Author Topic: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!  (Read 1499 times)

Margie

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Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« on: September 15, 2018, 12:21:25 PM »
So, we bought our son a great mountain bike last year after having inexpensive bikes since he was little.  (16 now)  He loves it but doesn't leave it anywhere...takes it from garage to trail and back...

Anyhow, he had my old mountain bike (a good one 15 years ago..) which he used as a commuter.  He hated it, ugly old and not a perfect fit.

He worked all summer and wanted to buy himself a new BMX.  I told him he could trade my bike in (for parts, etc...) and yeah go ahead your money your deal.  Do what you want.

He bought a new BMX on Saturday.  Rode it all day on Sunday with friend.  Took it to school on Monday and then Tuesday it was stolen from school.  He was shocked.  But, he worked all summer and has a lot of money left to spend/save.  He said he is going to wait a few weeks to see if police find it and if not he will just go buy another one. 

I am tempted to go buy him one because I feel so bad that he literally had this bike for less than four days.  He is a pretty good kid and fairly responsible however, I also like that he didn't ask us to replace it and he was willing to put his own money up again.

Would you replace it? 

singpolyma

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2018, 12:26:59 PM »
It sucks that this happened, and I get similar feelings whenever anyone in my family has an unexpected financial difficulty. But, are you going to help him out with capital replacements all his life? It sounds like he's got a solid plan and ability to replace it himself -- let him be his own person.

My 2c

GizmoTX

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2018, 03:29:01 PM »
I wouldnít replace it either. It does suck that the brand new really nice bike was a target, but you replacing it sends the wrong message.

What was the failure at school? Was the lock defeated, or no lock at all? This is a learning opportunity to insure it doesnít happen again. Your son should be researching this.

GuitarStv

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2018, 03:45:25 PM »
If it was the only bike he had, I'd probably buy him a new one.  Life is to short to waste days without a bicycle.  He already has one that you've described as 'nice' though, and the stolen bike was partly purchased with cash from your old bike that you gave him.  Teachable moment, life experience, etc.

I'd buy him a good u-lock and cable, and show him how to use it properly though.

Margie

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2018, 04:04:26 PM »
Thank you - you all confirmed my original thought...let him be responsible for it.

He had it locked up to the railing beside the bike racks (they were full)  The thief just cut the lock and left it on the ground.  It was a good lock so that part bites.  Thief was obviously prepared to steal a bike.  Good news is the whole thing is on camera and the school said it was definitely not another student, which is a huge relief because that would have been awful having to see the kid who stole your bike every day! 

Anyhow, we are waiting and hopeful that the thief is known to police and they go get it. 

We've been watching for it to be up for sale but no luck so far! 

He did purchase another U lock so hopefully that will keep his next school bike safe...what a PITA it is a 30 min walk to school so he has to get up earlier!  lol  poor kid


bridget

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2018, 06:06:05 PM »
Do you have a renters or home insurance policy that would cover it? I have USAA renters insurance, and have had two bikes stolen over the years. It was really easy to submit a claim and I got the amount of the bike within two weeks. I wouldn't do it unless the price of the stolen item was significantly more than the deductible, obviously, but I bet this bike qualifies. 


I'm a red panda

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2018, 06:29:08 PM »
I'd also recommend filing an insurance claim (especially since you have a video of the theft).

OR, if it isn't worth the insurance claim, explaining the process of insurance to your son, and "self-insuring", and buying a new one for him.
It's a good lesson in having savings can help solve problems, when he isn't a kid anymore parents can't solve the problem, so he'll have to make sure to have the emergency fund in the future.

I'd also talk with him about whether he really wants to buy another fancy bike. It's going to be a target for theft again. Would he rather have a regular bike? Make it clear you won't replace it again. 

Freedomin5

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2018, 07:03:54 PM »
Yes, teachable moment. If youíre going to buy a very nice bike thatís nicer than other bikes in the vicinity, it will be a target for theft. Thatís just a likely conclusion. Therefore, you need to plan to upgrade your security or find some way to camouflage the niceness of the bike to make it less palatable to potential thieves or park it in a high visibility spot that makes stealing it more difficult. Or make plans in your budget to replace it every few months to a year.

I would probably contribute to his new bike but not contribute enough to replace his high end bike. So I would (out of Kindness and Generosity and because my value is that family helps each other) contribute enough to get him a normal commuter bike, but if he wants the fancy bells and whistles he will need to pay for the upgrades himself.

jeninco

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2018, 08:54:33 PM »
Heartbreaker!

My kids both ride used beaters to school pretty much for this reason. And if the bikes do get taken (which is pretty unlikely -- they're among the least nice bikes at school) they only cost around $100 each, so not a particularly big deal to replace.

I'd probably also contribute enough for a decent bike, but not more.

bognish

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2018, 11:45:50 AM »
I would pay for the new lock. If its a nice bike, get the best lock you can find. Maybe 2. My Mtn bike has a removable through axel. If I am leaving the bike at a rack I take that with me and lock the wheel to the frame. Its not gonna be ridden away atleast.

LiveLean

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2018, 08:08:16 AM »
The fact that he locked it changes the discussion. I'd help him buy a new one.

When I was 10 way back in the Stone Age of 1980, the Schwinn Scrambler BMX bike was the coveted bike to have. It was $180, which translates to $583 today. My parents said they'd pay for half if I earned the rest with my lawn-mowing money. (Imagine that today. A 10-year-old cutting lawns. Right.)

I biked everywhere -- to the supermarket to buy baseball cards, to one of the first video arcades (Again, imagine a 10-year-old today doing these things. They'd call child protective service) and dutifully locked my bike.

Two neighbor kids also received the same bikes, fully paid by parents. Not for birthdays, just part of their steady stream of getting whatever they wanted. Bikes were promptly stolen from video arcade as they forgot to lock them up. Parents immediately bought new ones.

These boys did not turn out well and while I imagine there were a number of factors, this episode was indicative of some questionable parental judgment.

Not really comparable to your situation, but it reminded me of it.

Margie

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2018, 12:23:46 PM »
The Good:

son has decided to build his own bike....good for his brain and his character.  He is mechanically inclined so I think it will be a good project for him. 

The Bad:

He wants my husband to help paint it (my husband should have been a graphic artist) so I can only imagine how cool it will look and so it will probably get stolen too!  I suggested he build two - one for fun and one for commuting. 

The Ugly:

He can not believe the police haven't even picked up the recording from the school.  Apparently bikes are stolen on a reasonably regular basis from the school so the boys are trying to decide if they should stake it out...seriously.  I told mine if he skips school to do this it will be a bad day (he doesn't skip school at this point)  and that really it will just end in a physical fight which will probably result in assault charges for someone. 

Fun times!

techwiz

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2018, 12:49:00 PM »
can not believe the police haven't even picked up the recording from the school.  Apparently bikes are stolen on a reasonably regular basis from the school

Sorry to hear about the bike. The above really gets me, I understand the police have limited resources and see this a non-violent crime low priority. However, I believe the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory applies to this type of thing. Bike lock, camera footage, what else do they expect citizens to do.  I would try calling a city counselor or the mayor local news station to escalate using the example that students are being forced to become vigilantes to protect their property.

Glad to hear son and father working together to make a new bike. Good to see something positive coming out of it. 

Cycling Stache

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2018, 12:54:44 PM »
You all are tough!!

I would absolutely buy the kid a new bike.  He already demonstrated the discipline to save money for his goal, bought it, locked it up, and somebody ripped him off.  It's one thing to learn life lessons, but at a certain point, you still get to help your kids out.  I don't think the lesson should be that life is shitty so own shitty things.

Now maybe it's a one-time replacement, and you can explain that so he can make some decisions about whether to ride it to school, etc.  But I think the main reason not to buy stuff for kids is to teach them the value of money and to save for what they really want.  Your son did that.  Now it's just a question of can you insulate him a little from the life is shitty lesson.  I think it's okay to say yes to that.

GuitarStv

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2018, 01:19:23 PM »
can not believe the police haven't even picked up the recording from the school.  Apparently bikes are stolen on a reasonably regular basis from the school

Sorry to hear about the bike. The above really gets me, I understand the police have limited resources and see this a non-violent crime low priority. However, I believe the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory applies to this type of thing. Bike lock, camera footage, what else do they expect citizens to do.  I would try calling a city counselor or the mayor local news station to escalate using the example that students are being forced to become vigilantes to protect their property.

Glad to hear son and father working together to make a new bike. Good to see something positive coming out of it.

I (and many people like me) use our bikes to commute and run errands.  They are, in effect, cars for us.  I've always thought it was sad that police will investigate the theft of even crappy beater cars, but generally tend to ignore theft of bikes.

PoutineLover

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2018, 01:26:11 PM »
can not believe the police haven't even picked up the recording from the school.  Apparently bikes are stolen on a reasonably regular basis from the school

Sorry to hear about the bike. The above really gets me, I understand the police have limited resources and see this a non-violent crime low priority. However, I believe the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory applies to this type of thing. Bike lock, camera footage, what else do they expect citizens to do.  I would try calling a city counselor or the mayor local news station to escalate using the example that students are being forced to become vigilantes to protect their property.

Glad to hear son and father working together to make a new bike. Good to see something positive coming out of it.

I (and many people like me) use our bikes to commute and run errands.  They are, in effect, cars for us.  I've always thought it was sad that police will investigate the theft of even crappy beater cars, but generally tend to ignore theft of bikes.
Yup. If they can bother arresting people and sending them to court for shoplifting crap from the mall, they should also have time to spend on investigating thefts of commuting vehicles from private citizens. When my sisters bike was stolen, the cops said they knew of a few stores that sold stolen bikes, we should check there. They didn't try very hard to figure out who did it, and basically said we'd be lucky if it ever turned up. That's the main reason why I don't bother upgrading my bike, it's rusty and trusty and not a target.

me1

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2018, 01:27:05 PM »
Has he tried this
https://bikeindex.org/stolen

I've had 3 bikes stolen in my life. The first one was super nice and shiny. And was stolen within a week of buying it. So I feel his pain. I never bought a new or expensive bike after that. So it was a good mustachian lesson to learn.
Also, the only people who I have ever known to recover their bikes, went searching through local pawn shops, so might be something to try.

moof

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2018, 05:14:03 PM »
I'd buy the kid a fresh one, there is no lesson to learn here other than the fact that the real world can be cruel.  He already learned that plenty.

elaine amj

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2018, 07:53:40 PM »
Yah...my husband won't buy a nice commuter bike or let any of us buy anything other than a Walmart special. Precisely for this reason. I sometimes lust for a fancy bike - but DH is right.

It sucks. I'd probably let him use his own plans and find other ways to gift him something nice later. Good for him for managing the problem himself.

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jeninco

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2018, 09:58:13 AM »
Yah...my husband won't buy a nice commuter bike or let any of us buy anything other than a Walmart special. Precisely for this reason. I sometimes lust for a fancy bike - but DH is right.

It sucks. I'd probably let him use his own plans and find other ways to gift him something nice later. Good for him for managing the problem himself.

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Camp Mustache Toronto (Sep 21-23) is where all the cool Mustachians will be gathering for meatball parties,  karaoke in the bell tower and VolleyHockeyBall!

See, I disagree about the "Walmart special" part -- I want everyone in our house to have decent bikes, so they're easy to ride and maintain.

The trick is to make sure they look like crap. So a banged up 10-year-old medium-end-or-nicer bike, as long as it looks cruddy, is the thing we're looking for. As long as it's not one of the nicer-looking bikes on the rack it's all good... (And also teaches the kids lessons about choosing quality  even when it's not shiny.) Fortunately, we live in a place where really nice used bikes are for sale cheap(ish).

elaine amj

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2018, 12:36:02 PM »
Good point. I just bought a reasonable looking folding bike from Winners for $80, worth about $200 I think. It's the "nicest" commuter bike in our household (what can I say - we generally ride for hours on rusted pieces of junk, although I did buy my more peer-pressured DS15 a brand new Huffy - quality bike so it was a least somewhat shiny lol) and I know he will be freaked out if we take it grocery shopping, etc. So far it hasn't made it any further than my shed so we'll see how it goes. It will certainly lose its flexibility for me if DH is too scared for us to leave it locked up somewhere.

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maltmc

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Re: Replace my son's stolen bike for him??!?!?!
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2018, 04:22:32 PM »
Sorry to hear about your son's stolen bike.

My suggestion regardless of who bankrolls the new bike would be (as others have suggested) to buy and use an excellent U-lock (for the frame) and a separate cable (for the wheels).  If he does get a nice bike, I would additionally suggest that he do what I do with my bianchi and put a number of stickers and duct tape on it (covering the manufacturer/model logos).  This could be a fun personalizing activity, but also serves two very practical purposes: it makes the bike less desirable to a thief (by making it look cheaper and less attractive to a fence) and makes the bike more identifiable (in case it does get stolen, to be reclaimed).