If you’ve located your bike online or out in the real world, there are important steps you should take.
If your bike has been physically located
If you or someone else has found your bike tucked away down an alleyway or dumped in a ditch, this is good news.
- Call 101 and update the police. If you can prove to them that the bike is yours, they may well send a crew over to you to help you securely recover the bike.
- If you have the means to recover it yourself and can do it safely, then get it done. Call a friend and get them to help you. If your mate has a van or if you are close to home, you can get on with it. Even just pushing your bike around the corner to another location while you organise recovery is a good idea.
- Call the local bike shop. If you don’t have the means to recover it yourself, it could be worth calling your local motorcycle dealer who will be able to help. They might have a local recovery service who can take your bike straight to the dealership where it can be assessed and repaired.
If you see your bike online
If you have found your bike on an online marketplace like Gumtree, eBay or Facebook Marketplace, you need to be quick and follow these actions:
- Take some screenshots and notes, just incase the advert is taken down. Grab the number number, a link to the user’s profile, screenshots of the other ads they have live (and any other mobile numbers they have used in these different ads).
- Call the police on 101 and update them on this development. You’ll likely need to provide them with good evidence that the bike is yours. The police response will be varied but often they’ll want to nab the seller. They will most likely take this on without any further assistance from you. However on some occasions they may want you to accompany them to verify the bike is yours once they have apprehended the seller.
If the police aren’t responsive
Sometimes the police don’t react the way we’d like them to. The following steps can help you get the response you need.
- Arrange to buy the bike, you can always contact the thief through a PAYG mobile phone to reduce the chances of them tracing you. Agree to meet them in a very public place or safe address. Once you have this contact the police again and see if they are more helpful.
- Still no luck? If you are city-based you can arrange to meet the seller at a tube or train station (with an open Transport Police station) nearby. Before you meet the seller, talk to the BTP and advise them on your situation. The BTP may well step in to help or call the police to assist.
The chances of the seller arranging to meet you at their home location is minimal. The chances of the seller having their own backup or coming along equipped with a weapon is high, so do not take any risks. Always take a friend with you.
Never, ever! go to meet a seller without the police. You will most likely have one chance to meet the seller and see your bike and if the seller is suspicious they will ‘do one’ and you’ll probably never see your bike again.