View Full Version : Need Advice: Sold A Previously Stolen Bike

06-25-2009, 08:39 AM
Hey guys about 4 years ago i sold a couple motorbikes i'd found in the trader, Today i got a call from someone i sold a bike to who said the cops told him the bike was stolen. I was just wondering what my options here are am i liable? what should i say to him? any insight would be great.

06-25-2009, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by legacy98
Hey guys about 4 years ago i used to flip bikes once in a while, Today i got a call from someone i sold a bike to who said the cops told him the bike was stolen. I was just wondering what my options here are am i liable? what should i say to him? any insight would be great.

This has to be a joke. :facepalm:

Edit: I guess maybe I should give you a chance to explain your choice of wording. By "flip" do you mean "bought damaged, fixed, and sold again" or "bought stolen, altered, and sold as if it wasn't?"

06-25-2009, 08:45 AM
Bicycle or motorbike?

06-25-2009, 08:51 AM
Edited - i tried to clean it up

06-25-2009, 08:53 AM
look for your bill of sale or contact info of the person you bought it from... then the cops go after that dood and not you

06-25-2009, 08:55 AM
I'll have to have a look, like i said it was 4 years ago.

06-25-2009, 08:57 AM
so why are they coming back to you right now if you sold it 4 years ago? shouldnt this have been brought to your attention 3 years 11 months and 30 days ago?

06-25-2009, 08:57 AM
Better now. Ok, did you ever register the bikes? I'm going to assume you did. If the registry didn't have them flagged as stolen when you bought them, then I doubt you could be held liable. Even if they were reported stolen while you owned them, then the VIN would have popped up and you would have got a call from the cops.

Offer any help you can but if the guy just wants his money back then he's probably just suffering some very late buyer's remorse.

06-25-2009, 09:00 AM
Hey i never did register it since my intent was to sell it, Just something i did that summer for pocket money. and no kidding this was 4 years ago.

06-25-2009, 09:05 AM
This is what I would do and im sure some would not agree.

Contact the police and tell them your story. Tell them you used to buy bikes/cars from autotrader,etc and that some gentleman called you and said that one of the bikes that you sold him 4 years back came back stolen. I would think if you went to the cops yourself it would show that you got nothing to hide and your on there side. Most likely they will let it slide. Playing dumb helps too.

06-25-2009, 09:10 AM
Hey that's a great idea i'll give them a call

06-25-2009, 09:12 AM
Ignorance can't be used as a defense *I Believe*

06-25-2009, 09:29 AM
Im not saying he should act like a retard. Im saying is that he should act "concerned", which he is. If he doesent say anything and it turns out to be a big thing it will seem like hes hiding someing.

06-25-2009, 09:31 AM
I agree. Not contacting the police would not do any good, since they will catch up with him eventually rather than just drop it.

By calling the police, he shows initiative that he wants to resolve the issue, and that he has nothing to hide.

I would not expect any charges to be laid.

I wonder though - what is the guy who you sold the bike to planning on doing? Does he want his money back?

06-25-2009, 09:37 AM
Hey guys i gave the Edmonton police hot line a call and they're just as confused as we are. He said something sounds fishy if it took this long for the guy to figure this out. I'm still confused on what to do but I'll have to take it day by day. Any other insights would still be helpful.

06-25-2009, 09:40 AM
Might be to late, but did you get the name of the Officer you spoke with today? Just in case they come back to you and say "well you should have came to us".

06-25-2009, 09:41 AM
ah that's good thinking as well, i should have done that. i'll call back and see if i get the same guy

06-25-2009, 09:48 AM
Guy could be looking to scam you... 4yrs is a bit of a stretch for him to not register the bike. Phone him back, told him you've contacted Edm police with his information, and ask that you direct all inquires straight to them now.

You're basically just cutting yourself out of the loop.

06-25-2009, 09:51 AM
Yeah true i want my involvement to be at a minimal level. don't get me wrong if it's the case i feel bad for the guy but i'm not too sure what he wants from me.

06-25-2009, 09:51 AM
Ask them to assign a case number for you so it won't get lost.

06-25-2009, 11:53 AM
If i sold some bikes i stole, obviously unregistered, and then 4 years later got a call from the police i would definately post on an internet forum asking for the best course of action while claiming to be innocent. :thumbsup:

06-25-2009, 12:50 PM
My uncle bought a snowmobile, registered it, rode it for a year, and then sold it to a buddy the following year. 3 years later they called his friend and said it was a stolen sled, they some how deamed that it had been to long and insurance had paid out the original owner.

Thats the last they heard about it....kinda weird. How do you register some thing that is stolen in the first place?

06-25-2009, 12:55 PM
Verify the VIN?
I'm talking, you must know the VIN from before you sold it. He could have possibly swapped the VIN with the real stolen bike or something like that?

06-25-2009, 12:56 PM
Until the police contact you, you can't really confirm that this guy is legit. In the meantime, gather any paper work you might have so if/when they do, you will have things in order.

06-26-2009, 11:18 PM
i think the statute of limitations would be up anyways for something like this.

06-26-2009, 11:47 PM
I'd think it would be 5 years or so. I'm not sure I'd bother doing anything. If the police contact you, then you can co-operate as much as you see fit - or don't bother and see if they charge you. And if they charge you, get a lawyer. I don't think I'd waste any time with it beyond what you've already done. Something seems quite fishy that so much time has passed...

Anyhow, I think the most you could be charged with is possession of stolen property. And ironically, the guy who is contacting you could be charged with the exact same thing since he actually has the stolen property! LOL!

cancer man
06-27-2009, 12:58 AM
Get ready to issue a refund if you can't provide a bill of sale when you bought it.
Hope you have a DL and another piece of ID from who you bought it from.

Somebody correct me if i'am wrong but i believe it's 5 years until you can get rid of your bill of sale.

06-27-2009, 01:10 AM
why dont u just do a vehicle title search on the car first and see if it actually was stolen before, at least if it were u`d know the date

06-28-2009, 08:21 PM
I had property stolen once. It appeared on Kijiji about 5 months later and I report it and they just went to the guys house and grabbed it from him. Apparently he bought it off of someone and it's just tough luck. There's nothing a person can get back from that. And you being the middle man in a stolen bike case you have no obligation to repay. But also should you have a bill of sale from the previous owner of the bike? In theory there should be paperwork to backup the previous owners of this bike.

And on a side note. When you get a bill of sale and you present it to a registry when registering do they log that in any way? Seems that would make sense to have a detailed list of buyers? and If you never registered the bike did you give your buyer the previous bill?? or just hand write your own bill of sale.