I read a thread on crazyguyonabike not long ago by a couple whose tandem was 
stolen in New Orleans (I think) while they were eating lunch on their cross 
country tour.  The bike was rather immediately purchased by a good samaritan, 
knowing it was stolen, for a song.  Amazingly, he found the true owner’s name 
and phone number stuffed in the handlebars or seatpost (something like that) 
and was able to reunite the bike with the owner and they were able to complete 
their tour relatively uninterupted if I remember correctly.  I keep thinking I 
need to stash my name and number in my bikes in several places but I’ve never 
got around to it.

That aside, I guess I do see a difference in the two actions even if 
technically there is no difference.  No way, no how is that tandem getting back 
to the owner unless a good samaritan takes that action.  No way, no how is the 
bike in Portland getting back to its rightful owner BECAUSE of the “good 
samaritan’s” action.  If I’m the owner of the tandem, I’m thanking the guy who 
purchased my tandem.  If I’m the owner of the bike in Portland, I’m wondering 
who the hell are you stealing my bike?  Big difference in my mind even if both 
actions are legally wrong.

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