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Thread: If your Bicycle gets Stolen in DC, forget about calling the Police

  1. #1
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    Default If your Bicycle gets Stolen in DC, forget about calling the Police

    About 1130 this morning, May 10 2018, I went into the bicycle parking cage at my apartment building to retrieve my bicycle. There was a great deal of crowding, and the space was not lit. It is inside a parking garage under a deep overhang, and is very dark. I noted that the space was very dirty, and very crowded, with many bicycles not able to park on the racks because the racks are all full. I could not find my bicycle anywhere. I concluded that it must have been stolen, particularly since the management had recently posted flyers about "incidents" in the parking cage.

    I met another tenant who was retrieving his bicycle, and in the ensuing discussing the told me that he also had placed a bicycle, properly registered, locked, and inside the locked parking cage, and that it had been stolen. He gave me his name and email address.

    I came across a parked bicycle inside the cage that seemed very similar to mine, and took a photo of it without touching it. I photographed the space where the serial number is stamped. I then called and placed a theft report with the police, giving a description of my bicycle, including my serial number.

    A few hours later,DC Police Office Brown, badge number 2104 knocked on my door, and stood in the hall taking notes wearing some kind of device on the chest with something like "I am recording" on it. He seemed indifferent and very unfriendly. I told him I could not remember how long ago I had seen the bicycle, that it was parked sometime last year. He badgered me against my will to name a date. He then abruptly TOLD me, not politely asked me, to "Lock your door and bring your keys".

    We then went down to the bike cage inside the parking garage, and I unlocked it. I pointed out the parked bicycle I had seen which looks very similar to mine. I told him that I had taken a photograph of the serial number of my bicycle. When I compared the serials, there was no match. Brown noted the cable lock on this bicycle, and asked me if I had tried the combination. I told him no, I had not, because it was not my property to touch. I stated that this looked almost exactly like my bike, but the serial number did not match mine.

    Brown then took a look around the bicycle cage, trying to locate my bicycle. I note here for the record that he is supposedly trained to observe and investigate, but that he did not find my bicycle. This point is crucial, as we shall see later on. Pay attention to this.

    Instead, he leaned over and said, "People store FURNITURE in here?!" He was looking at a chair that was wedged between bicycles at one of the few racks.

    I then replied something like, "There are actually MULTIPLE code violations in here." (The mayor's office, and many other agencies have my very detailed email regarding multiple specific DC Code violations).

    Brown then turned away with a disgusted look on his face, and muttered something. Clearly he was not at all interested in city code violations. What might have been appropriate would have been for him to say something like, "I'm so sorry, I'm not authorized to enforce city code violations, but I'm going to put you in touch with city enforcers who can correct the problems you're referring to" But he did not say anything appropriate.

    We exited the cage, and Brown took some notes. I stated that I had met another resident that morning inside the cage, Mr. Kristian Perry, who also had his bicycle stolen while it was locked inside the cage. Brown appeared to ignore this. He made no comment.

    I don't recall the exact order of what was said, but at one point I stated that DC law explicitly requires that bicycle parking be provided by landlords, and that it be clean, well-lit and secure. Brown belligerently said to me something like, "Well, it looks secure to me!"

    Think carefully about this. I had just told him my bicycle was stolen while inside the cage. I had just told him the name of ANOTHER resident whose bicycle has ALSO been stolen under the same conditions. What sane intelligent person would call THAT "secure"?

    Seriously, are you hiring people who are mentally retarded, or just dishonest jerks?
    Why is it that whenever a citizen calls for help from the police, you treat that citizen as if THEY are the problem? Everything about Brown's demeanor suggested that he was calling me a liar, and that he was defending the landlords and the thieves.

    Brown also belligerently stated that it didn't look "dark" inside the cage to him. He pointed to a ceiling light, which was NOT LIT and said "What about that, isn't that on at night?"

    I repeated that it is too dark inside the bicycle parking cage to see your lock and work the combination, or to get a key inside the lock, at all times of the day or night. I stated that I am age 56 and wear glasses, and it is much too dark for me inside there.

    Now, remember something. Officer Brown had made an inspection of the cage, looking for my missing bicycle. He then exited, and AGGRESSIVELY and HOSTILELY argued with me, declaring that it was NOT too dark inside the cage. I note that officer brown was not wearing glasses and did not appear particularly old.

    Yet Brown failed to see my bicycle, which, as it turned out hours later, WAS after all parked inside!

    Brown then made comments that because it had been so long since I had parked the bicycle that there was not really any chance that it would be found. He then gave me the case number on a card and left.

    Highly annoyed at Brown's hostile, argumentative, and insulting comments about the security and light level of the parking cage, I returned later (still may 10 2018) to take some photographs and video to show how the one UNLIT light in the large ceiling area, to demonstrate that even if lit it would probably be inadequate.

    While I was photographing and taking video, I also took images of the one motorcycle and eight mopeds inside the cage, which probably have no right to be there, taking up huge amounts of space. While doing so, I bumped into a bicycle partly hidden by a moped. Looking down, I saw that this was MY BICYCLE!

    I immediately called the police and told them that I had found my bicycle and the case could be closed. Even though all the details were already in the record, the woman dragged me through a laborious repeat of every bit of information I had already given. I hung up, and considered the matter closed.

    Shortly thereafter someone called me, I presume the police. Some raspy voice barked at me that I had to come down to the lobby to see the police!

    I immediately went down, and there was Brown, at the concierge counter with a sour look on his face. He then again belligerently questioned me, unnecessarily repeating things I had just told the police over the phone about finding my bicycle. I told him that I had finally found my bicycle, while recording and photographing the fact that there is inadequate light, in direct violation of city code. At no point did Brown show any indication that he has any respect whatsoever for City Code, or any interest in seeing that it is enforced.

    Brown continued to verbally harass and bully me, saying, "If it is too dark inside the parking cage, how could you tell that it was your bike?" I repeated that it is too dark inside for anyone to be able to read a locker combination or insert a key in a lock on the rack. Still arguing, still bullying, Brown said, "But you told me that your bike was not on a rack, they were all full when you parked it!"

    I patiently replied something like, "Yes, I did say that. The bike racks were all full, and I could NOT place my bike on a rack. It does not matter. Everyone else that is locked to a rack can't see what they are doing. The law, the city code, requires that bicycle parking be provided, and that it be clean, secure and WELL LIT. You saw for yourself that this space is not clean, is not secure and is not well lit."

    Now, I ask you something. When I first reported this matter, no one BARKED at me over the phone that I had to come down to the lobby to see the police. Brown reported to my door, as he should have. Why didn't he appear at my door to follow up?

    I had already called the police and reported the case resolved. I had already gone over ALL of the facts, unnecessarily, AGAIN, over the phone. So why was Brown even there at all?

    Why, if it was really required that he speak with me, didn't Brown interview me over the phone, or come up to my apartment? Why was it DEMANDED in a threatening way, that I come down to the lobby?

    We stood right in front of the Concierge desk in the lobby. I believe it was the intention of Brown to humiliate me and give some sort of advantage to the landlords, whom I told him I intend to sue. We were right in the lobby in front of other residents, and not even five feet away, the entire managerial office staff were listening in. I had no privacy, no respect, no consideration. Brown staged this deliberately and maliciously in order to try to make me out to be a liar or a fool.

    Instead he just demonstrated that he is dishonest and does not deserve to have his job.

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    I'm sorry you had to deal with this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bearcat22 View Post
    I believe it was the intention of Brown to humiliate me and give some sort of advantage to the landlords, whom I told him I intend to sue...
    Because of all the distress you had to go through, I am doing you a favor and have calculated how much you should sue for. It sounded like one of the biggest problems you had was that you could not see down there in the bicycle locking area. I get the same thing in my basement, so I bought a headlamp for my head, which has helped with my sanity.

    Right now, REI has the Black Diamond Iota Headlamp on sale for 30% off, which equals $27.93. If you go to the DC REI, you will pay 5.75% tax, which equals $1.605975. If you add that to the sale price, it all adds up to $29.535975.

    You should sue the DC Police Department for $29.535975, which will buy you a headlamp that you can put on your head and will make it easier to see if your bicycle becomes hidden through someone else's fault. It will be on sale until July 4, 2018, so you might want to see if you can speed along the sueage process.

    (In the attached image is my math to show my work.)

    Good luck, bearcat22!!!

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    Last edited by drevil; 06-22-2018 at 01:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    (In the attached image is my math to show my work.)
    I so want my ELITE button!

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    Is this a joke? The officer said that he's not empowered to do building code enforcement, which is fairly typical, and offered to put you in touch with the city's code enforcers. You determined your bike was not in fact stolen. What, exactly, did you expect the police to do?

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    baiskeli is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Just found this comment because I checked your profile due to your other trolling comment. Saw this:

    "Seriously, are you hiring people who are mentally retarded, or just dishonest jerks? "

    Please don't be a (expletive ommitted) and use "retarded" as an insult. It's wrong always, but especially when there are at least two members of this forum I know of who have kids with intellectual disabilities. Grow up and find a better term - there are many, and I'm happy to "share" them with you any time.

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