[TheThinkTank] Stolen and Suspicious bikes

Chris Chan chris.chan at edmontonbikes.ca
Wed Aug 24 17:51:00 PDT 2011

We don't see a lot of high-end bikes coming into our shop, so when something
catches our eye, we check the serial number in CPIC. You can do it here:
http://edmontonbikes.ca/stolenbikes/ (on the right side)

It's the national police database of stolen goods.

If it doesn't show up when we first check, we hang onto the bike for a few
weeks and check again. The database only stores numbers for 3 months, so if
we don't find it in those first two checks, chances are that no one can
legitimately claim the bike anyway. For high-end bikes, we've also called
the local bike shops that deal in the specific make of bike (e.g. only 1
shop carries Cervelos in Edmonton), since their clients usually chat with
the managers.

Otherwise, the bike is basically ours to do with as we like.  You're kind of
out of luck if you have a fancy bike and don't/can't report it to the

On Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 1:49 PM, Graham Stewart <grhmstwrt at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'd like to know what policies shops have in regards to bicycles of
> suspicious origin (possibly stolen).
> Here at the bike dump we have a strict policy to not trade or buy bikes.
>  But, we also don't ask or check about nice bikes found in alleys, garbage,
> donated, or pulled out of the river.  We don't usually say anything when
> someone comes in with a nice bike to fix missing the back wheel and
> seatpost, or tries to sell a Trek 8000 for $20.
> I know there are lots of stolen bike registries out there, but do any of
> the co-ops take the time to check?  What do you say when someone brings a
> bike to fix that was likely stolen at some point?  Do you ask for or record
> serial numbers?
> Obviously, asking where they got the bike from based on profile alone is a
> really shitty thing to do.  Stopping scruffy looking native guys for
> questioning because they are riding a nice bike is the sort of thing the
> asshole cops do.
> Graham at the bike dump in Winnipeg
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