Lost and Found

Aug 31,2012

Three quarters of a year ago in Koyama, I had a bicycle stolen. It was just before I moved to Yoshinari. It was quite the bicycle, being the greatest beast the man at the repair shop had on offer, and I even took out insurance on the thing. I thought I would have it for years, since it certainly wasn't going to break in half anytime soon.

Well, stolen it was, though I don't remember from exactly where. I do remember going to the big police hub and registering the theft. They properly recorded the ID number and put it all through formal legal procedures, but my better half wisely inquired as to how many bicycles have ever been recovered by this method in Tottori City. The less-than-encouraging answer was 'Several tens'. We didn't have much hope from then on.

But behold, ye of little faith in the powers of law enforcement. Last week in the middle of the day I received a telephone message from the constabulatory at the bottom of the hill here, saying they had found my bicycle. I had doubts, actually, but it must have been the same one because it would have had the same number. We hurried to the station that night to identify and possibly reclaim it, and there it was--beat up from the street up, but intact.

In Berkeley, when they steal your bike, they usually sell it to a disreputable used-bike shop. There was a huge one in town that was literally packed with thousands of stolen bikes. I have to assume they maintained a fair stock of parts, too, because in Berkeley, when they can't steal your entire ride, they take what they can. Sometimes it's just the seat, sometimes it's one wheel, but it's always whatever isn't unbreakably chained to something immobile and to the frame.

When they steal your bike in Tottori, on the other hand, it seems that what they do is ride it around until it gets a flat, and then abandon it in a random car park. Eventually the police get around to confiscating abandoned bicycles, and when they run a check on the tags, they can find who owned it. So always register your bicycle's ID number and promptly report it if and when it's stolen. They might not find it by random stops on the road, but if your bicycle has the good sense to stay in the confines of the city, rest assured the boys in blue will find it eventually.

And, for even better news: since the thing wasn't in rideable condition when they found it, a couple of officers did us the grandest favour and dropped it off at our house on their way home from work. Now how's that for a bonus of life in a small town?

Comment by AKon 2012/08/30 01:57:26
Sorry to hear your bike was stolen. It sometimes happens even in the small town. I had a bike stolen before too. We gotta be careful!

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