07-21 Stolen bike (Details)

The rest of the story

I’ve had a bit of time to reflect on the theft, and I thought I would like to share more details on exactly what happened.

6:00 AM

Walked to the hotel lobby and asked about when breakfast would be served, drank a cup of coffee, and headed to the street to check on the bike.

6:05 AM

Noticed that the bile was missing, but because it was parked near a handicapped parking sign, I assumed that it was towed away. The front desk called the police, and was eventually told to to the police station. The station was close-by, so I walked to tbe door.

6:20 AM

Arrived at police station, but I was once again told that I would need to visit another police station, just a few blocks away. I followed the canal, crossed a bridge, walked a few blocks, and crossed another canal.

6:40 AM

Arrived at 2nd police station and knocked on the door. I was greeted by an officer, who began to ask questions. After answering enough questions, we decided that I needed to submit a report.

7:30 AM

Report completed, I returned to the hotel. I asked the desk clerk to reserve my room for two more days,

7:45 AM

Ate breakfast, headed back to my room, in despair.

8:00 AM

I realized that if I was stuck in Amsterdam, I would need to solve the power supply problem, discovering that a nearby computer store opened at 10:00, and I planned on being there at 10:00

8:15 AM

The policeman that took my statement and his partner appeared at the hotel, and we talked briefly. They told me that they were going to “look around” and that they would get back to me if they found something.

8:30 AM

The police came back to the hotel, and I came down to talk with them a second time. During this brief conversation, they mentioned that they think that they found my bike, and they’d like me to identify it. I followed them down the block and into the alley, and sure enough, the bike was parked on the side of the alley, in perfect condition.

We briefly talked about having the forensics team look over the bike, but agreed that because the bike was out in the public, even if they managed to get fingerprints, it would be of no use, so I headed back to the hotel, picked up my helmet, and rode the bike back to the hotel. This time, I parked directly in front of the hotel, and headed inside.

9:00 AM

I started packing, and getting ready to ride to Dusseldorf. The weather looked bad, but after what happened, I would ride in a firestorm if I had to.

9:45 AM

The police showed up for their final visit. They needed me to sign a document to withdraw my report of a stolen vehicle, which I happily did, and got ready to ride.

10:00 AM

Departed the hotel, headed for Dusseldorf.

So, what did I learn?

First of all, when people talk about motorcycles being stolen, I had always imagined that if they wanted to steel a big bike, such as the GS Adventure, they would need a truck, and a couple of guys to lift the bike. I never imagined that they would move the bike to an interim location, from which it could be removed at a later time. The error in my thinking, combined with the expectation that Amsterdam was a safe city caused me to park the bike without having a lock on the caliper, or locking the bike to a fixed object.

I realize now that criminals are clever and very opportunistic, not to mention that there is a hierarchy of criminals. I expect that the guys that walked the bike away, were low-level criminals, who would simply notify the next person, and get a finders fee for the theft.

Now, I’ll need to address the parking situation in Berlin, to be sure that the bike can be secured, behind some form of lockable gate. I’ll also need to be sure to use the caliper lock, and I’ll also be purchasing a very secure lock and chain to be sure that I can secure the bike. And lastly, I’m going to install a tracking beacon on the bike ASAP, so that I can easily find the bike, if it’s every breached again.

Below, you can see the Melrose Hotel, and it was about 30 feet from the front of the hotel where the bike was parked.  This area was just outside of camera range.  The Green route represents my short trip to the first and second police stations, and the red path shows exactly how far the thieves had to push the bike, in order to prepare it for the next step.

About the Author

Cliff Musante

Cliff Musante is a technologist, business leader, motorcycle enthusiast, father, grandfather, and more. In June, 2013 his passion for motorcycles was revitalized, and he set out to ride across Patagonia. Since then, he's logged thousands of miles, ridden across the US, and on July 10, 2019, he began a 120 day trip through Europe, and then on to Russia, China, and parts East. This 'Blog is the story of all of his adventures.

Comments

  1. What an interesting yet devastating tale to tell especially at the beginning of a trip. It will make you be aware more on this note of the many days ahead. First lesson learned: How to secure my bike. Hugs Rosemarie

    1. Hi Rosemarie,
      Yes, for sure it will make me more aware, and more careful. Your Brother and Anika were wonderful hosts. I wish I could have stayed longer, when I left, there was still beer in the Fridge, so I did not do my job.

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