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WIBU To Take Back Something That's Been Stolen From Us

(71 Posts)
whatsbehindthegreendoor Wed 03-Jun-15 17:22:23

Basically, my 20-year-old son's bike was stolen in March - we ended up buying him a new one as he cycles 7 miles each way to work every day and he needed it. The bike had new tyres and, because he had recently had a fall, there was masking take on the handle bars because some of the fabric had come loose.
Anyway, this morning my husband was catching the bus and the very same bike has been locked up at the bus stop which is very near our home. The bike was stolen in the centre of town which is 3 miles from here.
It would be the very biggest of coincidences if the bike was not his, the tyres being different to the original ones because we had replaced them and also the fact that the masking tape is still on there.
We didn't report the bike stolen because, to be honest, where we live, bikes are stolen all the time, it didn't seem as if there was much point.
My husband wants to go and break the lock and get the bike if it is still there when he gets home from work.
I'm worried, that even though we have a receipt for the bike, we'd be doing wrong.
So, I'm opening this up to you good people. Would it be unreasonable to take back what is ours?

AlternativeTentacles Wed 03-Jun-15 17:26:29

Has your son seen the bike to confirm it is his?

mileend2bermondsey Wed 03-Jun-15 17:27:15

Well if you were caught doing I think you'd be buggered. But if you are sure it's his bike, I'd steal it back.

whatsbehindthegreendoor Wed 03-Jun-15 17:27:16

We've sent him a photo, he says it is his - we know it is his because we bought it, and put the masking tape on the handle bars.

BabyMurloc Wed 03-Jun-15 17:27:55

I would report the theft and inform police that you have located the stolen bike. Let them take it back for you.

MerdeAlor Wed 03-Jun-15 17:27:55

I wouldn't be able to resist getting it back. Feels like karma.

knittingdad Wed 03-Jun-15 17:28:46

Lots of bicycles are stolen by professional gangs and sold on. The current owner of the bicycle may not realise it was stolen.

Your husband presumably has no previous experience of stealing bicycles. Thus he is at greater risk of being caught. It would be daft to try and steal the bicycle back.

If you have a receipt with a frame number, then you can try calling the police. They can then speak to the person currently in possession of your bicycle to find out where they bought it from, with a view to gathering evidence to put the gang responsible for its theft behind bars. And they would be able to get the bicycle back for you.

NobodyLivesHere Wed 03-Jun-15 17:29:02

The trouble is, if the person now in possession of the bike bought it and they report it stolen it might cause a right scene.

whatsbehindthegreendoor Wed 03-Jun-15 17:29:47

It's so difficult to know what to do - part of me wants to see if it has gone and sit out there tomorrow to wait for the person to come back. The other part of me thinks that it's not there's to keep and another part of me is pissed off that they've used a lock to stop somebody stealing it, when they (or somebody they know) has done exactly that!

BitchBags Wed 03-Jun-15 17:30:08

I would get it back. Even if it's not the right thing to do I would not be able to see someone keep something that belonged to me.

whatsbehindthegreendoor Wed 03-Jun-15 17:30:32

*theirs, not theres!!! See, that's how annoyed I am!

CallMeExhausted Wed 03-Jun-15 17:32:21

The majority of bike thieves don't steal bikes to use them - they steal them in large numbers and then resell them. Chances are you would be stealing a bike from someone who thinks they legitimately purchased it (probably off gumtree or a FB selling group).

Leave it to the authorities.

whatsbehindthegreendoor Wed 03-Jun-15 17:33:01

I agree with you all in principle, and no, my husband doesn't have experience of stealing bicycles! Unfortunately, we don't have a frame number - so I guess, that's that really, it does piss me off though. Quite frankly, and I know this is unreasonable, I find it difficult to believe that anybody would want to ride around on a bike that had the masking tape on it anyway and that's why I find it hard to believe that anybody's bought it like that - surely, most sensible people, would have either replaced that or bought a different one?

Yarp Wed 03-Jun-15 17:33:31

I would not steal it, but I might call the police for advice

suitsyousir Wed 03-Jun-15 17:35:28

Legally you can take back your own property that has been stolen, assuming you can prove ownership. You will be on a sticky wicket with damaging property that's not yours (ie the lock). Definitely report it to the Police and tell them that its yours and you want to reclaim it. However, be prepared for complete lack of interest on their part.

whatsbehindthegreendoor Wed 03-Jun-15 17:35:43

I think I will get my husband to call the police once he gets home. The problem is, where we live, bikes are stolen all the time - the joys of living in a city where bikes are used so much. Therefore, I doubt very much the police have the time or inclination to sort it out that quickly. It's just so odd that it's been put at a bus stop so close to our home....

DorisLessingsCat Wed 03-Jun-15 17:35:58

Yes, I would absolutely take it back, no question.

There's no redress anyone would have against you, it's your property!

whatsbehindthegreendoor Wed 03-Jun-15 17:36:26

Suitsyoursir - and that's the problem, I really doubt they will give a stuff. But, I guess, if we at least tell them what we're going to do, they will have a record of it.

whatsbehindthegreendoor Wed 03-Jun-15 17:37:45

I feel like leaving a note if we do get it back, saying that the bike was stolen in the first place from us and that we've got it back. But that could be bringing all sorts of problems couldn't it?!

SiobhanSharpe Wed 03-Jun-15 17:38:27

Do you still have the receipt for the new tyres? And/or any photos of your son with his bike from before it was stolen? Am thinking of proof of ownership here, especially if the new 'owner' bought it not knowing it was stolen. Then I would deffo tell the police, give them the location and ask for advice.

mileend2bermondsey Wed 03-Jun-15 17:39:53

if you don't have any proof that the bike is yours then it's pretty pointless to go to the police, no?

whatsbehindthegreendoor Wed 03-Jun-15 17:41:06

Not sure that we have a receipt for the tyres, they were bought a few months ago, and again, no photos of son with the bike because, he's 20 and doesn't like having his photo taken! We do have the original invoice from Amazon where we purchased it - it's so annoying, because it looks as if we're not going to be able to prove very much, but, it does have new pedals on, I've just remembered, because we had to replace them after my son had an accident, I think I've still got that receipt and a receipt for Halfords taking the tyre off....

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 03-Jun-15 17:41:12

I think you'd be up shit creek without a paddle if you were caught.

whatsbehindthegreendoor Wed 03-Jun-15 17:43:59

Mileend - We do have a receipt from Amazon, but, you know, it was over a year ago we bought the bike - so, basically, we should just accept that somebody's riding around on it, parking it near our home, and that because we don't have a receipt, they should just be allowed to have it?
I'm going to get my husband to phone the police when he gets in - hopefully, they can get it for us - it seems so unfair that somebody should be allowed to keep it though...

VioletVelvet Wed 03-Jun-15 17:45:55

Do you or your son have any photos of the bike you could use to help prove ownership?

If the bike is still there when your husband gets off the bus I think he should call the police for help rather than breaking the lock and taking it back himself.

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