique ride stolen in Seattle - a Harry Quinn Deda Energi - was recovered only days after its theft thanks to sharp eyed Bike Index users.
- Stolen Bikes Nola was on a real streak this month, with multiple recoveries and countless tips. Shout out to Stolen Bikes Nola!
- ... and right along with them is Stolen Bikes Edmonton, who continues a steady and successful drumbeat of recoveries. Shout out to Stolen Bikes Edmonton!
- A Seattle theft victim, exasperated after chasing her own bike around town, got some news coverage after waiting for a two hour 911 response after finding her stolen bike in a local encampment.
- One of our educational users (hi UW,edu!) gets a stolen bike back in a single day, thanks to Bike Index
- A neighborhood patrol group here in Portland not only spots and returns a local kid's bike from a local encampment, but then found a shop to fix it up for her for free. Stellar work all around, thanks @montavilla
- Another rare 'stolen bike turducken' - aka a stolen bike found inside a stolen car - or in this case, a stolen U-haul.
- "...the absolute unit of a man went to meet the seller HIMSELF, locked my bike to a tree, and told the guy he knew it was stolen..."
- A Bike Index tip about a suspect Offerup ad (shocker, I know) leads to the recovery of two very unique stolen wooden Renovo bike frames - originally stolen in a 2012 robbery!
Before we get started: Recall that Bike Index is a 501(c)(3) non profit. We love catching thieves and finding stolen bikes - but we could always use a little help. Especially towards the end of the year!
We would love it if you could donate to the Bike Index. Please help us keep these recoveries coming by donating here – tax deductible, too! We would appreciate it hugely if you did.
Now - onto the recoveries!
"Neighbor saw it - call police - delivered to front door! Thank you neighbor! "
"It was found on Letgo by a diligent citizen who looks out for stolen bikes ..."
"Police found bike and brought it to bike shop for pick up! Thanks Bike Index! I don't know much on back story but it was recovered just a few blocks away from where it was taken. They cut through a chunky cable lock. I am back to my u-lock. My friend registered the bike here - I have her and Bike Index to thank for this. I will be registering the rest of my bikes and donating! I am amazed!"
" Stupidly, I didn't file a police report - I figured it was gone. But a bike-store owner saw some guy stealing it and took it away from him, and the cop on the case searched this site and emailed me... " (Editor's note: always file a police report for your stolen bike! We can't stress this enough ... )
"A homeless man brought it into the bike shop that sold me the frame and the guys at the shop called me. Someone sold him the bike for $20! "
"Hey Bryan. I have recovered a carbon v10 listed on Bike Index ... Unfortunately it is just the frame, but I’d love to get it back to the original owner ...
"I posted about my bike getting stolen on FB and in a couple of local cycling groups, and had some friends share the news/ pictures of my bike. I registered Walter (the bike's name) with Bike Index using the serial number which was luckily included with the original receipt which I'd kept. I included my phone number, and recieved received a text this afternoon! Apparently, someone had spotted Walter in the Udist (it was stolen in Georgetown). The person who recognized it went and stole it back! It's down a couple of bags and a bell or so, but more or less intact! Thanks to Alex, my bike rescuing hero!" (Bike Index notes - this was our 5000th stolen bike recovery, so we did a little write-up on this one called 'Eight questions with the owner of Bike Index's 5000th Recovered Bike')
"Someone found it under a bush and used the Bike Index. Only the frame was left but it's still nice to know this works! "
"The Portland police officer told me they got it from (someone) who was arrested on something unrelated. They assumed it was a stolen bike, and sent it to the special bikes unit. The officer there figured out the bike and year, found it on Bike Index, gave me a call, and asked me about all the upgraded parts to confirm it was mine. Went down and grabbed it. Easy, peasy"
"Hi ... I recently purchased your bike on ebay. It was shipped in NY state. It arrived in quite a bad shape. I wasn't aware of the serial number before purchase. Let me know if I can be of any help ... "
"(Seller) was selling it on OfferUp and we arranged a sting operation - I saw the ad myself (the bike owner) so I created a fake profile and trolled the thief. He agreed to meet up, but unfortunately he spotted the police and left the scene before he was apprehended. He had already unloaded the bike and left it next to an adjacent building, so I was able to get the bike back..."
"Hi, I am an officer with Portland Police. I recovered your bike this morning. Give me a call ..."
" UCONN Police found it outside the Mansfield Apartments, about a mile from where it was taken at Eddy Hall. Police said the pictures and serial number archived in Bike Index was pivotal in getting it back so quickly. They were able to immediately determine it was indeed the stolen bike. Thanks!! "
"So whenever you are ready to come pick up the bike I'll give you my address and I'll have an officer present to have it on record and if you can bring an officer as well that'll be great ..."
"We found this bike near our parking lot! It’s waiting here for you!"
"Recovered your bike from the tire shop on Louisa and St Claude. Text me as soon as you can to get it ..."
"The amazing story of the amazing recovery of my bike owes much to Bike Index. My bike was stolen yesterday on the campus of the University of Washington. I had locked my bike's front wheel and frame to each other, but not to a bike rack (as all available racks were occupied), having stepped away for 10 minutes in the mid-afternoon. The bike was recovered today about 3 blocks away, with a failed effort to cut through the ABUS folding lock (I have a photo of the lock, which is still quite functional). I got a phone call from a friendly worker at a nearby bike store to which the bike had been returned, who had looked up the info with serial number and checked on Bike Index, and contacted me. Returned in one day! Great program, great bike lock, great people!" (Editor's note: University of Washington is one of our educational partners - if you attend or work for a university that would like to combat bike theft, see our university partnership page.)
"Thanks to Bike Index, a local bike page and an observant neighbour! She noticed it near a bike path this morning while walking her dog found it online and got in touch. We were able to retrieve it this evening! "
" Another intelligent, vigilant cyclist searched for my bike on Bike Index after it was left behind at the scene by the thief of his neighbor's scooter. It was missing for only 5 days. My hero! It was a custom build, put together for me by the legendary Harry Quinn bike shop in Liverpool, England back in 2002... I still have the original paperwork. I have customized the reach and stem height even more since the photo was taken, as back problems have changed how I ride since it was first built. It fits me really well so I'm thrilled to have it back. The morning I discovered that my bike was missing, I found that the thief had left a matte black fixie and a fluorescent yellow helmet in my driveway in exchange. Then, he left my bike in exchange for a scooter he nicked, which is when my hero found my bike and looked it up on Bike Index and found me ... tomorrow I'll take photos of the black fixie so I can post it on the site too. Maybe someone else is mourning its loss. Thanks again for caring, and keep up the good work! "
"This is Dean with Stolen Bikes Nola we found your bike - call me ..."
"Stolen Bikes Nola recovered the bike from a common location where stolen bikes are kept. "
"Hello. Your bicycle was recovered at the Bike Gallery location in Downtown. I have contacted the Portland Police - Feel free to email me directly ..."
"Found it for sale on Offer Up. Seller realized it was mine when he searched Bike Index. Thanks for providing this service! I’m telling everyone to register their bikes! "
"Bike was recovered via James at Nola stolen bikes!!" (Editor's note: aka Stolen Bikes Nola)
"My bike was gone for about 2.5 weeks. Two weeks to the day after it was stolen, someone from Bike Index tipped me off that he had seen it in one of the tent camps in my neighborhood. That tip ignited a fiend in me - and I aggressively started posting about it in our neighborhood Facebook group and NextDoor. The day after the Bike Index notification, someone else notified me it was at another homeless camp in the neighborhood. We immediately went down to that camp, watched the bike for nearly two hours while we awaited police response. But when the police got there, we couldn't find the bike. We couldn't find it for a day. I made circles of the camps several times that day and made notes of other stolen bikes in the camps (and contacted people on Bike Index). I also took our local Fox News on a ride-along around the camps looking for my bike. The next day it was seen, but we didn't chase it. The following day, another vigilant neighbor let me know it was in one of the local parks/homeless hang-outs. We were there within five minutes and called 911. A police BUS full of cops on bikes happened to drive by. My husband chased them down and told them about my bike. Fortunately, they had been briefed on the "light blue bike" during their morning meeting...so they knew to look out for it. We attempted a "sting" operation with the cops, but as soon as the people hanging around it in the park saw the cop bus, they ghosted out of there. We got the bike back. It's pretty trashed and needs work... "
"Police got it back (no other details provided for this entry) "
"Bike was bought and sold on Kijiji but communication from some fellow riders who saw the ad and my Bike Index post to myself and the the Calgary Police service"
"A lady in my neighborhood called me out of the blue saying she found it! She said it had been dumped at her friend's house on my street, but when they reported it found I had not yet reported it missing. She checked again today and was able to contact me! "
"Tip from a neighbor. Paid the thief (er, guy who "bought it on the internet") about 1/10 of its value rather than involve the police. Still reporting his name and address, which I got. THANK YOU SO MUCH (redacted) AND BIKE INDEX!!!! "
"Members of the facebook group Stolen bikes Edmonton reported finding it and recovered it. The group used Bike Index to confirm details of the bike before physically recovering it..."
"Seattle Police Officer here. My partner and I recovered your bike today. It will be at the North precinct for pick up. Warning the rear wheel was loose and one of the brake lines was cut. " (Later, from the owner) "Seattle Police recovered my bike only a few weeks after it was stolen! Unfortunately, it had been stripped for parts, but at the very least I will be able to rebuild it later this winter. "
"Portland Police found it in a homeless camp under Tacoma St Bridge. It's gone back to my insurance company since they already paid out for the loss ... "
A pretty great example of how community recovery can work. The local Portland neighborhood group @montavilla was out on a foot patrol and noticed a child's bike trashed in an local encampment. They quickly matched it in Bike Index. Not only did they work with Portland Police to quickly get the bike back to the victim, but they went above and beyond and even hooked up a local bike shop to do free repairs because the idiots who stole it had severely damaged it. You can read about it at 'Stolen bike reunited with Portland girl thanks to neighborhood coalition' Thank you @montavilla!
"A Good Samaritan noticed the bike near his place of work wrapped up with garbage bags and caution tape. He eventually contacted me via Bike Index ... "
"The fellow who bought it from the original thief found it on Bike Index, and he got in touch! It's missing a few components, but otherwise in one piece. "
" Someone turned it in to the local police, just the frame and tires sadly :( "
"Renton police arrested someone (at Renton Fred Meyer) in a stolen U-Haul truck around 10/23. In the back were a bunch of stolen items: including my RadCity! Battery was drained with 20 extra miles on the odometer. Missing bike bag and minor damage to the seat, but about as good as an outcome as I could have hoped for! My MasterLock U-bolt lock was easy enough to pry off at some point-- it's in two pieces and my key no longer works in it. Lock upgrade incoming..." (Editor's note: another rare stolen-bike-in-a-stolen-car 'turducken' ...)
This stolen, high-value Wilier was quickly spotted for sale on Offerup by everybody who noticed the suuuper sketchy ad. Thanks to everybody who flagged it. "Bike was found for sale on OfferUp. Someone from Bike Index emailed me the ad. I followed the profile to Facebook and looked up the seller on Facebook. We set up a sting with the seller - when we went to purchase the bike the cops took over and they arrested the lady. I got my bike back!" Editor's note: you can read more about this at 'Online Ad Leads Police to Man’s Stolen Bike' .
Speaking of Offerup: "Saw a shady listing for similar bike on OfferUp Listed for sale at (redacted). I called and left you a message. I'll follow up tomorrow to make sure you got the message. Good luck!" Later, from the owner: "Bike recovered!! We really appreciate your watchful eyes!! Thanks again!!
"This is Dean with Stolen Bikes Nola please call me ... I have your trek "
Technically this was not a Bike Index recovery, but we're including it here because self-repo'ing your bike out in the wild is pretty rare. "How the bike was recovered I saw it leaning against a fence, jumped on it and rode away! The thief ran after me, but I saw a cop and rode to him. The thief ran off and jumped on a bus. Crazy. I’m going to try to help people find their bikes and check the Bike Index when I see something sketchy from now on..."
"A dude from Seattle area texted me that he thought he found my bike because my Bike Index ad matched a few components. Confirmed it was mine. The absolute unit of a man went to meet the seller HIMSELF, locked my bike to a tree, and told the guy he knew it was stolen. Seller gave it up without a fight. Drove over to Seattle two days later to pick it up. All of this was TWO YEARS after it was stolen from me. Absolutely unbelievable and none of it would've happened if it weren't for Bike Index." (Ed note: Bike Index sends a shout out to this finder too, as they have recovered multiple bikes ... )
"Hello - my roommate found the bike and it is here at our house ..."
"Hello this is the Portland Property Warehouse - We have a Raleigh in our property room : serial D2AKO0547 " ....
Portland Police found it (no other details provided re: this bike)
Someone posted a found bike right at the same time someone listed a stolen bike with the same details, and the two were quickly matched up!
Back in 2012, thieves broke into Portland's Renovo bikes and stole several frames - this was covered in the press, i.e. Thieves hit Renovo bike factory; reward offered. Over the years we (Bike Index) have chased a number of Renovo leads, but it wasn't until October 2018(!) that a super suspect ad showed up on Offerup (Editor's note: sigh ...) that was immediately flagged by roughly half a billion people. We dug into it - not easy since Renovo closed in 2018, too - but the Portland Bike Theft officers were way ahead of us. See their tweet: "Great tip from @BikeIndex leads to seizure of two beautiful Renovo frames stolen in bike shop burglary! " It's not entirely clear to me how the seller fits in here - but we note that they were smart enough to research the frame details for their ad ("They are going any where from 8000 to 10,000") in order to determine the value - but they conveniently forget to check on the serials, or any of the coverage about the Renovo break-in. Funny thing, that.
"I found the bike for sale in the OfferUp app (Editor's note: we are shocked, SHOCKED)"
And that's it for October - man, what a month!
Don't stop now, though - perhaps you want to read our November's recoveries too?
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://bikeindex.org/news/bike-indexs-october-2018-bike-recoveries