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#1 2022-03-20 11:14:47

From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,354

Pawn shops pretending that stolen bikes aren't?

Came across this review for Mustang Pawn.  My understanding is that pawn shops are required to give the serial numbers of their bikes to APD so APD can match against reported bike thefts.  The bike owner here claims that Mustang intentionally gave the wrong serial number of his bike to APD.  While intent is hard to prove, the bike owner also says that Mustang forced him to sue to get his bike back, which isn't likely something he'd make up, and if Mustang is that shady, then the idea of the intentional misrepresentation of the serial # to APD gets more believable.

"They knowingly misrepresented the serial number from my bike that was stolen. I went to the store because they had posted it for sale on Craigslist. When I went there to claim my stolen bike, they said it was a mistake that they wrote the serial number down incorrectly on their inventory report to the Austin police. Even with the proof that it was my bike, they made me sue them to get my bike back. However, when it came time to go to court they didn't even bother to show up because they knew they were wrong."


#2 2022-03-21 14:52:37

Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 601

Re: Pawn shops pretending that stolen bikes aren't?

I've heard these sorts of claims repeatedly over the years, all of it, for various pawn shops.

They are indeed required to report serial numbers, but ... there seems to be no penalty for them accidentally making typos on the bikes they think are likely to be stolen.

From what I've heard they'll give up the bike to the police, but if the police won't even get involved, yeah, they make you sue them, even though they're knowingly holding stolen property.  On the bright side, once it goes to court they don't have a defense, and you can include court costs in what you sue for.

Texas law does provide for "exemplary damages" if there's strong evidence of fraud, malice or gross negligence, though I don't know if that's an option in small claims court.


#3 2022-03-22 13:14:05

Registered: 2010-01-07
Posts: 23

Re: Pawn shops pretending that stolen bikes aren't?

Thanks Michael and Doug. This is a good time to remind everyone to WRITE DOWN THE SERIAL NUMBER from your bike! Do it right NOW! I just happened to have mine in my wallet a few years ago when my bike was stolen from HEB Hancock (stupidly, I left the bike unlocked at the bike rack to run in very briefly but, jeez, it was 7 am! Who cases a bike rack at 7 am? A meth-head named Armando Hanft, apparently.). In less than 2 hours, APD found my bike (already stripped of all other identifying bells, racks, etc.), we flipped it over and checked the number, it matched, and they gave it back to me right there. Huge relief! It is a bit tricky to read the serial number; mine is crusted with grime and I had to double and triple check that I read it correctly. So, I wouldn’t be too quick to point fingers, but since I wasn’t there at the pawn shop, I don’t really have a useful opinion on it.


#4 2022-03-25 23:22:56

Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 233

Re: Pawn shops pretending that stolen bikes aren't?

You can register your bike with APD here: … 8268099387

Also, it's a good idea to go through your stuff and take picture of everything of value. Record serial numbers of bikes, guns, etc. Take picture of your rooms with your stuff. Back this stuff up remotely, along with all important documents so that when your place burns down/gets broken into, you can be ready to make an insurance claim. (That number to call should be in your phone, but also backed up remotely in case you phone is gone too.)

I also have images of my dogs and grandchildren on my phone in case I ever need to show them to strangers while searching for them/identifying them.


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