Thursday, November 15, 2012

Guy Writes Program to Scour Craigs List, 14 mos Later Recovers Stolen Bike

On SF Bikes, Max posted to let everyone know the beautiful machine (detailed below) he lost more than a year ago was recovered. Here is how he pulled it off. Too Amazing:


To: SF Randonneurs <>,
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 00:01:14 -0800
Subject: [sfbike] Re: Stolen bicycle: 66cm red Rivendell Atlantis

FYI, this bike has been recovered (one day short of 14 months after it was stolen).

When it was stolen, I wrote a simple script that scraped craigslist and ebay looking for potential matches. It ran hourly for fourteen months, reporting 2-4 false positives per week. Yesterday it found a very suspicious posting.

Another potential buyer contacted the seller before I managed to, but this buyer evidently remembered my stolen-bike alert, and he contacted me to check whether it was my bike, which indeed it was. I am grateful for his honesty and good memory. I then arranged a sting operation with the police, and the bicycle is now back in my possession.

Thanks to everyone who kept an eye out for the bike and offered words of support. I really did not expect to see that Atlantis again.


On Thu, Sep 15, 2011 at 8:38 AM, <max.,,,> wrote:
Someone broke into the garage of my home in SF, on Fell St across from the Panhandle, between 8:30pm on Wed 9/14 and 7:00am on Thu 9/15.

Main features:

- 66cm frame
- custom red paint job with cream head tube and lug details
- large black Ortlieb handlebar bag with QR mount
- black Tubus Tara front rack, with custom fork braze-ons
- black Topeak rear rack for Topeak baby seat (but no baby seat attached), with Planet Bike taillight
- Schmidt SON dynamo hub on the front wheel; DLumotec Oval Plus LED headlight

More details:

- 1980s Dura-Ace quill stem, 44cm Nitto "Noodle" bars with cream-colored handlebar tape
- honey Brooks B17 saddle on silver Kalloy seatpost
- Sugino XD triple crank (48-38-26); XT rear hub, SRAM 12-26 cassette
- downtube shifters (D-A) and Shimano 105 front/rear derailleurs
- Shimano BR-R550 cantilever brakes and Tektro R200 brake levers
- 36-hole silver Mavic T719 rims
- black Kenda 700Cx42 tires
- silver Planet Bike fenders with mudflap on front fender
- two water bottle cages
- black Jandd tool pouch under saddle

Major identifying marks:
- scratch on "A" of "Atlantis" decal on left side of downtube
- small scratches on upper part of left seatstay
- handlebar tape in need of replacement; missing handlebar plugs


Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 15:35:16 -0800
Subject: [sfbike] Re: Stolen bicycle: 66cm red Rivendell Atlantis
Many people have emailed me in the last few hours asking for the script or suggesting that I make it available as a service. So:

(1) In the interest of full disclosure, the script is attached. But it's not a standalone piece of code. It is a spider module for the Scrapy framework. See Knowledge of Python required.

(2) Sadly I don't have time right now to turn it into an easy-to-use service.

(3) But, as others have suggested, someone has already built such a service. See It's pretty cool, and I don't think it existed last year.


This is a large and unusual bike. If you see it, please contact me at <max. at gmail> or 415-xxx-xxx8.

Thank you.


No comments:

Post a Comment