Stolen bikes on fleabay

timb64
timb64 Posts: 248
edited September 2009 in The bottom bracket
My wife's bike was stolen on Tuesday and lo and behold it has appeared for sale almost immediately with a very short end date (today!)
The theft was reported to the police and I have informed them of the above.Does anyone have any experience of whether the police will follow it up and the chances of getting the bike back?
It has made me think about how much this must go on as the seller frequently sells bikes and parts (lights etc) he was even cute enough to swap bits off my wife's bike with those from another bike he was selling at the same time and this bike had bits from my wife's.
We should all be wary of fleabay purchases especially where the seller has a pattern of similar sales and short sale dates.
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Comments

  • freehub
    freehub Posts: 4,257
    Has he got good feedback? Could the police not "buy" the item from an account and then retrive the bike and lock the seller up?
  • timb64
    timb64 Posts: 248
    Will ,
    He has got lots of feedback -most of it for selling bikes and parts!
    Your suggestions are emminently sensible and in an ideal world it would have got a useless crim off the streets(it's perhaps unfair to call him useless as he has some talent with bikes -pity he couldn't put it to some legitimate use)
    My concern was do the police have the manpower and motivation to follow up such an easy arrest?
  • If you haven't done already, take screenshots of the auction pages while they are active.
  • timb64
    timb64 Posts: 248
    Le Comm
    thanks for the advice
    Tim
  • georgee
    georgee Posts: 537
    Someone had this situation a s while on the commuting forum, I think they bought it and got the coppers to help them collect it. problem is if he says I bought it off someone for a tenner, can't remember what they look like I don't think there is much come back...
  • georgee
    georgee Posts: 537
    Someone had this situation a s while on the commuting forum, I think they bought it and got the coppers to help them collect it. problem is if he says I bought it off someone for a tenner, can't remember what they look like I don't think there is much come back...
  • Percy Vera
    Percy Vera Posts: 1,103
    Buy the bike, tell them you'll pay cash on collection, then go round a collect (without cash off course)
  • I'd buy it, go and collect with police in tow. Assuming you can prove that it's yours, then you should get the bike back without having to pay for it, regardless of whether they "bought it off a bloke in the pub". The same with cars - if you buy a stolen car, the rightful owner can reclaim the car and you have no comeback whatsoever.
    Carlsberg don't make cycle clothing, but if they did it would probably still not be as good as Assos
  • Harry182
    Harry182 Posts: 1,169
    A few years ago I had a similar experience - my bike was stolen and showed up on ebay a couple months later.

    I contacted the police by email and post to the attention of the case officer in charge. I included with the correspondence soft/hard copies of the ebay selling page and contact details for ebay's police-only-stolen-goods-hotline. If the police ask for it ebay will give them the seller's name, phone number, home address, etc...

    Long story short - I didn't get the bike back and only response I got from the police was some fairly generic pseudo form-letter some months later.
  • It takes ages and I mean ages to get info from ebay for things like this. I found they were of no help at all. I would do what others have said, buy bike, tell Police and go collect it WITH THEM WITH YOU. Don't do it on your own mate (not trying to teach you to suck eggs but you'll be suprised at how many people do this) and proof of you owning it will be a big help.
    There is never redemption, any fool can regret yesterday...

    Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!
  • timb64
    timb64 Posts: 248
    The bike's listed as POST ONLY.Never mind finding out where he lives I'm worried if I win it he'll know where I live!Ebays' site is decidedly unhelpful ie silent on the question of what to do about stolen goods.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Put a bid in for a large amount of money to ensure you win and pay by paypal. Should have no problem getting the money back. Plus bring the plods.

    Re Georgees post - in this case, if the seller has been swapping parts round and you can prove that, I doubt he can claim innocence.......

    Dunno about the post only thing. You can always give your company address and see what happens. Mind you, that'll probably not help as he'll get your paypal address.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Tonymufc
    Tonymufc Posts: 1,016
    timb64 wrote:
    My wife's bike was stolen on Tuesday and lo and behold it has appeared for sale almost immediately with a very short end date (today!)
    The theft was reported to the police and I have informed them of the above.Does anyone have any experience of whether the police will follow it up and the chances of getting the bike back?
    It has made me think about how much this must go on as the seller frequently sells bikes and parts (lights etc) he was even cute enough to swap bits off my wife's bike with those from another bike he was selling at the same time and this bike had bits from my wife's.
    We should all be wary of fleabay purchases especially where the seller has a pattern of similar sales and short sale dates.

    Dude put his name on here. I'm sure we could sort out this mofo for ya. We could bombard him with dodgy purchases to p155 him off.
  • timb64
    timb64 Posts: 248
    Tony
    thanks for the sentiment-I'm concentrating on getting the bike back at present.Revenge can wait-for now.
  • Don't do anything involving paypal. They are crooks just like the one who has your bike. I've had too many bad dealings with them to trust them with a situation like this.
    There is never redemption, any fool can regret yesterday...

    Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!
  • Buy the bike. The police will most likely be unhelpful in this matter. The way to get your money back is to buy it and have it delivered (maybe to someone else's address). It'll probably come by courier so you will have to sign for it. The open a SNAD dispute on paypal and return an empty box to him recorded. You will get your bike delivered back to you at no cost.
  • Ollieda
    Ollieda Posts: 1,010
    SNAD?

    They way I see it you have 2 options:

    1. Try and fight it now and get the police involved. Best case scenario you get the bike back free and he gets in trouble. Wost case scenario you don't get the bike, he sells it too someone else and gets away with it.

    2. Buy it back, get it home then fight it. Best case scenario you get the bike back then claim the money back and he gets in trouble. Worst case scenario, you get the bike back but have paid for it a second time and he gets away. (ok so theres always a chance that you pay and dont get the bike but then you can get your money back through paypal, which i assume is the SNAD thing volvicspar mentioned)

    At least doing the second way you will get the bike back, could be a few months before the police get round to doing anything by which time the bike could have moved on if you didnt buy it.
  • SNAD = Significantly not as described dispute.

    Your best option is to do what I said. Getting the police involved will more than likely hinder your cause than help it. What I described above is a common scam, so long as you provide a valid tracking number for the return you will get your refund. Of course it is not a scam for what you are doing, so long as it is definitely your bike!
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Don't do anything involving paypal. They are crooks just like the one who has your bike. I've had too many bad dealings with them to trust them with a situation like this.

    They aren't crooks though they aren't exactly the best of companies either. What they do tend to do is side with the purchaser. In a case where there is police support and proof that an item purchased through Paypal is stolen then I'd be surprised if they did't refund even if it took a while.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Sorry Rolf, colleagues and my experience suggests otherwise.

    Well your right they may not be crooks (that was harsh)but their business practises leave a lot to be desired!
    There is never redemption, any fool can regret yesterday...

    Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Well your right they may not be crooks (that was harsh)but their business practises leave a lot to be desired!

    I'll not argue with that but they have been ok to me.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • dilemna
    dilemna Posts: 2,187
    This is what I would do:

    ~Make sure you can establish the bike is indeed yours and evidence your legal title to it

    ~ Report theft of your bike to police and that is now forsale on eBay.

    ~ Inform eBay provide crime number and police contact to subtantiate your predicament.

    ~ In the meantime bid on "your bike" so you win it.

    ~ Either collect in person with police in tow or take delivery as per the seller's terms using eBay/Paypal payment methods.

    ~ On receipt make sure bike is indeed yours and is pretty much as it was when it was stolen, you might have bought one that is very similar to your wifey's.

    ~ Set up a dispute with ebay/Paypal that the seller did not have legal title to sell it as it was yours all along. If you do not receive full compensation from ebay/Paypal make a complaint to the police against eBay for handling stolen goods or aiding or abetting a criminal offence. Also threaten civil proceedings against eBay/Paypal as agent of the seller for the monies and postage costs you have lost. They should pay up pretty pronto. I think Ebay own Paypal or vice versa, there is a very close relationship, too close for my liking.

    ~ Quite handy the thief has put it on ebay as you have a reasonable chance of getting it back or if not sueing Ebay. I'm sure they wouldn't want the publicity of proceedings.

    Good luck getting your wifey's bike back.
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • a_n_t
    a_n_t Posts: 2,011
    ebay own paypal?

    http://news.cnet.com/2100-1017-941964.html



    which answers alot of questions
    Manchester wheelers

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  • timb64
    timb64 Posts: 248
    Absolute result :D:D:D -Police got an emergency warrant and have recovered the wife's and several other bikes along with a shed load of parts!!
  • guinea
    guinea Posts: 1,177
    Great result.

    Well done on the detecting.
  • Result! I can only imagine he'd been on their radar for some time and your auction gave them all the evidence they needed.

    Nice to hear that justice has been done.
    Planet X Nanolight High Modulus (Roadie) | 2008 Giant Bowery (Fixie)
  • NWLondoner
    NWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    Thats what i call a RESULT!!!!
  • That's good news. 1-0 to the Old Bill (makes a change for people slagging us off :wink: )
    There is never redemption, any fool can regret yesterday...

    Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!
  • will3
    will3 Posts: 2,173
    Great, so did they get the culprit too?
  • dilemna
    dilemna Posts: 2,187
    timb64 wrote:
    Absolute result :D:D:D -Police got an emergency warrant and have recovered the wife's and several other bikes along with a shed load of parts!!

    Result, but what's an emergency warrant? Is it any different to a normal warrant to gain entry to premises?

    Have they arrested and charged the seller with any offences?
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.