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Update on the stolen bicycle

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Idaho, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    Since everyone is sooooooooo interested in the minutia of my personal life ... ::)

    Back in April my brand new bicycle was stolen out of my garage. Really nice bike and it cost me a bundle. I report it stolen and file an insurance claim. Insurance company sends me a check and all is well after I buy the replacement bike.

    A few months later (last week, actually), local police call me and tell me my stolen bicycle has been recovered and I can come pick it up. I do, take it into the repair shop for an estimate for getting it back to near the condition it was when stolen.

    I take the bike and the estimate (almost $1,000 to replace the missing or damaged parts) into the insurance agent and ask them what they want to do since, technically, the bike belongs to them. The agent says he's never had someone come in with recovered stolen property that has already been paid for with a claim. He has no idea if the home office will even want to take the bike off my hands even though it's legally theirs.

    He said I'm the first person in his 10 years of selling insurance to try to avoid being an insurance cheat after a claim check has been issued. In the meantime, I'm holding onto 'their' bike while they figure out what to do with it.

    I know insurance fraud is a common problem, but I found the reaction from my agent a little strange. Nobody has ever had stolen stuff recovered and returned? Or no one has ever tried to do the right thing and not rob the insurance company?
  2. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Kind of makes you feel like a chump, doesn't it? ;)
  3. MacDaddy

    MacDaddy Active Member

    My dad worked for an insurance company for 30 years and they had stuff like this happen all the time. So often, in fact, they had sales of theft-recovery merchandise to employees on a regular basis.
  4. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    If they want my 'old' bike, they're welcome to it. It'll cost me more to repair it than I want to sink into it. The agent said they often have cars recovered and then resold, but for smaller stuff like a bicycle, he has no idea what they'll do.
  5. CentralIllinoisan

    CentralIllinoisan Active Member

    I would have done the same thing, Idaho. I applaud you for it.

    I hit a deer a few months back, and took it to a body shop i'd used before -- does good work. Anyway, I get an estimate for about $800. My family tells me to take it to guy they know who will do it for less, and then keep the extra money.

    I flat-out told them no. Many pull this scam, but I felt it not worth the risk. Insurance fraud for a couple hundred bucks?

    Are what Idaho and I did not common? What does the rest of the board think?
  6. JR

    JR Active Member

    Did they fix the deer? :)
  7. Stretch15

    Stretch15 Member

    We have more crime than people might think.

    The Elizabeth Smart kidnapping, polygamists running wild down south, Utah State and Weber State making their fans pay good money to watch their awful football teams...
  8. Dirk Legume

    Dirk Legume Active Member

    In my area, the DA just ran a sting on this very thing. Undercover officers went to various body shops with a damaged car. After they got an estimate to fix the damage they would ask if som other damage on the car, unrelated to the accident, could be folded into the insurance estimate. 57 people in the county were arrested on insurance fraud for agreeing to do that. 3 in my town all pillars of the community, etc...none of those arrested would have been considered "shady" or "fly by night".

    Some refused to go along with it, one body shop owner chased the undercover officer off his property.

    57 arrests...I guess it's pretty common.

    And Idaho, my missus was in the insurance business for many years, she thinks they'll just tell you to keep it. And they may not call you back.
  9. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    So what's the time frame before I should consider their bicycle 'abondoned' and call it mine?
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Good for you, Idaho.
  11. Dirk Legume

    Dirk Legume Active Member

    Just guessing here, but if you asked them what they wanted to do with it, and they don't get back to you in a reasonable amount of time (I am thinking 30 days), it's yours.

    But you should remember that I am, in most things, quite stupid.
  12. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    If you don't get the bike repaired, is it still rideable?
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