I bought a stolen bike?

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5/24/2021 3:44 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/24/2021 3:49 PM

I just got a call that a vintage bike I purchased a month or so back was reported stolen on the day I bought it. I paid pretty good money for it, have a bill of sale, and gave the sheriff the information of the people I got it from. I'm trying to look at it from the other parties side as well but apparently I'm the only party involved with a bill of sale on the bike, the people claiming it was stolen from them do not even know the vin. The sheriff asked me to hold onto the bike for now until it goes to court, I'm not sure what my play is here. I have somewhat significant money tied up in it, I have a hard time telling myself just to cough it up because someone is saying it is there's with no proof.

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5/24/2021 3:50 PM

Without proof and if they don’t have a VIN I don’t believe you should be giving them anything until it’s proven they owned it and it was stolen. I’ve bought 10-12 vintage bikes over the years and was not provided a title on any of them. Bill of sale only. Sorry to hear about the hassle you are going through. You’ve done nothing wrong

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5/24/2021 3:54 PM

It just seems fishy. The people I bought it from knew it had value, I didn't give $200 for it. I would not have even thought to ask for a bill of sale. The lady actually said here let me write you a bill of sale. Her story was it was a family members who passed away. We didn't meet up at the corner of some gas station, I went to her house and bought it.

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5/24/2021 3:59 PM

I agree with Kenny. And anyone who knows you knows you’re a stand up guy in the moto community. I wouldn’t be parting with it! Good luck JT.

Oh, and why are there not pics of said vintage bike!?

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I'm not a squid.. just a really fast jellyfish.

5/24/2021 4:02 PM

Racerx930 wrote:

It just seems fishy. The people I bought it from knew it had value, I didn't give $200 for it. I would not have even thought ...more

Don't just give it back because someone says it is theirs. You paid and have a bill of sale. Make the court decide to take it from you. That would set the precedent that your seller sold you stolen goods. You have a receipt from them so it should be an easy small claims case.

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5/24/2021 4:02 PM

Agree with what everyone is saying. See how this plays out and until they prove its theirs hold on to it. Tough situation on your part. Ive had a bike stolen. I could certainly prove it was mine though

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5/24/2021 4:05 PM

Might want to contact an attorney to see if you can file a lawsuit against the seller to recover your investment. If the court system finds them guilty of a stolen motor vehicle, I would tend to think that would be an easy case for you to win.

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5/24/2021 4:07 PM

JG463 wrote:

I agree with Kenny. And anyone who knows you knows you’re a stand up guy in the moto community. I wouldn’t be parting with it! ...more

I don't need anyone else claiming it's theirs! Photo

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5/24/2021 4:10 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/24/2021 4:13 PM

I bought a KX500 that needed some work a few years ago, no bill of sale, no title. Was going to do a restore on it. Found a cherry one instead so sold the other one that needed work. It had a leaking shock, and I had bought a bunch of assorted spare parts for it including another leaking shock, which I had sent out for a rebuild.

I kind of forgot about it, until the spare shock showed up at my door. I emailed the guy I had sold the bike to, letting him know that I had this rebuilt shock for him if he wanted it. His response was that he was surprised to hear from me, as when his son went to register the bike the insurance office called the police and had it impounded, as it was a stolen bike. He had told the police all of my info, and they told him “Don’t worry, we know all about that guy.”

Go figure. No follow up, no one had reached out to me to ask where I gotten the bike from, and this was weeks/months later.. So the guy who I sold it to assumed that I had stolen the bike and sold it to him. I tried contacting the guy who I had bought the bike from and he ghosted me until I threatened to publicly shame him, and then he reluctantly gave me the name of the person who he had supposedly bought the bike from, which was a dead end.

The whole thing stunk and I hated being involved in it. The cops didn’t care and had no interest in investigating anything. They alluded to the guy that they “knew about me” as if I was known to the police, I assume just to make him think that they were doing something and to make him go away. Complete horse shit. Unfortunately the guy I sold the bike to lost his money, which I felt terrible about, but it could have just as easily been me.

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5/24/2021 4:17 PM

Racerx930 wrote:

It just seems fishy. The people I bought it from knew it had value, I didn't give $200 for it. I would not have even thought ...more

Sounds like you might be caught in the middle of a family dispute to me. Bike may have been owned by a family member who passed away and now that it is sold someone else is disputing ownership by reporting it stolen. Sounds like you've done everything above board, best of luck sorting it out.

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5/24/2021 4:28 PM

Racerx930 wrote:

It just seems fishy. The people I bought it from knew it had value, I didn't give $200 for it. I would not have even thought ...more

CASH476 wrote:

Sounds like you might be caught in the middle of a family dispute to me. Bike may have been owned by a family member who ...more

This

And, if that’s the case? It’s a “False Police Report”...which is a crime.

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Out here in the fields, I fight for my meals. I get my back into my living. I don't need to fight, to prove I'm right. I don't need to be forgiven.

5/24/2021 4:53 PM

CASH476 wrote:

Sounds like you might be caught in the middle of a family dispute to me. Bike may have been owned by a family member who ...more

I agree with this. I was in law enforcement for 10 years. The fact the Sheriff is allowing you to keep the bike is huge. In my experience, if the claimant had a legitimate case for the bike being "stolen" either the Sheriff would take possession of it, or they would have recovered it and returned it to the reporting party.
Sounds like a civil issue and you SHOULD be made whole (financially) if you ultimately have to return the bike.

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5/24/2021 4:54 PM

Ride it like its stolen!!!!!!!!!!!

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5/24/2021 5:02 PM

TeamGreen wrote:

This

And, if that’s the case? It’s a “False Police Report”...which is a crime.

It's only a false report if it's intentionally inaccurate. If you call the police and say "my aunt stole this bike that I believe is mine cause my grandpa promised it would be mine when he dies!" they'll just say ok and take the report. The person making the report hasn't lied, even if they're wrong.

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5/24/2021 5:05 PM

sandhills wrote:

It's only a false report if it's intentionally inaccurate. If you call the police and say "my aunt stole this bike that I ...more

Yep, and that sounds like what is happening here based on what else I posted.

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5/24/2021 5:12 PM

Racerx930 wrote:

It just seems fishy. The people I bought it from knew it had value, I didn't give $200 for it. I would not have even thought ...more

It sounds like somebody else in the family wanted the bike and it got sold. Or it could just be a straight up scam.

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The older I get, the faster I was.

5/24/2021 7:03 PM

So the it was reported stolen the exact same day you purchased it? also how could they even make a theft report with out a vin number or any documentation? whom ever filed the theft report had to know the bike was being sold, either the seller sold it out from under them or they saw it listed online

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5/24/2021 9:09 PM

Racerx930 wrote:

It just seems fishy. The people I bought it from knew it had value, I didn't give $200 for it. I would not have even thought ...more

As an outsider I say you will be good. You checked all the boxes. At worst it'll cost you time and effort.

The crux of the matter could be the part of the bike belonging to a family member who passed away. Her selling the bike is probably being disputed by another family member who perhaps wants it back.

Good luck.

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Non Gratum Anus Rodentum

5/24/2021 11:12 PM

Racerx930 wrote:

It just seems fishy. The people I bought it from knew it had value, I didn't give $200 for it. I would not have even thought ...more

CASH476 wrote:

Sounds like you might be caught in the middle of a family dispute to me. Bike may have been owned by a family member who ...more

man this definitly sounds like the case, if you get screwed over and it is along these lines id be removing a whole lot of parts before the bike gets taken off you

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5/24/2021 11:25 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/24/2021 11:26 PM

Racerx930 wrote:

It just seems fishy. The people I bought it from knew it had value, I didn't give $200 for it. I would not have even thought ...more

CASH476 wrote:

Sounds like you might be caught in the middle of a family dispute to me. Bike may have been owned by a family member who ...more

cablecable wrote:

man this definitly sounds like the case, if you get screwed over and it is along these lines id be removing a whole lot of ...more

No way, keep your honor. Money comes and goes. If scumbag relatives want to use the law to fuck you out of it, fight for it but if the courts rule in their favor, trust in karma. Worst case scenario, look them up in 20 years and you’ll get the last laugh.

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5/25/2021 4:15 AM

CASH476 wrote:

Sounds like you might be caught in the middle of a family dispute to me. Bike may have been owned by a family member who ...more

cablecable wrote:

man this definitly sounds like the case, if you get screwed over and it is along these lines id be removing a whole lot of ...more

nytsmaC wrote:

No way, keep your honor. Money comes and goes. If scumbag relatives want to use the law to fuck you out of it, fight for it ...more

So i assume you kept your honor and you gave the guy his money back for the stolen kx500 you sold him?

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5/25/2021 5:05 AM

I’ve recovered a stolen bike from craigslist before. I had a title though. Sounds like you did nothing wrong so I wouldn’t worry about it. I had a guy call the cops on me driving down the highway claiming all 3 bikes in my truck belonged to him. He felt pretty stupid when I pulled out all 3 titles for the cop at my house and off to jail he went.

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5/25/2021 6:18 AM

cablecable wrote:

So i assume you kept your honor and you gave the guy his money back for the stolen kx500 you sold him?

Ouch

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5/25/2021 7:03 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/25/2021 7:04 AM

cablecable wrote:

So i assume you kept your honor and you gave the guy his money back for the stolen kx500 you sold him?

That’s entirely different haha
Id have a hard time sleeping if I sold a kid a stolen bike.

Really that was more of his screw up than the kids IMO

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5/25/2021 8:43 AM

Run a KSR report on the VIN. I believe you can do so at the DMV or on their website in most states. That will tell you who the last legal owner was (the most current, actually.) If it is not the person who claims to own it, then tell that person to pound sand.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

5/25/2021 9:01 AM

Racerx930 wrote:

It just seems fishy. The people I bought it from knew it had value, I didn't give $200 for it. I would not have even thought ...more

CASH476 wrote:

Sounds like you might be caught in the middle of a family dispute to me. Bike may have been owned by a family member who ...more

Yup.

FWIW, first thing I do when looking at a bike is run the VIN.

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5/25/2021 10:24 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/25/2021 10:30 AM

cablecable wrote:

So i assume you kept your honor and you gave the guy his money back for the stolen kx500 you sold him?

No, I was transparent with the guy and made an attempt to do some investigating on his behalf. I figured it was the least I could do since I was involved, knowingly or not. I had hopes of recovering some money for him but got nowhere with that. I wasn’t liquid myself at the time either, credit card debt and such, I wasn’t in a place where I could help him out although I would have liked to. He didn’t expect me to either, he said he had put the whole thing behind him.

If it were me who had gotten the bike impounded I would have been angry at the guy who sold it to me and want an explanation as to how exactly he came to own this stolen bike, but I wouldn’t expect him to give me my money back if he had no knowledge of the bike’s status. I assume this is common practice, or did I do the wrong thing?

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5/25/2021 10:26 AM

Lukass59 wrote:

That’s entirely different haha
Id have a hard time sleeping if I sold a kid a stolen bike.

Really that was more of his screw ...more

No kids were involved, I was probably the youngest.

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5/25/2021 3:46 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/25/2021 3:48 PM

Been thinking about this a little bit today and the more I think about it I feel like the local sheriff was just trying to see if he could talk me into giving the bike up freely. I purchased the bike in another county and told him "I'm in a spot where I'm going to have to fight this". He told me not to sell it and wait to see how the court case went in the other town. It seems likely to me that whoever reported it stolen was told by their local PD there wasn't much they could do about it, so he called the local sheriff here. I have not been contacted by the pd / sheriff in the town I bought it in, you would think they would have some questions. My local sheriffs office said "They won't be picking it up unless it is determined stolen in court".

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5/25/2021 6:54 PM

nytsmaC wrote:

No way, keep your honor. Money comes and goes. If scumbag relatives want to use the law to fuck you out of it, fight for it ...more

cablecable wrote:

So i assume you kept your honor and you gave the guy his money back for the stolen kx500 you sold him?

nytsmaC wrote:

No, I was transparent with the guy and made an attempt to do some investigating on his behalf. I figured it was the least I ...more

I’m no lawyer but pretty sure the guy could sue you if he wanted to. Seems like he felt it was an honest mistake and was more understanding than most people would be

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