The Chainlink

First of all, I want to thank all of you for your well wishes when you heard I got my bike stolen.  The bike community honestly is like a family.  All the people who offered help and support, thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

As some of you know, I'm pretty short, so losing this bike was devastating to me since it's the first bike I've ever owned that actually fit me. I have several other bikes, but none of them fit me like this one does. It's a 39 cm frame with 24 inch wheels.

 

Now on to the  recovery story....

 

My bike was stolen Friday afternoon outside my office in Lincoln Park.  No  cut u lock, no signs of the rack being compromised. I honestly thought that maybe I hadn't rode in that day.... but I had my helmet and rain pants so I know I wasn't going crazy.

 

Immediately I filed a police report over the phone, added it to the stolen bike reg and sent emails to friends.

 

Yesterday a few people checked out the swap on the s side with no luck.

 

This morning I headed back there with a couple of friends.

 

Within 5 minutes I saw the bike, we called the cops and they recovered the bike for me.  No arrests.

 

My fenders and rack were missing (which had numerous stickers) but besides that, mommy and baby are reunited.

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Good to hear!
Hooray!  Did you get a pic of the seller?
Yay! Glad you got your baby back.
Woo. Hoo!
Good news!

Julie, that's the best news i've heard all weekend! i knew you'd get it back, glad it was so soon. Wish i'd been there to see it. Too bad there wasn't any arrest. Any clue how they got it?

So glad that you got it back but can you clarify why a citation was not issued? Even if the seller was not the thief, is being in possession of stolen property not considered a crime here?

Possession of stolen property is a crime. "I bought it from another guy" is an affirmative defense. "He's a scumbag, of course he knew it was stolen!" is an argument, and does not elevate to the level of evidence and certainly not proof.

 

Illinois Compiled Statutes 720 ILCS 5/16-1 reads in pertinent part:

"A person commits theft when he knowingly obtains control over stolen property knowing the property to have been stolen or under such circumstances as would reasonably induce him to believe that the property was stolen."

A single incident of a single stolen bike is unlikely to result in an arrest by the police. Even if it did, it is unlikely the individual would be convicted. When the police identify an individual who has been in possession of demonstrably stolen goods on multiple occasions, they will arrest him for possession of stolen goods. What's the difference you ask? After multiple times of being in possession of goods that turn out to be stolen, the inference becomes stronger that the individual knows or should know that the property is stolen.  



Ash L. said:
So glad that you got it back but can you clarify why a citation was not issued? Even if the seller was not the thief, is being in possession of stolen property not considered a crime here?

It is definately a great day! 

 

Can I just say what a great bike community we have on the Chainlink?!

 

The thieves routinely use this flea market to fence stolen bikes (and tons of other stolen property.)

Sometime between Saturday and the time Julie arrived today the thieves made a visit to the Swap-O-Rama and found someone to buy the bike. Sometimes they do so by approaching vendors waiting to enter in the parking lot, and sometimes by walking the stolen bikes quickly around inside the swap.

As to arrests-- typically the police do offer to arrest the sellers with the understanding that the owner would need to be willing to follow up with court appearances-- and this would also require that the bike be taken in and held in evidence.   I don't know why these particular officers spouted the BS that they did, but  it's likely they knew the results wouldn't justify the effort (see Kevin's post) and just didn't make much of an effort to be more precise about the way they communicated the options. 

It's possible I'm being a little too generous here but the reality is that the 9th district has consistently been more helpful in these situations than one can generally expect from most other districts.

 

mike w. said:

Julie, that's the best news i've heard all weekend! i knew you'd get it back, glad it was so soon. Wish i'd been there to see it. Too bad there wasn't any arrest. Any clue how they got it?

I should add that there are definitely instances in which the person selling a bike at S-o-R is the one who stole it, but I don't believe that to be the case in this particular instance.
no, no picture.  I should have, but didn't.  I was shaking so much and trying to stay calm at the same time....

Joe TV said:
Hooray!  Did you get a pic of the seller?

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