Watch out!!

From MCN.>>

January 16 2006 >>

Bike thief ‘Steve’ is back>>

Serial bike thief ‘Steve’ has struck again but this time he’s using the name ‘Lee’.>>

Greg Baxter, an accountant from Farnborough, Hants, says he could kick himself for being taken in by the double-dealing con man who police have been hunting since last summer.>>

The Lee who stole his Yamaha R1 on the evening of Friday, January 13, used the same techniques and matches the description of the Steve you’ll find referred to in our previous reports, right.>>

We urge all site users to forward this story to every bike owner you know to help prevent Steve/Lee getting away with this again. You could try the ‘send a link’ function in tools/mail and news>>

Greg advertised his R1 for sale in MCN and got a call from ‘Lee’ saying he was interested. Lee said he was from Romford, Essex but worked in central LACE w:st=“on”>LondonLACE> – as does Greg. >>

They arranged to meet outside what Lee claimed was his grandparents’ home in Cambridge Heath Road.>>

When Greg arrived they started talking terms. Two teenagers turned up but didn’t appear to be with ‘Lee’. Greg got concerned as he noticed one had a knife in his pocket. He decided to leave.>>

While riding back he got a call on his mobile from ‘Lee’. ‘Lee’ claimed the teenagers had turned on him, trying to steal his mobile and been seen off by the arrival of his grandfather.>>

Greg said: “I could kick myself now, but I felt sorry for him. He said he was still keen to buy and we arranged to meet on a one-way street near Liverpool Street station.”>>

Despite reservations of the kind we all have when selling our bike, Greg allowed Lee to have the briefest of test rides up the one-way street (from which there was only one exit). Lee took his opportunity and stormed away with Greg’s R1.>>

Greg added: “I have reverse gearing on my bike, but he didn’t appear caught out by that.” It may indicate our villain spends time on the track.>>

Greg called 999 immediately and police are now investigating. Greg’s bike has previously featured in MCN when he joined us in a test of the BMW K1200R.>>

Here’s our advice to avoid the trap Greg fell in to:>>

MCN recommends: If you’re selling - take a mate with you . If you must let the buyer take a test ride, insist on full ID and full payment in cash before they get the key. Take a photograph of them, too. You can always agree that they have a short period within which to change their mind and get a refund.>>

Make sure your bike is registered on MCN BikeWatch (see link right) with all relevant pictures to make it easier for the bike to be reunited with you - and for alerts to be raised.>>

Cheers for the info, anyone selling has been duly warned.