Doing something about E-Bay/Gumtree/Brick Lane

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by porteous, 20 Apr 2010.

  1. porteous

    porteous Veteran

    I am really fed up with the pain and inconvenience caused in to Cyclechat members in London by serial bike thieves, so I have written an e-mail to Boris! See below:

    Dear Boris (& Team)

    I am writing about a matter which, in the great scheme of things, is small; but which causes great upset and offence to the individuals involved.

    There are people in London making a very fat living out of bicycle theft, with stolen bikes often fetching between £450 and £1000 pounds being sold in the Brick Lane market, and via Ebay and Gumtree.

    There is a perception among cyclists that the police are either not interested or do not have the time to deal with this. A little effort here could make a great deal of difference to the lives of many. After all, most people who are cyclists are not well heeled and become emotionally attached to their cycles.

    Do have a look here: for more information. London has a terrific record on encouraging cycling, and an effort to control those who make a large sums out of bike theft would contribute to that effort. Petty theft and low level crime really matters to those subjected to it.

    Regards (And keep up the good work!)!

    Within seconds an electronic reply:

    The Mayor would like to thank you for your interest in his work and he is keen to answer your query as quickly and fully as possible. As you will appreciate, he receives very large amount of correspondence but he is committed to responding to your query within 20 working days.

    I'll let you know! (At least someone in the GLC might look at the stolen bikes thread!).
  2. upsidedown

    upsidedown Waiting for the great leap forward

    The middle bit
    Good initiative, but not sure i like the "After all, most people who are cyclists are not well heeled" bit.There's already a public perception that we cycle because we're not rich or clever enough to have a car, when in fact the opposite is often true.
  3. OP

    porteous Veteran

    Point taken, but, remember that the aim of the exercise is to get them to do something about the situation. I don't think most people can afford to lose a bike, anyway.
  4. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

    What pisses me off is ebay's complete lack of concern. I thought I was doing them a service by reporting clearly stolen bikes, but their response was, in a nutshell, 'are you a police? Well in that case, %^$& off.'
  5. Dan B

    Dan B Disengaged member

    I'm not surprised. I don't have much experience with Ebay, but Gumtree have a really shoddy attitude towards doing anything about the scammers and spammers whose operations they make possible, so it doesn't surprise me that they support the rights of thieves to move product too.
  6. Dan B

    Dan B Disengaged member

    Fair point. Could have changed that from "most" to "many" and it would have been just as true and marginally less likely to offend

    It's a minor niggle, though. Good effort and let's see if it helps
  7. odieboo

    odieboo New Member

    Recently I have been in the market for a 2nd hand bike and I could not believe how many bikes for sale are so obviously stolen. It is not rocket science to work out which are not above board. The theiving scum bags aren't really very clever with their ads and it is apparent that the likes of gumtree et al are not taking steps to stop this. I really do agree that something needs to be done about this and I am happy to help in any way.

    I reckon it would be a good idea to list as stolen on gumtree/ebay and that way it will make it harder for the scum bags to get rid of them on there.
  8. Mark_Robson

    Mark_Robson Senior Member

    I Don't understand what you mean?
  9. odieboo

    odieboo New Member

    sorry, not made that very clearn.

    Well, if i was searching for a dahon speed on gumtree, then a list all Dahon speed would be shown so I would see what has been recently stolen with description etc: hopefully it would put the dodgy sellers off listing there too.

    That's the theory but not sure how that would work in practice.
  10. jujubi

    jujubi Active Member

    I'm a newbie, it's sort of rocket science to me, actually. How do I tell, which bikes are "obviously" stolen?
  11. sheddy

    sheddy Guru

    Stolen bikes have crude/incorrect descriptions where the seller/thief has no detailed knowledge of the product
  12. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    Surely if the internet is so brilliant at bringing together buyers and sellers all over the world somebody could use it to register stolen bikes in a sort of parallel to the DVLA? You could register your bike and pay a small fee then potential buyers of that kind of bike could search the database to check for reports of any that have been stolen.

    Mind you - a lot of buyers probably don't care that the bike might be stolen, as long as it's cheap.
  13. trsleigh

    trsleigh Well-Known Member

    Search on the seller's mobile number. You'll often find three or four names each selling a different bike.
    I suppose you could have some fun by phoning & asking for Fred, who's apparently selling a Brompton given to him by a mate, then ask about a Condor being sold by Andy, who's apparently leaving the country.
  14. MacB

    MacB Lover of things that come in 3's

    Is the problem, remove the market and you remove the crime. I despair at the amount of people, I know, that would bemoan crime and punishment Daily Mail style. Yet will happily avail themselves of a 'bargain'.
  15. Corvette chic

    Corvette chic Guest

    Scumbags the lot of 'em it would be very easy to set up a database like the DVLA possibly attached to the CTC or something reputable to stop this sort of thing but like MacB says there are those out there that will happily avail themselves of a bargain "know what I mean guv".

    just trolled through quickly on Gumtree and there's one listed as selling 11 bikes duh?????
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