[CR]Re: Stolen Bikes

(Example: Framebuilding:Tubing:Falck)

From: <Carb7008@cs.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 23:23:39 EDT
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Re: Stolen Bikes

This issue has always been problematic for me as the hunt for bikes (and parts) may lead to questionable persons and places. Of course its impossible to tell if a bike rightfully belongs to its present seller even if it hasn't changed hands in 50 years! A ground-off serial number is a powerful clue to the bike's checkered history but what can be done about that? I guess you can give the bike to the Police and if unclaimed, it will be scrapped or sold at auction. If its a nice bike, who among us would do this? What if a fellow lister buys a bike, describes it to the list, then another lister says "that's my bike stolen 10 years ago out of my garage!" Should the original "rightful" owner get the bike back for free? Should he reimburse the present "unrightful" owner for what he paid for it? They say possession is 9/10ths of the law, is this just a cliche if no corraboration exists? If a new owner is morally, legally, ethically (take your pick) obligated to return a bike to someone claiming to be the legitimate owner, what level of proof must be offered, a police report, bill of sale, serial number, all of the above? If we on this list propose a "stolen bike" policy, why would anyone describe a recent acquisition with any detail for fear of a "stolen bike" claim unless he/she was 100% sure of its provenance? Wouldn't one of the greatest resources this list provides be diminished? Is this entire subject moot unless we're talking about a bike whose "Bluebook" value is greater than $100, $1,000, $10,000?

Jack Romans
Sacramento, CA