Purchasing a stolen bike is almost as bad as being the real thief. You could be charged guilty if caught with a stolen bike. You could also be physically assaulted by the real owner of the stolen bike if caught with you. Buying a stolen bike could also be a way of encouraging this bad act of stealing. Hence the reason why you need to learn how to check if a bike is stolen or not before buying it.
Reading through this article could be your guide at becoming a perfect detective. This is because you get to check for a stolen bike and report to the police.
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Step by Step Guide on How to Check if a Bike is Stolen
Check for the Serial Number
Every bike is engraved on its serial numbers. They are usually found at the downside of the bike. Requesting to see the serial number is a good way to know if it is stolen or not. When the seller refuses to show you the serial number, this could be a real-time red flag. Scratched serial numbers could be a reflector for a stolen bike.
The essence of a serial number is to track down the status of a bike per time. There are websites with bikes databases, searching through these databases could reveal to you if a bike is stolen or not. You can register your bike on bikeindex.com
It is mostly said that action speaks louder than voice. Reading your seller’s reaction could give you a clue at checking for a stolen bike. Most sellers of stolen bikes are usually restless while trying to sell.
They are scared of being caught with the stolen bike and so look for every possible way to sell as quick as possible. If you start to feel awkward about the seller’s restless body movement, you could ask why.
And if your seller doesn’t get justified for the excuse given, you invite police for further clearance and stir clear doubts.
Of course, most stolen bikes are usually second-hand bikes and often come with lesser prices than new ones. But when your seller is coming up with prices way less than you had imagined, this may be a bit suspicious.
As said earlier, stolen bike sellers are usually in a hurry selling off stolen bikes. In their bid at getting that fast, they usually give suspicious attracting prices.
Asking questions allows you to check for their level of knowledge about bikes. It would be best if you asked about the basic language of bikes. Have a real conversation on how bikes work and how that particular bike, you are about to purchase works. You should ask about the different parts of the bike and their mechanism of actions.
If the seller finds it hard to maintain such conversations with you, you need to get suspicious, ask more questions, and maybe report to the police. This is because a real cyclist or a buyer would definitely have ideas about the terminologies of cycling.
Reconfirmation with the Police
After buying your bike and you, you still feel you need to check if it is a stolen bike. Then you could confirm from the police by sending the bike’s serial number to them.
Call the police and explain your purchase to them, then they will run the serial number through their database. They would confirm the bikes’ status, whether stolen or not.
This keeps you safer and secured, whether confirmed a stolen bike or not. If not confirmed as a stolen bike, you should also register your new bike with the police. This keeps your bike secured if stolen.
Get a Receipt
Your receipt is more like your signature waving goodbye to the former owner and a warm brace to you its new owner. This is proof of you becoming the new owner, and this is why you need to request for it.
This will keep you innocent from any issue later on. As much as requesting for a receipt, you should also ask for your seller’s means of identification. If possible, ask to meet in person before buying.
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How to Know My Bike’s Serial Number?
Knowing your bikes’ serial number is very important. You should check for it on your bikes if it is there or not. There are indeed some bikes without the serial number. Of course, it is better to go for bikes with serial numbers because your bike is safer with them.
Just like the vehicle identification number showing proof of ownership, so is it with serial number. The serial number helps ownership of your bike if registered properly. It also helps to easily track down a bike if stolen.
All of this makes it necessary for checking out for your serial number. Getting it registered under your name with the police makes it even more efficient. This will allow the police to have the serial number linked to your name if your stolen bike gets recovered.
Knowing exactly where to find the serial number is not always farfetched. The most common place to find the serial number is at the bottom bracket. However, other places are depending on the manufacturer.
Other places could be the underside of a bottom bracket, beneath the bottom bracket, aligned parallel to the frame, head tubes at the front of the bike and some at the rear end. Asking the manufacturer or your seller could be helpful.
One good way to get your serial number is by registering on some websites such as the bike index. Getting it on the police’s databases could be very helpful too.
It is very important to take your time to get your bike most, especially purchasing a second-hand bike. This will help you, so you don’t become a victim. Please do not get so enticed by the buyer’s tactics at getting you to buy it.
Following the steps above will help you at knowing or detecting a stolen bike.