WTF just happened with my scooter?
May 18, 2014 5:57 PM Subscribe
Three weeks ago, I bought a used scooter from someone on Craigslist. One week ago, it was stolen- and, due to a baffling succession of quasi-sketchy events, I can't even have it registered as stolen. Help me figure out what happened, and what to do next.
posted by t(h)om(as) to Law & Government (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
On April 27th, I purchased a Kymco People S-200 (great bike!) from a private party on Craigslist. One day later, I ran several errands with it, then stopped off at my apartment to grab a bite to eat. Forty-five minutes later, it wouldn't start; turned out a tiny piece of plastic in the ignition system had snapped, requiring the entire thing to be overhauled. (The mechanic told me he'd never seen anything like it- that it almost seemed that the damage was done intentionally. Odd. Vandals, I guess...)
That afternoon, the seller, Sheila, texted me to ask how I liked the scoot. When I told her the news, I was shocked when she offered to foot the entire $250 repair bill- and actually followed through.
The part had to be shipped from Taiwan, so I didn't get the scooter back til last Saturday. I rode it around for one glorious afternoon, then parked it in an alley, where I got a parking ticket. I made a mental note to pay it right away- I hadn't yet registered the vehicle, and I didn't want the former owner to get a notice of the infraction in the mail.
On Sunday, the bike was stolen.
When I went to file a police report, I realized I didn't know its licence plate number. (As luck would have it, the title and paperwork were in the bike's glove compartment.) So I called Sheila... and texted... and called again... and emailed her... but she never got back to me. Eventually, I realized the licence plate number was on the parking ticket I'd gotten, so I called the police again that evening.
When the police ran the number I gave them, they came up with some startling information: the plates didn't match the bike. It seems strange to me that a fairly conservative-looking woman in her '50s with enough discretionary income to pay for the repairs- actually, judging by her house (where I signed the bill of sale), she's quite wealthy- would've taken the tag off a Yamaha (not reported stolen, apparently) just to avoid a $30 plate fee. It does, however, sort of explain why she wouldn't get back to me.
So here's my problem: Without a VIN number or a correct plate number, the scoot can't be registered as a stolen vehicle. While this makes sense, it seems unfathomable that I'm completely SOL here.
Also, I'm just generally having a really difficult time making sense of what happened here.