In West Seattle Crime Watch, the topic is bicycle theft:
STOLEN E-BIKE, MINUS BATTERY: Tom‘s Rad City 4, black with orange trim, no battery, was stolen from West 206 Apartment’ cyclone-fence bike cage overnight last night. He says it was last seen there last night; then early this afternoon, he noticed it was gone, and found the cut lock and cut fencing, plus “a box that may have been a package theft from up the street.” A large black aluminum basket, also manufactured by Rad Power Bikes, was mounted on the front of the bike; Tom says it had a dog bed inside.
DON’T BUY A STOLEN BIKE: About the same time Tom emailed us, we got this note from Jay:
Last night I spotted a teenager riding my wife’s bike, which had been stolen from our apartment’s bike storage. I chased him down and verified that it was in fact the stolen bike. After a confrontation and intervention from SPD, I recovered the bike. The owner was unaware that purchasing stolen goods doesn’t give the buyer ownership.
Bike theft, particularly from bike storage areas, is really prevalent in West Seattle right now. Thieves often store bikes for a year or more before selling them, so that the owner isn’t actively looking. This is what happened in my case. The bike was stolen on April 20, 2020, and the person riding it had purchased it from the thief on OfferUp two months ago.
OfferUp is the most popular website for selling stolen goods. A large portion of bikes on the app are stolen. But there is a way for honest buyers to tell if a bike they’re buying is stolen. Bike Index is a site where people register their bikes and report them as stolen. If the buyer had checked, they would have found my wife’s bike there. They could have looked it up by make and model or serial number and then contacted me.
That site’s been mentioned here many times before, but not in the context of checking there before you buy a bike.