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Stolen - Thief said he'd lost keys to "his" lock!

Phil RPhil R Posts: 22
edited August 2007 in Commuting chat
A workmate of mine recently bought a new bike. He locked it up in the cycle park area of Birmingham New Street railway station. When he returned it had gone. He reported it to the station manager, and was told that a bloke had come to him earlier and had said that he'd lost the keys to his bike. The station manager kindly arranged for someone to remove the lock with some bolt cutters :shock:

The man was very happy and rode off with his lovely new "free" bike. :roll:

My workmate was obviously far from pleased.

Moral of the story - If you want a nice new bike, go to New Street station and they'll arange it for you. :lol:

Seriously though, what are you supposed to do to stop this sort of thing happening if you get some totally incompetent prat in charge of a station/parking area?

It beggars belief.

Posts

  • mr_hippomr_hippo Posts: 1,051
    A 'sensible' solution would be to have at all stations where there is bike parking would be to have some form of a card index system with name, photo of self, photo of bike(s) and contact number. If you do lose your keys, tell the clerk your name, he will then find your index card and if all details match then the bolt cutters come out, if not......
  • Eat My DustEat My Dust Posts: 3,965
    I would be expecting a new bike FOC. Surely they are responsible for replacing it!!!!
  • spring91spring91 Posts: 69
    mr_hippo wrote:
    A 'sensible' solution would be to have at all stations where there is bike parking would be to have some form of a card index system with name, photo of self, photo of bike(s) and contact number. If you do lose your keys, tell the clerk your name, he will then find your index card and if all details match then the bolt cutters come out, if not......

    This is unworkable. Before getting the bolt cutters out they should ask for proof of ID and take a photo of the person and keep them for a few days only. If someone said they had lost the keys to their Porsche in the car park would the station master help them break in and hot-wire it?

    The station should be responsible for replacing the bike and lock. I sometimes leave my bike at New St. so would be interested to know the outcome.
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    I wonder what the legal situation is? I'm sure your bike was left there at your own risk, but it's irrelevant who this guy is, he's confessed to you that he assisted someone in stealing your bike. Surely this is the equivalent of a passer by giving a burglar a leg up as he tries to climb through your back window!
  • PagemPagem Posts: 244
    spring91 wrote:
    mr_hippo wrote:
    A 'sensible' solution would be to have at all stations where there is bike parking would be to have some form of a card index system with name, photo of self, photo of bike(s) and contact number. If you do lose your keys, tell the clerk your name, he will then find your index card and if all details match then the bolt cutters come out, if not......

    This is unworkable. Before getting the bolt cutters out they should ask for proof of ID and take a photo of the person and keep them for a few days only. If someone said they had lost the keys to their Porsche in the car park would the station master help them break in and hot-wire it?

    The station should be responsible for replacing the bike and lock. I sometimes leave my bike at New St. so would be interested to know the outcome.

    i totally agree. at the very least these muppets are an accessory to theft and should be prosecuted/shot.
    Only the meek get pinched. The bold survive.
  • LbaguleyLbaguley Posts: 161
    I'm with you on that one Pagem - I think the station manager may be guilty of theft due to accessory liability. This would carry the same sentence as that of the full offence - i.e. punishable by imprisonment (yeah I know - not even that guy who nicked 100+ bikes was put in prison, so pretty unlikely :evil: )

    At the very least it needs to be reported to the British Transport Police and taken up with the Network Rail or whoever runs the station. They may have some form of disclaimer, but I it may be that they have invalidated that by virtue of the station manager's actions. Definitely worth taking up with the station operator...

    I think the only solution is that the station should not arrange providing bolt cutters under any circumstances - you must be able to prove that the bike is yours which is very difficult/next to impossible on the spot. If you then want to get some cutters yourself and run the risk of being collared that's your call and you then have to prove to the police that the bike is yours. I have at least one spare key for both of my locks - I'd rather go home and get them.
  • misterbenmisterben Posts: 193
    One old tip for proving that a bike is yours was to stick a label inside your seat post. I suppose it could be used to prove the bike is yours, assuming you still have a spanner/allen key to remove your seat and then some ID that matches.....
    mrBen

    "Carpe Aptenodytes"
    JediMoose.org
  • adifiddleradifiddler Posts: 113
    mmm strange, as far as i am aware the manager has broken company policy. When i lost my keys the staff at the station refused to help me at all saying it was against policy. They would not allow me to remove the lock myself and informed the police. An officer arrived and took my details and checked that against the bike registration and once they were happy learnt me some bolt croppers to remove the lock. They wouldn't do it just in case they damaged the bike.

    I hope the manager offered to contact the police on your friends behalf.
    No 1 fan in the jonesy124 Fan Club
  • Phil RPhil R Posts: 22
    The Manager got very defensive apparently, telling my mate that he shouldn't have parked his bike there anyway, that he should have used the specific staff bicycle park, as my mate is based at New St.
    I think this is irrelevant anyway. They were still wrong to cut the lock.
    I'll try and find out the latest and let you know, as I know spring91 said he uses New Street sometimes.

    Phil
  • Random VinceRandom Vince Posts: 11,374
    sounds like the manager is trying to pass the blame
    My signature was stolen by a moose

    that will be all

    trying to get GT James banned since tuesday
  • ShadowduckShadowduck Posts: 845
    adifiddler wrote:
    An officer arrived and took my details and checked that against the bike registration...
    Just as a matter of interest, which bike registration scheme was that? It's the first time I've heard of one coming in useful - if the police are actively checking one of them in circumstances such as this it's worth knowing about!
    Even if the voices aren't real, they have some very good ideas.
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    Unbelivable. Agree that the ID and photo thing (along with proof of address) should be asked for.

    Station manager should be publicly flogged for rank stupidity.
  • adifiddleradifiddler Posts: 113
    Shadowduck wrote:
    adifiddler wrote:
    An officer arrived and took my details and checked that against the bike registration...
    Just as a matter of interest, which bike registration scheme was that? It's the first time I've heard of one coming in useful - if the police are actively checking one of them in circumstances such as this it's worth knowing about!

    It was a number of years ago when you postcoded your bike and registered it with the police.

    Now the police use the Retainagroup system that keeps your bike details on a database that the police have access too along with other police forces around the world. It costs £11 but the police have a deal that cost £3 contact your local police station and ask which bike shops do it on behalf of the police.
    No 1 fan in the jonesy124 Fan Club
  • adifiddleradifiddler Posts: 113
    Here are a couple of posts i made on another thread re registration
    adifiddler wrote:
    All bike frames are given a serial number and it is to be found under the BB. Get your bike registered with Retainagroup, it costs about £11 and your frame is acid etched with UV ink, many police forces have a program with LBS to have this system of marking done for around £3. There is a sticker with a serial number cut into it, this is stick on the frame in a visible place so thieves know the bike is registered. If the sticker is removed the UV etching is still there. This system registers your bike on the national crime database so the police can see who the owner is whether it is a stolen bike or not the same as the police checking a cars reg.

    Also it is worth registering your bake with Immobilise which is free.
    adifiddler wrote:
    Registration's not going to deter bike thieves.

    No they wont but my point is that the police often stop know troublemakers and thieves on a regular basses. If the person is on a bike the police often know its a stolen bike but unless it has been reported as stolen they have no proof so they have to let the person go on there way but if the bike is registered and recorded on the nation police computer the police can make a simple check and see who the registered owner is, if the person does not match these details then the police can make further enquiries.

    Now the kids are on summer holidays the police are out in force on foot and bike patrols in my area and they are stopping many kids on bikes and checking bikes, my son has been stopped twice and let on his way once the registration has been checked. My son said it was stupid when i registered his bike but has recently commented that the police let him go with the minimum of fuss once the bike has been checked where as his mates are often asked lots of questions about there bikes and kept there for some time. Many of them are actually getting there bikes registered just to get an easier time when they are stopped.

    My son is 19 years old and we live in one of the rougher areas in town which is chav central, most of the kids are up to no good at some point and the police are justified in stop checking them. It helps the chavs realise that they are likely to be stopped and if they are on a stolen bike and it has been registered they will be dealt with for theft. These chavs are still stealing bikes but they are less likely to steal a bike that is registered and marked.

    It is recorded fact that items that are marked are less likely to be stolen. Being arrested is an occupational hazard for a thief and if the goods are marked the thief is guilty but if it is not marked there is no proof he is the not the owner so will be released.

    For the cost of a few quid it makes sense getting your bike registered. I have worked in the security industry all of my life and i understand how and why thieves operate and we make life very easy for them by not marking our property and/or not securing it properly.
    No 1 fan in the jonesy124 Fan Club
  • ShadowduckShadowduck Posts: 845
    Thanks, adifiddler. I'll look into that. :)
    Even if the voices aren't real, they have some very good ideas.
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