The Chainlink

Possible Stolen Bikes Spotted @ Ashland Flea Market w photos

These bikes were spotted at the Ashland Swap O Rama Ashland @ 42nd st.
Fellow chainlinkers and Chicago cyclists rode to the Swap O Rama this morning to reclaim and find stolen bicycles. We are working in numbers to combat thievery. Here is today's list:

-Specialized crossroads pink rims 
-Gold trek w brown front deep v pink and white saddle bullhorns 
-Black trek 1000 with rack 
-Green specialized stumpjumper, new tires 
-Black Specialized transition carbon with animal rights stickers 
-Blue trek 7.3 
-Felt team carbon argyl on top tube 
-Trek 1000 alpha series reed white and blue 
-Black republic 
-Chrome pista with straight stash handlebars 
-Specializes sirrus black 
-Motobecane record red 
-Giant cypress silver 
-Bianchi volpe green 
-Jamis beatnik 
Note: This list is a user provided list that is unverified.

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We need to refine the protocol, and we have some good ideas for how to do that. I'm not sure there was much else we could do beyond taking the risk and stealing the bike back.

Julie Hochstadter said:
Why do you think the seller got spooked?

Chuck a Muck said:
We got in contact with the owner of the Felt, unfortunately the seller got spooked and left with the bikes.
Also there is 2 African American males selling bikes out of a gray Dodge Caravan with it's plates removed and they had bolt cutters in the back of the van...
Thanks for doing this.
I'm confused though-- were any bikes recovered or were any owners notified that their bikes were spotted?
Yeah, more bad luck than anything—had him dead to rights, eyes on him and the owner on the way, and he just kind of vanished. We have some good ideas for how to avoid that next time, though. (They do not involve the useless off duty cops at the Swap-o-Rama, unfortunately.)

Anyone who's thought about coming on these rides but is worried they're a waste of time/goose chase should tag on, we could use the extra eyes and with a bit more luck (or semi-illegal aggression) we'd have hooked someone back up with his ride today. Worth the effort and if nothing else keeping the pressure on guys who are just trying to make a quick, hassle-free buck can't hurt.
My Fuji Track Pro got stolen not that long ago. Do they sell bikes daily at the Swap-O-Rama? It didn't happen too long ago but I am losing hope in regards to getting the bike back.
Sorry, I had to leave right after I posted the links. Would it help to notify the alderman for the ward? Send them a link to this thread and any others in which stolen bikes have been found at the entirely unpoliced and illegally run swap. Maybe a bit of pressure would get them to do something to help.
Given that there are off duty cops working there I don't think anyone is unaware there's an unpoliced and illegally run swap meet going on. A lot of cash runs through there and surely enough of it is finding its way into the right pockets.

I don't think there's any illusion that by going every week or two we're going to reunite dozens of cyclists with their lost rides, but we'll get a few if we keep it up, and a thief who has his goods confiscated is going to be driven that much further underground, which is good.
I posted info regarding the alderman previously. We've got a lot of different threads going on in the main forum, on the event listing . . .there has to be a better way to use this medium.
I still can't make head or tail here-- is there someone I can contact by phone about this to get some information about how things were done today? Besides the one bike were any other potential owners contacted?
And most importantly did anyone get pics of any of the -people- selling confirmed stolen bikes?
I do not think that this is the transition that I saw. The owner had obviously placed multiple stickers on the bicycle and I would think that they would mention that on the stolen bike registry. The particular man who was selling this bike was just walking around the flea market trying to sell it and was not set up at a stand.

Also we contacted the sirrus owner while at swap-o-rama (same one you posted here) and are working on getting more information to her.

Joel said:
Black Specialized Transition: http://chicago.stolenbike.org/node/184356
I'm just spit-balling here. I haven't been on one of these rides (because I work Saturdays, although I will be on vacation the next two weeks, so maybe...) and I don't know how you guys went about it, but maybe a more overt method might work. If not to get people over there to reclaim their bikes, but maybe to put the word out that swap-o-rama is not a good option for selling stolen bikes anymore. Sort of like a Guardian Angels organization for being on the lookout for suspicious rides. Maybe if enough people give these dirtbags enough hassle enough times, they might decide it's not worth the trouble? Although I guess they would probably just move on to another selling spot...
Another option is to keep track of confirmed stolen bikes spotted at S-o-R, build a case that it does serve as a significant fence for stolen bicycles, and launch a media blitz to demand that the whole thing be shut down. I doubt that would be the ultimate effect but it would wake up the alderman that they'd better start helping shut down the stolen bike component.

I've frequently had reporters covering bike theft looking specifically for recovery stories or anything more compelling to read than "I lost my bike and never saw it again", and specifically ask where stolen bikes go-- I'm sure a few would love to tell the tale of the unhelpful cops or whatever.
How many people showed up for the ride today? I wanted to go, but couldn't make it. I agree with H3N3. Lets build the case and take it to the alderman. If the alderman doesn't cooperate (which is 99% likely), we could try to take it above that. Know anyone in the media?

These rides need to happen a little more frequently. Maybe find people that live near the other swaps (like Alsip) and get a group working on that one as well.

...or as bad as it sounds, we could try to get the assholes in the RIAA and MPAA involved (bootlegs!!!). It wouldn't really help our cause, but it would bring some heat.

In the mean time I think that I am going to go back and buy the "new" XBOX 360 games that I saw on the first ride for $35. I just need to see if the security seal is still on the case.
There was 8 of us total at the Swap meet... I live near the Swap-o-Rama and have no problem hitting this place every week. The only problem I have is my phone is not internet ready to check the registry while there...

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