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Owner 1 v Thief 0

jadamsonjadamson Posts: 644
edited August 2013 in MTB general
Due to popular demand - Here is the complete story of how Bikeradar members got one up on a bike thief

It all started on a holiday to the Lake District, specifically Lake Windermere, were naturally I pack my Land Rover up with all the toys I have in the garage. This included an 18" trailer carrying our boat, 2 kayaks, all the family's bikes and all the gear for said toys. Spent a good 2 weeks messing around on the lake and cycling around Grizedale Forest. Whilst the bikes were not in use they were locked up with 4 locks (combination of cables and D-Locks) in our apartment, naturally my Yeti 575 had the majority of the D-locks.

Packed the majority of kit up the night before the 16th and had the Yeti in pieces (wheels, handlebars and forks off) to fit easily in the back of the car. All these parts were still attached to each other via their brake/gear cables and then all parts were securely attached to each other; locked away in the back of the car for the night. The morning of the 16th I go to finish off the packing and to my horror notice the Yeti missing. The thief appeared to have forced the rear door open and snatched the bike to be driven away, but not touched any of the other bikes that were also locked up. I then report the bike stolen to the police, this is when the complex recovery starts!

Once home it becomes a priority to try and get my bike back since it took me 3 years of working and saving to get the bike to the standard it is now. I post in both Pinkbike and Bikeradar, Twitter and Facebook and all the stolen bike registers I could find. The combined effort of social media managed to accumulate 671 views for the stolen bike add, thanks to everyone who shared it. The long wait starts. On the night of the 21st I receive three emails, 2 from Bikeradar and 1 from Pinkbike, of people sending me an advert for Gumtree in which they suspect it to be my bike. Instantly I recognise it to be mine since the build is quite unique. The guy had tried to cover it up by putting on a set of lights, cycle computer and changing my brakes, the rest was identical - que picture...

Outside My House
20120907_155734_zps40870a43.jpg

Stolen Image
stolenyeti4_zps21e9f01c.jpg

The police apparently don't work 24h unless its an emergency so I had to wait until the morning of the 22nd to phone them. I contact Cumbria police to notify them that someone is trying to sell my bike on Gumtree and go to a long length of discussion as to why I think its my bike, They have to pass on the information to Cheshire since that was where the Gumtree advert said the guy was from. They contact Gumtree and unfortunately the guy has not given an accurate address so are therefore not able to continue, back to square one. The next day I get a message to phone another Bikeradar member, not only is he wanting to help me get it back but hes already stalling the thief and has acquired an address. The address confirms that the seller is in Chester, so back to phoning Chester. After handing over the address to Chester police they confirm its a Chester address however since Chester is 2/3 English and 1/3 Welsh and unfortunately my address falls literally meters into the Welsh boarder they cannot do anything about it. 2 days worth of phoning around and trying to get hold of someone to deal with it, I eventually encounter some very helpful police officers who take a statement and issue a warrant for the thief's arrest! result.

I get a call the next morning to say the bike has been recovered and the thief arrested, I can now come collect my bike. The thief denied the initial stealing of the bike and claimed to have bought it off a friend so could only be charged with handling stolen goods, which he pleaded guilty to. The 8 hours drive to north wales and back was long but worth it and I'm now re-united with my Yeti :D

20130825_200136_zps525a6a51.jpg

A special thanks goes to the 2 individuals on this forum who both helped to retrieve my bike, I hope you don't mind the shout out. ej2320 for the initial spotting of the advert and helping with investigations. hugehero for stalling the thief to prevent him selling it whilst also finding the address for the guy, which ultimately got my bike back. Thanks to everyone on social media who shared it and got the word out and thanks to the police officers who were involved in his arrest. I really appreciate all your help and over the moon that the internet gave us the power to recover a stolen bike and lock up a thief!
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Posts

  • ej2320ej2320 Posts: 1,543
    edited August 2013
    Result! :D

    Should've mentioned at the time, I have a message from him saying he bought the bike in bits and upgraded it OVER THE YEARS which totally contradicts his statement about buying it off a mate.. Either way, glad you got the better of that scum ;)
  • mcnultycopmcnultycop Posts: 2,143
    Was following your thread. Glad it worked out.
  • Stu CoopsStu Coops Posts: 426
    Brilliant to see you got your bike back but it does highlight how shite the Police are and they then wonder why people take things in to there own hands to deal with these shitheads, put money on it the officers you did eventually get to deal with it was luck more than anything else.

    Anyway rant over the point is it ended well for you but how lucky aye.. :shock: :shock: :shock:
    Zesty 514 Scott Scale 20 GT Expert HalfwayupMTB
  • schmakoschmako Posts: 1,982
    Can't imagine what it would feel like knowing it was nicked, must've been awesome getting it back!
  • Good result :)
  • jadamsonjadamson Posts: 644
    Lets just say I didnt sleep when I found out he was trying to sell it!

    Basically If you do all the work and have helpful people also helping you to the point where you have pinned down this guy to a location and found the number for the police person who can do something then they will do the last part of knocking on his door.
  • hugeherohugehero Posts: 281
    Love a heart heart warming tale. It just goes to show what can be accomplished when we all unite and further highlights how invaluable communities such our very own Bikeradar community can be.

    I am absolutely chuffed to bits for you Jada. I hope you were also able to get back your brakes? I am glad to have been of help. :D
  • turnerjohnturnerjohn Posts: 1,069
    jadamson wrote:
    they will do the last part of knocking on his door.

    They get the best bit !...am sure pretty much everyone on this site would want to "knock" on a bike thiefs front door !

    fantastic news though, and congrats on the detective work...should be in CID !
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    Great news. And a massive thumbs up to the guys who helped you out :)
  • 1: Did you get a free set of lights out of it then?
    2: What brakes had he fitted on it?
    3: what was on there initially?
    4: Hasn't he also changed the seat clamp?
    5: The routing on that back brake - Actual LOL!
    6: Congrats on getting your bike back!
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,756
    Nice one.....

    Gumtree seems the sales site of choice, ebay is obviously much to easy to track with searches. I know of a similar story of a chap getting back an Intense and also a Ti hardtail by similar means...all bikes being sold on Gumtree.
  • jadamsonjadamson Posts: 644
    1: Did you get a free set of lights out of it then?
    2: What brakes had he fitted on it?
    3: what was on there initially?
    4: Hasn't he also changed the seat clamp?
    5: The routing on that back brake - Actual LOL!
    6: Congrats on getting your bike back!

    1: Yep set of cateye lights and cateye cycle computer
    2: He took off my hope mini pro's and put on avid juicy's :'( so lost out overall on what I gained
    3/4: I had a hope seatclamp originally, now I have an unbranded one that doesnt work!
    5: Made me chuckle too! Its soo bad
    6: Thanks :)
  • angry_birdangry_bird Posts: 3,782
    Great stuff
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,222
    Great win. Well done to all involved.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    And to think, I just about had that bike dialed.
  • ej2320ej2320 Posts: 1,543
    jadamson wrote:
    1: Did you get a free set of lights out of it then?
    2: What brakes had he fitted on it?
    3: what was on there initially?
    4: Hasn't he also changed the seat clamp?
    5: The routing on that back brake - Actual LOL!
    6: Congrats on getting your bike back!

    1: Yep set of cateye lights and cateye cycle computer
    2: He took off my hope mini pro's and put on avid juicy's :'( so lost out overall on what I gained
    3/4: I had a hope seatclamp originally, now I have an unbranded one that doesnt work!
    5: Made me chuckle too! Its soo bad
    6: Thanks :)

    The rear brake routing was one of the things that made me think it was yours

    They had swapped to really old second hand juicy 3 brakes and clearly the hose wasn't long enough LOL and the seller told me I'd need to bleed the brakes and get new pads when I inquired to get some more info

    Also half way through the seller bumped the price up! Such a stupid person
  • mcnultycopmcnultycop Posts: 2,143
    Are we running a sweepstake on the punishment, I'll take 80 hours community service...
  • ej2320ej2320 Posts: 1,543
    Well seeing as it's a bike theft, I'll take the slap on the wrist...
  • ilovedirtilovedirt Posts: 5,798
    So I guess the lesson is, don't leave your bike in your car - I've heard of loads of people having had this happen (know a couple personally). Don't leave expensive bikes in your car! They're just asking to be nicked! (as well as not usually being covered by insurance. Another lesson - insure your bike).
    Glad you got it back though mate, I'd hate to have mine nicked.
    Production Privee Shan

    B'Twin Triban 5
  • foyfoy Posts: 296
    fecking awesome story, chop their fecking hands off like they do in saudi arabia that will stop the thieving runts!
  • pilchpilch Posts: 1,136
    Love it when a plan comes together, great news congrats, I hope the thieving scum gets whats coming to him
    A berm? were you expecting one?

    29er race

    29er bouncer
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    surely some sort of petition should/could be put forward for gumtree to tighten their security up as it seems to be the method of choice to sell stolen bikes?
  • Stu Coops wrote:
    Brilliant to see you got your bike back but it does highlight how shite the Police are and they then wonder why people take things in to there own hands to deal with these shitheads, put money on it the officers you did eventually get to deal with it was luck more than anything else.

    Hang on a minute. So the Police attend, take a statement, issue a warrant, nick the bloke and recover the bike. They then put enough evidence together for a court case where he pleads guilty. And you call them shite? What else would you want from them?

    It's because of people like you that this country is falling apart.
  • ej2320ej2320 Posts: 1,543
    Stu Coops wrote:
    Brilliant to see you got your bike back but it does highlight how shite the Police are and they then wonder why people take things in to there own hands to deal with these shitheads, put money on it the officers you did eventually get to deal with it was luck more than anything else.

    Hang on a minute. So the Police attend, take a statement, issue a warrant, nick the bloke and recover the bike. They then put enough evidence together for a court case where he pleads guilty. And you call them shite? What else would you want from them?

    It's because of people like you that this country is falling apart.

    If anything it's laws that restrict the police
  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    Stu Coops wrote:
    Brilliant to see you got your bike back but it does highlight how shite the Police are and they then wonder why people take things in to there own hands to deal with these shitheads, put money on it the officers you did eventually get to deal with it was luck more than anything else.

    Hang on a minute. So the Police attend, take a statement, issue a warrant, nick the bloke and recover the bike. They then put enough evidence together for a court case where he pleads guilty. And you call them shite? What else would you want from them?

    It's because of people like you that this country is falling apart.
    Did you read this bit?
    The address confirms that the seller is in Chester, so back to phoning Chester. After handing over the address to Chester police they confirm its a Chester address however since Chester is 2/3 English and 1/3 Welsh and unfortunately my address falls literally meters into the Welsh boarder they cannot do anything about it

    Because that is SHITE
  • ej2320 wrote:
    If anything it's laws that restrict the police

    Of course. They enforce what is there, and unfortunately a lot of it is tied up in red tape. We also need to remember that at any one time an Officer might be dealing with 5-10 different allegations of crime, where unfortunately a lot of the time a theft of a bike is the least important. It's different if they have information on the whereabouts of the property, however in this case they acted upon it and recovered the bike. I wouldn't be able to thank them enough if it was my bike.
  • Because that is SHITE

    It doesn't even make sense. What can't they do anything about? Just because an address falls somewhere doesn't mean there isn't a Police force or Officer somewhere that can't/won't action it. There isn't enough information there to have enough facts to class 'The Police' as shite.
  • ej2320ej2320 Posts: 1,543
    Stu Coops wrote:
    Brilliant to see you got your bike back but it does highlight how shite the Police are and they then wonder why people take things in to there own hands to deal with these shitheads, put money on it the officers you did eventually get to deal with it was luck more than anything else.

    Hang on a minute. So the Police attend, take a statement, issue a warrant, nick the bloke and recover the bike. They then put enough evidence together for a court case where he pleads guilty. And you call them shite? What else would you want from them?

    It's because of people like you that this country is falling apart.
    Did you read this bit?
    The address confirms that the seller is in Chester, so back to phoning Chester. After handing over the address to Chester police they confirm its a Chester address however since Chester is 2/3 English and 1/3 Welsh and unfortunately my address falls literally meters into the Welsh boarder they cannot do anything about it

    Because that is SHITE

    I think that's more to do with stupid laws and restrictions meaning the police can't act across the border or risk loosing thier job. If anything the restrictions on police should be lifted or slackened so the police can actually get on with it and don't risk loosing a thief when they know the exact location for the sake of a border..
  • jadamsonjadamson Posts: 644
    My experience with the police with this story was two fold really. Initially they were very unhelpful, they were happy to log the report and give me a crime number but if I wanted it back the rest was upto me. after phoning around lots of constabulary's it appears that they don't talk to each other and if they do then its slow and your better off just doing it yourself. Chester police were the worst out of the lot, very rude and abrupt lady on the phone and as soon as she saw that the address tipped into north wales she didnt want anything to do with it.

    However once I had gone back to Cumbria (who were always helpful from the start) with the address the case then took a giant leap forward and in the space of half a day they took a phone statement, issued a warrant and arrested/recovered the bike. The guy pleaded guilty, I don't think they needed to build much of a case, I had given them enough information/evidence.

    So the take home from this is that some police/constabulary's are more helpful than others, With this experience I can honestly say I was very happy with the response I got from Cumbria and North Wales. I was and still am unhappy with Chester police but what can you do. It seems that the system slows them down and this 101 malarkey is useless, theres no direct numbers for police stations anymore, its all through 101 which is slow and doesnt understand a southern english accent. If your prepared to do a lot of leg work yourself and have a hand with attaining an address etc then they are more than happy to do the final bit. cant complain too much though, got my bike back :)
  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    Because that is SHITE

    It doesn't even make sense. What can't they do anything about? Just because an address falls somewhere doesn't mean there isn't a Police force or Officer somewhere that can't/won't action it. There isn't enough information there to have enough facts to class 'The Police' as shite.

    I'm sorry, you do agree that the fact that they won't investigate a crime if it falls metres outside their "boundary" - is shite, right?
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