ITV News has uncovered evidence that the website Gumtree is being routinely used to sell bikes stolen in London. One victim found SIX of his stolen bikes for sale online -- one even had his name printed on it.
Cyclist Campaigners have called on Gumtree to do more to prevent the illegal trade: Dan Hewitt investigates.
The London Cycling Campaign has issued the following advice to avoid inadvertently buying stolen bikes online:
Ask the seller where they got the bike
Ask for identification, a landline phone number or a workplace email
Ask for an original purchase receipt
Expect a genuine photo of the actual bike, not a catalogue picture
Ask for a receipt for the transaction with their signature and address (you may need it for identification purposes)
Ask for a bike frame number, which can be checked against lists of stolen bikes
"If an advert looks like it may not be genuine, and the seller doesn't have a credible story as to where they acquired the bike, walk away for your own good as well as everyone else's. Remember that meeting a dishonest seller carries a personal risk."
London Cycling Campaign is warning internet sites which don't require identification are becoming popular for thieves selling on bikes. Often, a thief won't post a real photo of the bike, and will expect a quick sale, often conducted by mobile phone and on a street corner or outside a pub.