De-identified but still identifiable - Ben's stolen bike was recovered thanks to a Good Samaritan checking BikeVAULT! - Vault Protected

De-identified but still identifiable - Ben's stolen bike was recovered thanks to a Good Samaritan checking BikeVAULT!

July 02, 2021 By Brad Kellas 11274 Stolen Bikes, Recovered Stolen Bike


Ben's Specialized Stumpjumper was stolen from a bike rack in South Melbourne on 3 October 2020.  Although well secured with a quality brand chain lock, the thief was able to cut the lock and steal his bike.  Upon learning of the theft Ben filed a report at the South Melbourne Police Station, where a diligent police member advised him to also report the theft to BikeVAULT.

The waiting game begins...

Like most victims, Ben followed our tried and tested recovery advice for a few weeks - scanning online adverts and notifying second-hand dealers hoping his bike would turn up.  As the months went by he eventually gave up all hope.

Whilst many victims give up on their bikes being recovered, BikeVAULT doesn't, ensuring that all stolen bikes remain searchable and identifiable.  When a victim submits a theft report on BikeVAULT, only certain information and photographs are made public to avoid educating thieves and handlers on what to remove to de-identify the bike.  The full stolen report including the frame serial number (hidden but searchable) is only accessible by the police, victim, and the BikeVAULT (PropertyVAULT) admin team.

RELATED: How the tools used to reduce car theft can help reduce all property crime

An informed Good Samaritan comes to the rescue

The vast majority of the stolen bike recoveries on BikeVAULT, usually start by the victim finding their stolen bike for sale, or a member of the public (stolen bike spotter or a used bike purchaser) reporting a matching bike for sale online or at a second-hand dealer.  The police also identify and recover many stolen bikes using our portal, but overall the victims and public find the majority. 

In this case, a Good Samaritan member of the public found Ben's bike stored in an apartment garage in Melbourne.  Aware of BikeVAULT from a prior theft at the apartment complex, he conducted a stolen bike search and found Ben's matching stolen bike report.  After submitting information via the 'MAKE A REPORT' button attached to Ben's report, a BikeVAULT admin made contact to work through the bike's identification. Obvious from the exchange of information and photographs provided, the bike frame serial number had been removed, along with several other identifiers in an obvious attempt to make it hard for the bike to be identified as stolen.  Fortunately for Ben, there were a few non-public viewable unique identifiers still on the bike that enabled it to be categorically identified as his.

RELATED:  Why bike identification is key to combat bike theft

Once confirmed to be Ben's bike, arrangements were then made for the Good Samaritan and Ben to meet at the South Melbourne Police Station, where his bike was returned and the police notified.  The police now have a suspect in their sights for the theft of Ben's bike.   

From Ben........ 

I got quite a shock when 9 months after my bike was stolen I got a call from BikeVAULT. I couldn’t quite believe it until I saw the bike itself in person. I can’t thank the great person enough who found it and went to the trouble of looking on BikeVAULT and BikeVAULT itself for their help and service. I’m just so grateful to have it back after all this time.

 Ben collecting his stolen bike from South Melbourne Police Station

Upwards of 30,000 bikes are stolen each year in Australia with very few recovered!

Don't become a bike theft statistic, take action and protect your bikes identity and your ownership today for FREE!   

RELATED: Learn Why you should register your bike for FREE with BikeVAULT

Not just bikes ....BikeVAULT part of PropertyVAULT protects all assets including pets vulnerable to theft!

Protect Your Bike - Join and Register Your Bike for FREE with BikeVAULT

A few happy former bike theft victims that BikeVAULT has helped!

Go to the PropertyVAULT News Page to read a sampling of 700 plus stolen bike recoveries that BikeVAULT has aided victims and police with over the past 6 years.  

Some former bike theft victims that BikeVAULT has helped to recover their bikes


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