Stolen bike recovery tactics/suggestions please

Jul 16, 2014
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#1
Not sure where to post this in your forum, or if its already been covered somewhere...
(apologies for breaking rules right from the start, if I am!)

Wanted to find out what are some current trends and things that people are doing to track down bikes specifically in Japan. My J-local friends are telling me to watch Yahoo Auction/ebay, but they didn't mention craigslist.

I set up an account to monitor stuff on the web for possible matches to my bike on IFTTT
And registered my stolen bike on Bike Index.

Wondering what those who have had a bike stolen recently here in Japan might have to say about it.
Are there any Japan-specific things, or tech-related "tactics" to do here in Japan, that I may be forgetting?

Thx
 

GrantT

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Oct 2, 2012
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#2
Japan has a bicycle registration system. Was your bike registered? If so, take your proof of registration to the police and tell them it's been stolen.
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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#4
What, where and when? Are you on twitter? Posting on there and getting the pic out and circulating can't do any harm. Try facebook and such and keep watching the auctions.
 
Jul 16, 2014
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#5
Thanks, I'm doing those things you suggested. Getting the word out.
Sounds like a lot of the bikes like mine (fixed gear/customized track bikes) are going to Vietnam/Thailand/Philippines etc so wondering how to watch those deals (?)

Are they using different sites or platforms, specific for Japanese stolen bikes going to SE Asia?

For what its worth, here are my specs on the theft...

WHAT:
FUJI CLASSIC trackback (around 2010 model I think, it was a gift from a friend so I didn't ask), white frame w/black bullhorn handlebars, red metallic rim on back wheel, black front wheel (LEADER), "Thick Slick" tires, chrome front fork, black hard leather saddle, red metallic brake handles...

WHERE:
SHINJUKU NEW SOUTH EXIT, near McDonalds and just at the edge under the Koshu Kaido overpass/tunnel there, in between Takashimaya and the station. Lots of foot traffic streaming through there.

WHEN:
MONDAY 7.14, between 6-10PM
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#6
It's undoubtably got security cameras as well. Have you looked into that?

As far as getting it back from SE asia. Forget it, even if you were to find it in a shop for sale in another country there is nothing you can do to get it back.
 
Jul 16, 2014
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#7
I showed the policeman who I spoke to at the scene of the crime all the stickers on the walls around the area which say "BEWARE: this area is under video surveillance." He said those cameras were for the walls, maybe graffiti (?) and it wouldnt help.

And he kept going back to the fact that it wasn't registered so nothing he could do...

For the getting it back from SE Asia part, what I meant was catching them before it gets there. Some likely places for the SE Asian vendors to be searching for these bikes on this side, perhaps like Yahoo Auction or maybe something more off the beaten path ?
 
Jul 16, 2014
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#8
i.e. something like this list from Bike Shepherd

In Australia, Gumtree, eBay, Trading Post and Bike Exchange are the main online classified sites. Set up email alerts on these sites so you are notified of new posts selling bikes similar to yours.

But specifically for Japanese custom bikes getting bought up from overseas/SE Asia or wherever...

Just a shot in the dark, but I thought somebody on here might have been through all of this before.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#9
There are stolen bike posts every few months, yet to hear of anyone getting one back… Sorry. I had a motorbike stolen, when I reported it the cop in the koban where I reported it was more interested in how tall I was and my funny(to him) name than he was doing anything to help me get it back. Exceedingly frustrating and needless to say it didn't come back.

For what it's worth my guess is yours will not be shipped OS and I would be finding all the fixie custom shops and either give them a picture or just visit often looking for your parts on other bikes….

Or probably best, just forget about it and move on. I guess it comes down to balancing how much time/effort a fruitless search is worth compared to the value of the bike.

Not being very positive am I, but I do really hope you get your bike back, getting shit you care about stolen totally sucks.
 

leicaman

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Sep 20, 2012
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#10
Don't listen to Mr.negativity ( @theBlob ). My mate got his Pinarello with full campy Super Record stolen from Shibuya about 6 weeks ago. He trawled yahoo auctions everyday and finally found it. He alerted the police so they contacted the seller. They met up recently and now the police have the bike in their possession. The officer says he should get it back pretty soon. So, yeah, bikes do get found after they have been stolen (although, admittedly he was a very very lucky lad). But don't give up hope.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#11
Hey That's a great story! I'm glad to hear it.

Don't listen to Mr.negativity ( @theBlob ). My mate got his Pinarello with full campy Super Record stolen from Shibuya about 6 weeks ago. He trawled yahoo auctions everyday and finally found it. He alerted the police so they contacted the seller. They met up recently and now the police have the bike in their possession. The officer says he should get it back pretty soon. So, yeah, bikes do get found after they have been stolen (although, admittedly he was a very very lucky lad). But don't give up hope.
 
Likes: leicaman

Trek DJ

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#13
Don't know if Blob is negative...facts and figures are unfortunately on his side.

I hope that bike thief ends up in a bad place. Wonder what else the police found at his house?

FYI, that area around Gaenmae is a hotbed for thieves it seems. Specialized used to have a store there, Nalshima is there, and Bridgestone is right up the road. When I worked for Spec., several concept store staff had their bikes stolen from the rack out back. It happened 2 times that I know of. So a crew was definitely scouting the area for bikes to nab...it only takes a few seconds to get through a cable lock. No luck finding the bikes....

Best advice? Dont leave your good bikes out of sight.
 
Apr 22, 2014
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#14
My good old commuter bike was nearly stolen between Shibuya and Ebisu - one of safest areas. Someone broke the chain and just threw the bike at the site. I found it with broken chain and few scratches. Not sure why, probably someone disturbed the thieve or the size was just too large to drive away. :) good luck finding your bike and take care. Japan is very safe country but still some scum are walking around.

Fixie stuff is very popular now in Tokyo so every loser with waxed hair will try to get one. No wonder they are the most targeted too.
 

timefleas

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Nov 30, 2013
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#15
Blob simply stated the rule (the bike is gone), leicaman, the exception (it will show up six months down the road)--be realistic, it is indeed gone. Learn from the experience--register it, watch over it, do whatever you didn't do that led to the loss in the first place.

As trek dj says, don't leave your good bike out of sight--I have a great lock for my bike(s), but just about never use it, as I would NEVER leave one of the good bikes out of my, or a trusted friend's, eyesight.
 
Likes: GSAstuto

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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#16
We had a bike 'borrowed' from our house in Shinjuku. Since it was locked to the porch rail it was covered by insurance. Then, 5mo later it was recovered by the Police so we had to 'buy it back'. The bike was registered, so at least we had some chance of recovery. For our personal bikes, we have theft insurance. I think even 7-11 insurance has theft coverage. If you park your bike anywhere except inside your house, there is some chance it will get stolen. Even in Japan. Cruising Craigslist, eBay, etc to find your lost bike is a very very small chance of luck. But setting up alerts may strike the jackpot. As for the Police being involved - unless you had registered it, they are under no obligation to assist other than perhaps filing a note about it. As you could not 'prove' the bike you are claiming that was stolen is actually yours, no? See how it works?
 

Gunjira

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Oct 2, 2009
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#17
Currently in denial with a chance that my joy wasn't stolen but removed for false parking.
In preparation to what might come, let me share some some additional pointers, which I also added to the WIKI. Please note that to do all this effectively it will have to be done in Japanese, except no5, for which any way is fine.

1. Check with the local collection centers. The bike might have been removed by the orderlies. Contact numbers for within Tokyo: http://stolen.concents.net/blog/?page_id=202
Apparently it takes them a couple of days to file a bike, so check first if there was a cleanup in the area, then which holding they bikes went to and then bug them for a while. For central Tokyo the Shibaura collection space seems to be well used: 03-3452-3710

2. Social Media. Get the info out there quick. Twitter and Facebook public. @Cycle_Search has more than 2000 followers. Sending it to @stolen_bikes will likewise distribute the info further.

3. Register with theft trackers. http://www.cycle-search.info/ and http://stolen.concents.net/bbs/
This will also give you an indication about theft activity in the area, so the likelihood it might have been an organised hit.

4. Police. Go to the police even it they do not seem helpful. If it happened in Tokyo, any police box will do. Even if the bike was not registered (防犯登録証), as long as you have a frame number (車体番号) they cannot turn you away. Prepare all info, so the bike can be identified if found. They will also prepare a theft certificate, that might be necessary for insurance claims.

5. Second-hand shops. The bigger shops will accept information about stolen bikes in advance and have special email for that. I would still also email the smaller ones, just in case. Although they have to take ID from all sellers, what there protocols are when they identify a stolen bike, I don't know.
サイクルハンター
https://www.cyclehunter.com/secure/stolen.html
テルテルスポーツ
http://www.493190.com/registration/index.php
サイクリー
https://www.cycly.co.jp/common/CSfClaimForm.jsp
サイクルパラダイス
http://www.cypara.com/robbery-report.html
自転車買い取り
http://www.jitensyakaitori.com/robbery-report.html


3. Set up alerts on auction sites. Yahoo, rakuten auctions and bidders in Japan.

4. Insurance. If at home, home insurance covers it. If at a paid parking space, they have liability. Theft insurance might cover it.

5. Take the law into your own hands. If you have some leads, follow up. Don't expect the police to do anything proactively. If you found the culprits, smash their heads in, but don't do anything irresponsible.
 
Last edited:
Jan 14, 2007
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Noda
japanichiban.com
#18
My niece had her car stolen Sunday night...My sister was all over facebook with photos and details on every local facebook club and police pages, called the police of course and decided that the early bird catches the worm. Not content to just sit at the computer, she got out on the road as well. 6:15pm on the Monday she spotted the car in traffic, got on the phone to police, followed the car...sometimes through red lights....corralled the car into the front of a police station where police came running out to catch the 4 teenage mutant dimwits. Some damage to the car...but quite remarkable. Be pro-active.
 

Gunjira

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Oct 2, 2009
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Tokyo
#20
Loop through cable lock locked through main triangle and around a tree. Requires either lock picking skills or a mid to large size bolt cutter. Lock is gone as well. Policeman 30 meters away, so probably came by car, blocked the view and threw the whole bike in the trunk.
Gonna try with building cctv cameras later today.