My bike was stolen from the downtown DC on nov 11 2017. It was locked and was stolen in the middle of the day. I had put a bluetooth device, more specifically Tile in the seat post of the bike. I figured it may help me locate my bike if its ever stolen or something. Someone with the app has to be in a proximity of the bike for it to send a signal.

Anyways after it was stolen there was no signal for months, and now it was the app says the bike was found in Compalapa Guatamala.

I know i will never recover the bike, but I am wondering what the possibilities are of how a stolen bike in DC ends up in central america? enter image description here

  • 2
    Unless you get a posse of armed thugs and go down there personally, you're never going to see your bike again. Mar 28, 2018 at 1:40
  • I would be suspicious that this is some sort of scam. But certainly there is a surplus of bikes in the US, and so I would not be surprised if many are shipped off to South America. Mar 28, 2018 at 2:15
  • 2
    I assume you missed the word 'not' or 'never' from the last sentence Mar 28, 2018 at 2:23
  • 1
    I'm sorry your bike got stolen but I don't see an answerable question, here. All we could do is speculate. Mar 28, 2018 at 7:55
  • 1
    Yes I meant never recover it
    – nolawi
    Mar 28, 2018 at 11:13

3 Answers 3


There is a large community of people from or born to people from Central America that live in the DC area. The largest group has ties to El Salvador. The percentage of Latinos from Mexico is only about 5%. The is a also large presence from Peru as well. Peruvian rotisserie chicken is very good.

MS 13 has a significant presence in Northern Virginia and DC and that gang has ties to Guatemala. It isn’t surprising that a nice stolen bike would show up there.

Guatemala also has the highest murder rate in the world so I wouldn’t go looking for it.


"You're not in Guatamala now Dr Ropata" (Opening line from a TV show that has been running 25 years

Conspiracy theorist here. Maybe the bike is not in Guatamala. Could be an mistake, or that that Tile noticed you bike was stolen and made up a report that its in a location far far away. As the veracity of the report can never be proved, they appear to be doing what they claim on the box to do. Maybe someone found the Tile in the seat tube and posted it to Guatamala for a joke, or to put you off the idea of ever finding your bike.

  • 4
    Transporting stolen bikes to distant cities or out of the country before fencing is standard practice in the USA, so it being in Guatemala is definitely possible. What's not possible is the OP seeing it ever again. Mar 28, 2018 at 1:44
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    @whatsisname Completely standard in Europe, too, where the idea of "to another country" sounds less dramatic. Mar 28, 2018 at 10:31
  • ita all a possibility.
    – nolawi
    Mar 28, 2018 at 19:59

In my area (the Netherlands, near the coast) there are regularly boats with loads of cheap looking bikes on the deck.
Sometimes those are legally bought from bikes found and reported to the police and bikes left on the streets even after a removal warning and not claimed.

But other times the bikes on are stolen. And when a whole series of bikes is stolen in one go, the local talk is asking whether there is a boat about to leave or has just left.

Not sure that happened in your case as well but I would not be surprised.

  • I was wondering about something like that - a legitimate export of scrap metal bikes with some valuable ones hidden underneath. But that seems like a lot of work and organisation
    – Chris H
    Mar 29, 2018 at 20:51
  • a person of Guatemalan descent found my bike improperly locked and took it home and shipped it to family member- am thinking
    – nolawi
    Apr 9, 2018 at 1:00

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