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Buying a stolen bike in the Netherlands: fine, criminal record

Updated on October 12, 2011

Buying a stolen bike: fine, criminal record

Buying a stolen bike in the Netherlands. What exactly are the legal consequences of buying a stolen bike in the Netherlands? Just a significant fine or also a criminal record? Everyone who lives or visits big cities in the Netherlands, like Amsterdam, will sooner or later be offered a very cheap bike by a junk or a bum. Especially students are easily seduced. I mean, where else can you find a bike for less than 10 euro's? However, you have to realise what the consequences are for buying a stolen bike in holland.

The legal consequences of buying a stolen bike in the Netherlands

Of course, to a certain extent you know perfectly well that the bike that is being offered to you is probably stolen. But if your bike got stolen so many times, you might start to see things differently. However, are the potential consequences worth it? First of all, the difference in the consequences lies in the way you get caught. It is a lot more likely that you get caught red handed while buying the stolen bike. But the police also regularly checks if bicyles are stolen. So if you are in the posession of a stolen bicycle, you also get in trouble.

Caught redhanded while buying a stolen bike

When you get caught redhanded you are in a great deal of trouble. You will be directly charged with handling in stolen goods, and you will be taken to the police station. The consequences are rather severe.

The bike

The purchased bake will be taken from you by the police


You will have to pay a fine which usually is around 250 euro's

Criminal Record (strafblad)

You will get a criminal record. This can have serious consequences for your future. When you go to a job interview it can make things rather uncomfortable. Considering handling in stolen goods is a felony, it will remain in your criminal record for 30 years.

Certificate of Good Conduct (VOG)

In the Netherlands we have a certificate of good conduct (verklaring omtrent gedrag) that informs employers of whether your behaviour corresponds to the position you are applying for. For certain jobs, like teachers and people working with confidential information (bank employees etc), a certificate of Good Conduct is mandatory. Usually when issueing a VOG they will look back 4 years in your legal documentation.


This you do not have to be afraid of. But when you do it again, you will be facing a maximum prison sentence of

Caught in the posession of a stolen bike

The police regularly checks if bikes are stolen, and if the bike in your posession is registered as stolen, you risk the chance of getting arrested. The police believes that you are responsible when you buy a bike that is reasonably/logically to cheap. Now, you can also get charged with handling in stolen goods. The consequences are almost completely similar to if you get caught redhanded. Chances of getting prosecuted might be a little slimmer though.

Afraid you are in the posession of a stolen bike?

Do you suspect that your bike might be stolen? You can check if it is registered as being stolen. Via you can check the national register for stolen bikes. You will just need the chipnumber, or the combination of brand and frame number.


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