The Chainlink

I saw someone walking with a Specialized Allez down to the Blue Line, and he was wearing Chuck Taylors with Shimano clip-less pedals on the bike.  This is always an alarm in my mind.

I was just wondering about questions you might ask if you saw what you suspected to be a stolen bike.

What came out of my mouth:
"What kind of wear do you get on your tires?  I'm always looking for something that will last for more miles."

Turns out my worries of bike theft were quashed when he showed me the shoes voluntarily and talked about the fit of his new bike, voluntarily.

After all the posts about the swap-o-rama suspect bikes, I figured a separate thread would be worth while as to how to strike up a conversation about questions less obvious than "how much did that set you back?"

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Just make sure you don't look shifty and you won't have any problems.

Or learn to recognize sarcasm; that would work too...

Jennifer said:
Wow, I hesitate to ride anywhere in the city anymore, for fear that my bike will be either legitimately stolen or "reclaimed" by some sick vigilante.
Maybe you could add a motion-detecting flamethrower to your bike then.

Jennifer said:
Wow, I hesitate to ride anywhere in the city anymore, for fear that my bike will be either legitimately stolen or "reclaimed" by some sick vigilante.
Evanston used to do that. Not sure if they still do. I've seen it in other municipalities as well.

Tyler G said:
I don't know if they do this in Chicago, but when I was in Bloomington, Indiana, you could register your bike with the police and they would give you a big green sticker with a number on. If your bike was stolen, you could report it to the police and give them the number. This saved it from being sold at police auctions, and I imagine a concerned citizen could report a suspected bike via its registration number. I get that there are several million people in Chicago, so the logistics of doing something similar are poor, but it is an idea.
Often smaller cities still do, or if by chance you live near a university you may be able to check with their police dept. and see if they will allow you to register. I was able to where I used to go to school/live but perhaps that was because I was alumni? Not that it helped in getting my bike back.

Anne Alt said:
Evanston used to do that. Not sure if they still do. I've seen it in other municipalities as well.

Tyler G said:
I don't know if they do this in Chicago, but when I was in Bloomington, Indiana, you could register your bike with the police and they would give you a big green sticker with a number on. If your bike was stolen, you could report it to the police and give them the number. This saved it from being sold at police auctions, and I imagine a concerned citizen could report a suspected bike via its registration number. I get that there are several million people in Chicago, so the logistics of doing something similar are poor, but it is an idea.
The question to ask is "how much for the bike?".

If it's the legit owner the response will almost always be "It's not for sale", if the response is "$50" or some grossly under value price it's suspect.

If you want to pursue it a good move might be to say "I don't have the money on me, but can I meet you at such and such time and place". If they agree arrange for backup to recover the bike.
I have heard of bikes registered with the city of Chicago turning up at Chicago Police auctions, being sold with apparently no effort having been made to contact the owner.
Supposedly registration is mandatory?

Anne Alt said:
Evanston used to do that. Not sure if they still do. I've seen it in other municipalities as well.

Tyler G said:
I don't know if they do this in Chicago, but when I was in Bloomington, Indiana, you could register your bike with the police and they would give you a big green sticker with a number on. If your bike was stolen, you could report it to the police and give them the number. This saved it from being sold at police auctions, and I imagine a concerned citizen could report a suspected bike via its registration number. I get that there are several million people in Chicago, so the logistics of doing something similar are poor, but it is an idea.
I am still laughing at this . . .

notoriousDUG said:
Ask no questions, they will alert the bike thief to your suspicion and they will run taking the bike.

The only reasonable course of action is to punch them in the throat, reclaim the bike and ride off as fast as you can. Watch Craigslist, here and the stolen bike registry for ads regarding the bike and then return it to it's rightful owner.

If you accidentally get the owner I am sure they will be grateful enough at your efforts to stop bike theft in Chicago they will not press charges.

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