Stolen Bikes


Deborah asked:  Two weeks ago someone stole my bicycle from my porch in Seminole Heights.  I cannot report it missing because I cannot even prove that the bike is mine because I bought it used off of Craig’s list. I did not take down any serial numbers.   I have a photo of the bike–it is a three speed Next bike called a Monerey.   I believe it is possible the police could have confiscated the bike from a ditch or something.  Where and how can I find out if police have it or not? I did not file a police report.


The purpose of this site is to discuss the laws related to bicycling, but we will make an exception in this case to make the point that we should all do everything we can to prevent bike theft.

Needless to say, locking a bike is the first deterrent.  Many stolen bikes are the result of a crime of opportunity and if a lock is present, even a very inexpensive one, the thief may move on.  Having a full identity is important for possible recovery.  Most bikes have a serial number stamped below the bottom bracket (Under the pedals).

Don’t assume that since you don’t have a serial number, that you can’t file a report.  You should do so if for no other reason than to alert the police to a location of bike theft.  There may be others in that area.

You may be able to make a claim with the identifying information you do have.  The police normally hold unclaimed bikes for a period, then auction them or give them away.  Check with your local police and file a claim.  Ask them if you can check their unclaimed bikes to see if yours is there.  You may be able to claim it based on the picture and other identifying information.  They will probably be happy to return it to the owner if it is in their custody.

2 Comments on “Stolen Bikes

  1. Fill out a police report anyways…
    It not for anything, it will be on file..
    I lost mine a few months ago and got it back even though I didn’t have the serial number (which I have logged now..).
    In my case, I had to go to about 10 surrounding towns before I finally found it!
    Pictures with you on it, helps BIG TIME! If it’s not your “normal” looking bike, that helps too!
    Any little thing you can do can help…
    Also, check craiglist..
    If you find it on craigslist, do NOT try to recover it yourself..
    What you have to do is this..
    1.) File a report with the police.
    2.) If you find it on craigslist.. Call the police department and a detective can setup the sting for you.. (If your police force has that sort of thing)…
    3.) Call the local pawnshops.
    4.) Call/go to the surrounding towns and talk to the “evidence” group and see if a bike turned up recently.

  2. My 22 year old son works in a restaurant. He works different shifts, one night he was asked to work but he was not scheduled . That night, someone stole his bike which was chained up. My son did not file a police report because his manager told him that it is useless to file for a police report. We are only here in Florida for more than a month and we are new to every laws and what not. My question is, since the bike was stolen on the business property, and my son was not scheduled to work, could he claim the loss from his employer? His bike was not even a month old when it was stolen. What can my son do on his part?

    New in Florida

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