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Old 05-18-2012, 11:44 AM   #1
mjydrafter OP
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motorcycle repairs on a stolen bike...

A friend of mine, that I do a bunch of motorcycle repairs for has me working on a sweet little Honda CT70.

I have had it for 1 week at this point, and I have changed the oil, replaced the stator coil, points, condenser, and replaced battery and and a few miscellaneous screws and bolts. I even ordered and received new decals for it. About all I have left is to figure out why the HL isn't working...

Today I get a call from my friend, "hey don't get any parts for the Honda... I was at the DMV and the VIN shows up as stolen"

I told him that I had it running and had replaced all the stuff we had talked about when I picked the bike up. The only thing I haven't done is put the stickers on...

He's a good guy and will pay me for my parts and labor, so I'm not worried about that. But I don't want to "stick it to him" since he will likely be out the purchase price and my parts and labor.

So what to charge, that is my long winded question?

And yes I will be returning the bike to him as it is this evening after work. I don't need any stolen property, and he expects the DMV or PD will be out to pick it up at some point.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:01 PM   #2
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In the mean time take it out and ride it like it's stolen.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:19 PM   #3
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I did this morning at 6am...

My 10 year old son is going to be really mad. He wanted to ride it too. Hell even my wife thought it was cool and wanted to try it.

It's a cool little bike, it's really to bad about it's history. I hope maybe they won't find the original owner and my friend can get it without too much hassle. He got a bill of sale from the guy he bought it from, the guy he bought it from supposedly had a bill of sale from the guy he got it from...

He admitted he knows better than to buy a vehicle without a title...
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:22 PM   #4
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If he is a good friend just charge your cost for parts and zero labor. Until official action is actually taken there is still the possibility it isn't stolen. Perhaps an error in entering the VIN, etc.

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Old 05-18-2012, 02:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Railbender View Post
If he is a good friend just charge your cost for parts and zero labor. Until official action is actually taken there is still the possibility it isn't stolen. Perhaps an error in entering the VIN, etc.

My thoughts as well.

Additionally, if the original owner is found your friend may be able to contact him and arrange to purchase it from him.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:34 PM   #6
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Well I just ran it back to him. He wouldn't let me not charge him for the labor.

The good news is there is a paper trail on the bike. The guy he bought it from agreed to give him his money back, but we still don't know what the DMV/PD will do. And of course his name is on record as having tried to get the title.

Funniest part is there were back registration charges on it as well, totaling $165.

The guy he got it from bought it off Craigslist, so he has a paper trail as well. He got it from a really nice house in the fancy part of town...

The DMV won't give out any information as far as the original owner, where it was last registered, etc. About all they would tell him is that it was reported stolen in 2008.
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mjydrafter View Post
The DMV won't give out any information as far as the original owner, where it was last registered, etc. About all they would tell him is that it was reported stolen in 2008.
At least in this case the original owner is probably going to get it back in nicer condition than it was in when it was stolen. Too often all that comes back is a smattering of parts in a box.
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:40 PM   #8
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file a lien against the title for the parts and labor??? lol.
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:44 PM   #9
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yep.... mechanic's lien for the labor.... ya never know, might get something back. not your fault it's hot
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:50 PM   #10
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Ask to be notified when they figure out whole stole it, or sold it knowing it was stolen, then file a claim for restitution with victim's assistance if they file charges.

Filing a lien on the legal owner just victimizes the victim again...and "riding like it is stolen" just makes it suck for him again when/if he gets it back.

But it sounds like your friend is making it right with you, and the guy he bought it from is making it right with him, so now maybe the police can make it right with the rightful owner and return his classic little bike to him so his kids can enjoy it.
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Old 05-18-2012, 05:11 PM   #11
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I think there is a possibility that the bike was abandoned or could have been sold before but new owners don't register because they used it off road and then when nobody registered the authorities list it as stolen... Or something along those lines? The original owner may not want it or know it's stolen. I guess you gotta trust the cops to do the right thing.

As far as your original question. Have your friend who contracted you for the work pay you for the parts and 1/2 labor.

Hide a business card somewhere on the bike where the cops won't see it but write on the back that you are interested in buying the bike?
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:03 PM   #12
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lol. I don't trust cops. I loaned one a revolver once (the G/F's training officer at her PD)


He pawned it.

I had to buy it back out of pawn.

I don't trust (most) cops.


and no, just because a bike isn't registered or a title transferred will not get it listed as stolen. Never.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:32 AM   #13
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wondering how this turns out. let us know would you?
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:26 AM   #14
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Yep, if I find anything out I will update.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:09 AM   #15
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Went to look at a bike a few weeks ago with a buddy of mine. The seller couldn't find the VIN, so I agreed to tag along and help my friend locate it. Turns out the bike was a total BOMB... he wasn't going to buy it at any price.

Anyway, the VIN was easy to find, and we talked with the "owner" for a while and told him *if* we were interested, we would call the VIN in to the local Police dept just to make sure it wasn't stolen. Older bikes in Utah were never titled, so not having a title doesn't automatically mean it's stolen. It was totally funny though... the young kid who was the "owner" was asking *us* if the Police would come get the bike if it turned as being stolen. He seemed real nervous about it. LOL. Never followed through making the call, since we had no intention of actually buying it...
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