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Thread: Journalist looking for stolen-bike stories

  1. #1
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    Default Journalist looking for stolen-bike stories

    Hi there!
    I'm writing a story about bike thefts, and I was wondering if any of you have managed to get yours back, somehow? Perhaps you chased down a thief, or had found it listed on Craigslist or Racklove.com.
    If that sounds like you, or if you have any other colorful bike theft stories (e.g. You are a reformed bike thief and want to share tips for making your bike less attractive, or your bike was stolen mid-triathlon) please drop me a line at sadie.dingfelder@wpost.com .

    -Sadie

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    Most inept bike thief? (Sawed through lock. And frame.)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadie Dingfelder View Post
    Hi there!
    I'm writing a story about bike thefts, and I was wondering if any of you have managed to get yours back, somehow? Perhaps you chased down a thief, or had found it listed on Craigslist or Racklove.com.
    If that sounds like you, or if you have any other colorful bike theft stories (e.g. You are a reformed bike thief and want to share tips for making your bike less attractive, or your bike was stolen mid-triathlon) please drop me a line at sadie.dingfelder@wpost.com .

    -Sadie
    I assume you've already collected plenty of stories about indifferent law enforcement and the pointlessness of providing serial numbers, etc. to same?

  4. #4
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    Default Found but not recovered... Charlottesville

    Years ago I had a '70s Fuji road bike, which I'd gotten for about $30 at a yard sale, stolen from in front of the university library. I left it there for a weekend with only a cable lock.
    I was volunteering at the time for a community bike workshop - was supposed to be a honor system free bike share - "yellow bikes" - sort of like a free CaBi, but by the time I was there it was sort of like a bike co-op, but with a lot of donated or dumpster saved frames. I put in hours in exchange for another bike - a similar vintage Raleigh. A couple of months after the Fuji was stolen, I was volunteering at the community bike workshop and a teenager brought it in - had been stripped, someone tried to scratch the name off, and the kid said the guy who sold it to him came back the next day and stole the wheels off it. Since I'd already lined up the replacement, and the guy really looked ashamed when I told him that it was stolen I helped the kid fix it up again. It needed wheels, brakes, and a saddle... I don't know what the other stuff went to.

    So... found, but not recovered. I've been fortunate to never have had my bike stolen in DC, but I've pretty much always just commuted - it's either in my cubicle or in my garage.

  5. #5
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    This story is in today's Express (but without a link on their site yet) which features my story of foiling a thief.

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    You can link to the "print edition" in the upper right, then scroll to Page 13 for it. Good story, I'm glad you got your bike back! The real worrying thing is the <5% recovery rate for bike thefts. It just proves that these crimes are not taken nearly as seriously as vehicle thefts (although the apprehension rate for those is dismal too, even though the vehicle itself is usually found, in one state or another).

  7. #7
    DismalScientist is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    What does this mean: "It's hard to make a quick getaway on a fixed-gear bike." ????

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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    What does this mean: "It's hard to make a quick getaway on a fixed-gear bike." ????
    No idea. I assume someone who steals a fixed gear is stealing it for a reason, & therefore familiar with how it works? Mabye DAKen pushes some really tall gears?

    Also, I'm happy that the little bar on the right properly identified the "Sheldon Brown" method as the preferred way to use a u-lock. A picture would have helped, though.

  9. #9
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    It was my neighbor's bike that was being stolen, so I don't know what kind of gearing he has on it. I don't think the thief had any experience in riding a fixie, though. He was really struggling to get going as I caught up to him and immediately fell over when I grabbed onto the seat and slowed him down. He did leave behind another bike (a pretty basic mountain bike) that also appeared to be stolen.

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