Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Message Board General Discussion › Crime Watch: Stolen and "lost" bike

Crime Watch: Stolen and "lost" bike

Denis Noonan
user 6034925
Portland, ME
Post #: 2
My recumbent has been removed from my back yard! Kid's on a joy ride? Ditched in the woods? Bike thief on the roll?
My trusty partner of four years is among the missing. Can I ask your eyes to do the riding though Portland for me to locate this gem of a "no noise, no emission, no pain" vehicle. I'm a little kid without his blankie. 'Recumbant 2' is a black Burley combination recumbent set up for a short wheel base. It is the Canto model Burley produced for several years. It has two flashing lights, a rear carry rack, side mirrors and a bell. I'm sure it is the only one in Portland so it should be easy to spot. Call me or the police and give location. If the bike you see meets this discription it is most likely the one I'm looking for. For now I'm back on foot. I can't ride a "traditional" bike for any distance in comfort so I will have to find another recumbent.
John Brooking
JohnB38
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 344
Jeez, Denis, that does really suck!

Is that it in your picture? We'll keep our eyes open. I would encourage you to report it to the police, and check in with them occasionally.

Portland does have a bike registration program to help out in theft cases, but I don't know what options you have if it wasn't already registered. Still, it's worth talking to the police about. If nothing else, someone trespassed onto your property and stole something, regardless of what that something was.

Others: In addition to the Portland bike registration program, there is also a national registry you can buy into for a small fee. I don't have time to find the details right this minute, but we've discussed it before, and I'll try to dig them up later today.
John Brooking
JohnB38
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 345
Here's the links:

Portland Police Bike Registry

National Bike Registry

Also, Dennis, if you still have the sales records, or your manual, it's possible that the serial number is written down somewhere, which will help the police.

Others: Be proactive and make sure you've got the serial numbers of your bikes!
John Brooking
JohnB38
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 346
Here's something else I was told when I had a bike stolen a few years back. You can alert the bike stores in town in the off chance that the thief actually tries to sell it to one of them. I don't know if we have pawn shops in Portland, or some place like Goodwill? I don't know if they keep any kind of list.

A recumbent seems an odd thing to steal intentionally, since it would seem hard to resell without attracting attention. I don't get it.
Denis Noonan
user 6034925
Portland, ME
Post #: 3
Thanks John: I have already reported to the Portland Police case # 08-4173 and posted notices around the neighborhood. I am planning on going to the bike swap today and handing out notices after I survey the available wheels for a familiar recumbent. The last time I "lost" a bike it was found a week later about a mile away in a ditch. I would think a recumbent would be an unlikely target for a theft but then again there is a great interest in them and they are very expensive since Burley stopped producing. They are like the electric car. When someone produces a good one the industry kills the messenger and keeps the consumer market tied to the "cheaper" options. dtn3
Bob Bowker
user 3380725
Scarborough, ME
Post #: 32
Denis,

A listing for a recumbent appeared today (Saturday May 3) on Craigs List Maine. No brand name given. There is a second listing for a folding bike at a different location, but same phone number. Might be a long shot, but...
A former member
Post #: 101
If you do a search by phone number, five listings come up for three different towns... Does seam a bit fishy? Good luck.

May 3 - Recumbent Bicycle - 18 speed model - $300 (South Portland)

May 3 - New Folding Bicycle with luggage rack & fenders - $150 (Cape Elizabeth)

May 3 - Mercier Corvus Road Bike Frame - 54cm - $100 (Cape Elizabeth)

Apr 26 - Giant FCR2 Custom Cafe Racer Road Bike - $700 (Cape Elizabeth)

Apr 26 - Giant Cypress Hybrid Road Bike for rider 5'10" up - $225 (Portland)
John Brooking
JohnB38
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 354
I just bought a copy of Bob Mionske's Bicycling and the Law, and there's a whole chapter devoted to bike theft. Most recovery depends on your being able to prove ownership, so hopefully you have the serial number and pictures. (We know you have at least one!)

He includes advice on what you should in a number of recovery scenarios, including finding your bike advertised online. The basic advice, as with almost all scenarios, is to contact the police immediately. If for any reason the police are not very responsive to checking it out, he recommends preserving a copy of the online ad (a good idea in any case), and if necessary (if you really don't get prompt attention from the police), buy the bike back yourself, using a cashier's check or money order, and bring a friend or two who can serve as witnesses, so that you make sure it isn't sold to someone else in the meantime. Then you have all the evidence to bring to the police.

Mionske makes the point, and it seems worth mentioning since this guy seems to have a number of bikes for sale, that it's possible this is part of an organized ring. That should also raise the priority for the police to check it out.

I'm going to email you, too. I just saved a copy of the ad in case it is removed, which I will send you.
John Brooking
JohnB38
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 355
Good detective work, Sargeants Bowker and Ian! smile
Denis Noonan
user 6034925
Portland, ME
Post #: 5
Thanks Bob, John, and Ian. I called the chap yesterday and he described the bike as a 13 year old "Reliant". He measured the wheel base at 59 inches (mine was 46 on the short base post of the combination set up) and he said it did not have any option to make it a longer or shorter wheelbase. I told him I would call him if I was interested but really wanted a shorter wheelbase for in-town commuting. After reading your collective comments I'm wondering if I should go look at it just for the record since I'm not sure "Reliant" made a recumbent or if his description was detailed enough.
Enjoyed a helpful chat with Bob on the phone and appreciate knowing there are eyes focused on the clues around the world. Thanks for your attention. recumbant2
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