A few weeks ago, Chad gave me a Bontrager Race rear wheel that he'd found out behind a bike shop, with 4 of the spokes broken. I've been meaning to take the wheel in to a Bontrager dealer so they could identify the part number for the replacement spokes. On Saturday, I finally got around to it. After dropping Carol off at the airport, I drove over to Bicycles West in Tukwila. Well, long story short, the mechanic there said the spokes were cut, which he took to mean that the wheel had been deliberately damaged, perhaps to make it unusable due to a safety issue. He got agitated, and said he wouldn't "put his professional reputation on the line..." -- end of conversation.
I can't really blame him. All he needs is one lawsuit against his shop, and the shop will be unable to get insurance in the future, and he will be unemployable. (This was one of the lessons they pressed in the last day of the Professional Bike Repair class at UBI).
That said, I'll try to rebuild the wheel with non-Bontrager spokes, and ride it myself, just to see what happens. Hey, maybe if I fall and knock myself on the head, I'll be smarter!