Tag Archive for Stolen bikes

Morning Links: Busting bike thieves around the world, CiclaValley rides Riverside Drive, and coke dart doping

Today’s common theme is stolen bikes and the thieves who take them.

Bike thieves in Moab UT aren’t bothering to break bike locks, but stealing the entire bike rack along with the bicycle. Only use bike racks that are embedded in the concrete. And make sure there are no cuts in the rack, which thieves often hide under stickers.

Edmonton, Alberta police bust a prolific bike thief, recovering 83 bikes worth up to $20,000. Which is a good reminder to register your bikes now, so you’ll be protected if it someone like that comes to visit your bike.

A British cop out rides a suspected bike thief in a high-speed bike chase caught on first-person bodycam video.

Police in Dublin, Ireland are starting a “Lock it or lose it” campaign, after bike thieves make off with nearly 10,000 bicycles in two and a half years; nationwide, the total is at least 14,000, with more thefts unreported.

As today’s photo shows, bike thieves don’t always take the whole bike at once. Which means you need to secure as much of your bike as possible

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Local

CiclaValley rides the newly redesigned bike lanes on Burbank’s Riverside Drive, and finds them lacking.

KABC-7 discovers the Cycling Savvy program from the nonprofit American Cycling Education Association, including their instructions to take the lane.

Speaking of KABC-7, they talk with the Dream Riders bicycling down the Pacific Coast on the 37-day “Journey to Justice” tour from Seattle to San Diego as they stop in Long Beach.

 

State

A San Clemente letter writer says the greatest risk in allowing bikes on the beach path is that pedestrians may get startled.

An overweight, 68-year old Bakersfield bike rider hears a shouted request to put on a shirt, and politely but firmly says no.

The bike path paralleling Mission Road, aka State Route 246, will be closed for repairs east of Solvang for three weeks, starting September 17th.

A writer for Streetsblog says it’s time to stop hiding behind studies and process, and install a protected bike lane on San Francisco’s Valencia Street.

 

National

Bike Snob says give kids bikes, not helmets, arguing that helmet giveaways are an act of surrender to our dangerous streets.

Streetsblog reports a handful of states are throwing away millions of dollars in transportation funds that could go to build desperately needed sidewalks, bike lanes or trails.

A standup comic is riding down the left coast on a tour of open mic nights, while raising funds to buy 20 bikes through Bicycle Relief.

Nice gesture from the US Air Force, which sent members of the Air Force Cycling Team to assist fellow riders at this year’s RAGBRAI, calling them Guardian Angels of the Road.

One Chicago bicyclist was killed, and another critically injured, in separate dooring incidents.

In a study from Boston, researcher conclude what we already knew — local planning and zoning board meetings are dominated by older, wealthier NIMBYs. Which can be confirmed by virtually anyone who has attended a public meeting to argue for safer streets.

A Harvard research scientist makes the case for designing greener streets, starting with making room for bicycles and trees.

A writer for New York Streetsblog says the state needs to stop treating drivers and bike riders the same, subject to the same $190 fine for running a red light. Even though bike riders pose significantly less risk to others.

A Louisiana grand jury has declined to return a negligent homicide charge against the driver who killed a Baton Rouge city councilman as he rode with a friend, settling instead for a charge of reckless operation of a motor vehicle.

Tampa city leaders express concern that the police are still unfairly ticketing black bike riders when the new police chief shows up without any stats to address it.

 

International

Toronto bicyclists are riding with pool noodles to demonstrate the one-meter passing distance required by law, and often ignored.

A London driver — and a tabloid paper — freaks out over a man in a suit talking on a cellphone as he rides down the street, even though that’s not illegal for bike riders. Unfortunately, the video won’t play in this country.

An actor from the Game of Thrones is riding 980 miles across the UK on a tandem with his father, who suffers for Parkinson’s, to raise funds for a Parkinson’s charity.

The bike mayor of Bangaluru, aka Bangalore, says there’s no denying that bicycling is essential in the city.

The African Cycling Foundation has donated six bicycles to students in Nigeria to help them get to school — and stay in it.

An Australian government conference asks the same question everyone else keeps asking, how can we get more women back on their bikes.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. A road raging Chinese driver gets out of his car and attacks a bike rider with a machete. Until the rider turns the tables and kills the driver with his own knife.

 

Competitive Cycling

The winner of Thursday’s stage of the Vuelta was lucky to escape injury when a boneheaded race official stepped in front of his bike shortly after the end of the race, bringing down several riders.

You may never win a grand tour, but you can live like it, as the sprawling Georgian-style Minnesota estate belonging America’s last remaining Tour de France winner can be yours for a mere $4.9 million.

More proof that it’s not just cyclists who dope, as a professional darts player — yes, darts — has been banned for two years after testing showed a metabolite of cocaine in his system; he blamed it on a night of excess partying.

 

Finally…

Your next bike shorts could cost $300 — without a chamois. It’s one thing to win a KOM, another to beat a horse.

And you can relax now that autonomous cars have giant fake eyes to look at you with.

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If you want to join the Militant Angeleno and me for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour on September 30th, RSVP by emailing [email protected] 

We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Morning Links: LAPD recovers possibly stolen bikes, Los Feliz NC gets real with Ryu, and ticketing trucks in SaMo

If you had a bike stolen recently in Santa Monica or Venice, you might want to check with the LAPD’s Pacific Division.

According to the LA Times, the driver of a pickup crashed into two other vehicles as he was fleeing the police. The chase began when officers discovered the truck had been stolen a few days earlier in Bakersfield.

Three people were hospitalized, including a passenger in the truck.

After police arrested the driver, they discovered a number of bicycles in the back of the truck, and were checking to see if they had been stolen.

However, given that most bike thefts are never reported to the police, if the bikes weren’t registered, there’s a good chance they won’t show up in a police database.

Which means the thief will get away with it — assuming they are stolen.

And the owners may never see them again.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

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I can’t say I’m familiar with the members of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council. But after reading this letter, I could kiss every one of them.

This especially matters as Ryu contemplates ripping out the highly successful road diet on Rowena — after he already cancelled the desperately-needed road diet planned for 6th Street behind LACMA in the Miracle Mile neighborhood.

LA’s Vision Zero program is already at risk of dying before it has even been implemented, thanks to the auto-centric reactions of city councilmembers who, like Ryu, seem to fear angry drivers more than they fear blood on their hands.

And to answer the question posed in the letter, there is no acceptable number of traffic deaths.

None.

I’d love to see a version of this letter forwarded to every member of the city council. Especially CD1’s “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo and CD5’s Paul “Killer” Koretz.

Thanks to Alissa Walker for posting the letter.

………

File this one under things that never happen in real life.

Yes, that’s a Santa Monica police officer ticketing a delivery driver double-parked in the San Vicente bike lane.

I complained about delivery drivers blocking the bike lanes for years when I regularly rode that route, and never got any results. From the police or the delivery companies.

And was harassed so much that I had to block the comments on my videos of bike lane-blocking trucks on my YouTube channel, and finally had to delete the videos entirely.

Which seems to be what’s happening in Reddit, as redditors argue that police are overreacting to what they consider a minor inconvenience for people on bikes.

Even though blocking those bike lanes forces riders out into the general traffic lanes on a section of roadway where few drivers seem to pay attention to much of anything, including the speed limit.

Still, it’s good to see SaMo police taking this seriously.

Let’s hope they keep it up. And maybe delivery drivers will finally find somewhere else to park.

Thanks again to the esteemed Mr. Linton.

………

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A Toronto bike rider shook his head as he passed a driver blocking an off-road cycle track. So the motorist drove down the road to the next crossing point, waited for other riders to pass, then intentionally plowed into him.

And denied afterwards that he hit anyone.

Fortunately, the whole thing was caught on video.

He now faces charges for hit-and-run and failing to report a collision, as well as failure to yield. Even though he should have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

And then a local website has the audacity to say “Both drivers and cyclists are responsible when it comes to road safety.”

Which is like telling shooting victims they have a responsibility to stay out of the way of bullets.

Then there’s this one, where an impatient and indignorant driver can’t even manage to wait a few seconds for a bike rider to have room to pull over and let her pass.

And evidently concludes that the woman on the bike doesn’t belong there, because there’s no bike lane on a street that’s too narrow for one.

https://twitter.com/THREADRIOT/status/1034625219879739395

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Local

Coldplay’s Chris Martin is one of us, as he goes for a bike ride in the ‘Bu.

 

State

The proposed Peninsula Bikeway promises to connect the cities of Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton and Redwood City, and eventually extend across the entire South Bay Peninsula.

 

National

NPR reports on the great American e-scooter debate, saying dockless scooters are gaining popularity and scorn across the US.

El Paso TX bike riders get a shiny new two-way cycle track along a street car route.

A legally blind Indiana man put over 2,000 miles on his bike in the last year, despite his vision problems — until he was taken down by a pothole. A reminder that bad roads pose a risk to everyone on bikes, but some more than others.

A Cincinnati city councilmember says scooter companies like Bird and Lime should be held responsible for the actions of the people who use them. Which I’m all in favor of, as long as the same rule applies to a few other companies, like Tesla, Ford, GMC, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Toyota, Honda, Kia, et al.

Providence RI gets creative with outreach to build support for a bike lane project, including day-long popups. Then again, if people in Rhode Island are anything like people in LA, once the bike lanes are installed, they’ll insist they were never consulted and the popups never happened.

In a study that runs counter to what we’re usually told, Boston researchers conclude that lowering speed limits actually does result in lower speeds. Which we should remember the next time we’re told that raising speeds under the deadly 85 percentile law really doesn’t matter.

Facing as much as 40 years behind bars — or as little as nothing — a New Orleans driver who fled the scene after killing a bike-riding artist begs forgiveness from the victim’s family, saying he thinks about the crash every day. Chances are, they do too.

 

International

A British Columbia woman credits her bike helmet with saving her life when a pickup driver literally ran over her head.

A Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario bike shop has become a haven for bike tourists. And having a free pump track in back doesn’t hurt.

Montreal business owners are fighting a planned bike path along a wide industrial corridor, saying it will increase traffic and angry drivers, even though it will just narrow the overly wide traffic lanes without removing any lanes or parking.

Caught on video: Road.cc talks with a British bikemaker about how hard it is to design a bicycle.

Forty percent of the residents of Malmö, Sweden bike to work or school every day, thanks to a 200-mile bike lane network that makes bicycling the fastest way across the city.

A Bangalore, India website says the city has done nothing to promote bicycling or ensure the safety of bicyclists, despite the 45,000 bike riders in the city.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a driver was acquitted on a charge of dangerous driving in the death of a bike rider, who apparently just magically appeared in front of him.

Police in Australia’s Queensland state have started a new “Stay Wider of the Rider” campaign to fight close passes by drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great piece from Bicycling about LA’s own CNCPT cycling team — aka Concept — made up entirely of people of color. And dedicated to blowing up the sport, in a good way.

The Vuelta saw a long breakaway in Wednesday’s stage, and a change in the leader’s jersey.

Britain’s Mark Cavendish is shutting down his cycling season after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus; he ranks second on the all-time Tour de France list with 30 stage victories.

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali continues to have pain in his back after suffering a vertebra fracture in a crash during the Tour de France, and questions whether he will ever be the same again.

 

Finally…

No, it’s not okay to right hook someone in a bike lane. Pedestrians say people on bikes should wear license plates.

And as former pro and current Cookie Monster Phil Gaiman will attest, people who ride bicycles need a good fuel source.

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I was hoping to attend today’s official opening of the MyFigueroa Complete Streets project, but it looks like a busy day with too many obligations will keep me away. 

If you go, try to corner LA Mayor Eric Garcetti — assuming he’s not too busy running for president to show up — and ask how Vision Zero can work if councilmembers have the power to block projects like MyFig in their own districts. 

And how it can possibly succeed if his own office isn’t willing to go out and fight for it.

I think we’d all like to hear the answers to that.

 

Morning Links: Policy change for Camp Pendleton bike access, and recovering a stolen bicycle with Bike Index

Decades of relatively easy bike access to Camp Pendleton is coming to a close.

According to an email from Major Chad David Walton, anyone wanting to ride the popular cycling route through the Camp Pendleton Marine base will now need to register with the new Department of Defense Biometric Identification System.

And it will have to be done on the base at Pendleton, not online as has been the case in the last few years.

The passes will be valid for one year, and good for one adult only; you can bring a minor with you to bike on the Marine base, but no adult guests will be allowed to enter Pendleton without their own pass.

If you have a current pass, it will be good through September.

After that, you may have to enlist if you want to ride through Camp Pendleton without one.

Thanks to Richard Masoner and David Drexler for the heads-up.

Photo of Retired U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Fernando Andrade by Lance Cpl. Dalton Swanbeck.

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This is why you should register your bike with Bike Index.

A Redditor got his bike back a full year after it was stolen, when someone checked Bike Index after buying it on Craigslist.

You can register your bike for free — or all your bikes — right here on this site, or report a theft to add it to the nationwide Bike Index database. And you can check to see if a bike was stolen right here, for no cost.

Maybe someone should tell the LA City Council about that, before they decide to reinvent the bike registration wheel.

Full disclosure — I don’t get a dime from Bike Index for hosting or promoting their site. I just hate bike thieves, and want to see every bike find it’s way back home.

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A pair of British bike riders were sideswiped by a driver who clearly needs a lesson in safe passing distance.

One rider suffered broken bones and a concussion, while another lost part of an ear, but both are recovering.

Needless to say, the 81-year old driver will be free to get behind the wheel again after losing his license for just two years.

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Hey Los Angeles media — can someone please hire the BBC’s Naga Munchetty and bring her here to the City of Angels?

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen someone shut down an anti-bicycling crank so effectively.

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Stop what you’re doing, and take a few minutes to read this piece from Cycling Savvy’s Keri Caffrey on how to survive riding around large trucks.

Seriously. It could save your life.

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Local

Nice piece from the Daily News, on how the community came together to recover the stolen bicycle belonging to fallen teenage cyclist Sabastian Montero.

She gets it. Curbed’s Alissa Walker says instead of banning scooters, cities should redesign streets to make room for them.

 

State

OMG! Some people in San Diego are using bikeshare bikes and e-scooters to commit crimes. Sort of like they use personal bikes, skateboards, cars, feet, rental cars, horses, and any other form of human conveyance.

Officials say the Coachella Valley’s 50-mile CV Link multi-use pathway will save lives, as Palm Desert approves plans for the design.

Sad news from Santa Cruz, as a long-time bike rider was killed in a collision while riding across a bridge. Naturally, police blame the victim, insisting he somehow veered into traffic, which usually means the driver didn’t see him until it was too late; something that happens so often it’s commonly called a SWSS, or Single Witness Suicide Swerve

San Francisco bike riders are protesting delays in implementing much needed safety projects.

One of the four bike riders run down by a hit-and-run driver in Marin County describes in his own words what it’s like to nearly get killed just for riding a bike.

 

National

Streetsblog offers eight tips for cities to make the most out of dockless bikeshare and e-scooters.

A Denver man is using his bicycle to rebuild his life, commuting 20 miles a day to classes after becoming homeless following a car crash; now he’s preparing for a 120-mile ride over three high mountain passes.

Colorado’s new Idaho Stop law could lead to confusion — and tickets — since it leaves implementation to local communities; as a result, it could be legal to ride through a stop sign on one side of an intersection, and illegal on the other.

Iowa officials say no charges will be filed against two bicyclists who lost control on a bike path and killed a 79-year old woman before riding off.

Little Rock gets it. Instead of blaming the victims, the Arkansas city is developing an educational program for drivers on how to share the road with people on bicycles, modeled after a similar program in my hometown.

An adaptive bicycling program in Minnesota’s Twin Cities is allowing people with handicaps to get on bicycles, sometimes for the first time.

No bias here. A Minneapolis commentator assumes the people behind the dockless Bird e-scooters must be California hippies.

Kentucky becomes the latest state to adopt a three-foot passing law; 35 states now require at least a three-foot distance to pass someone on a bicycle.

Talk about not getting it. Newport RI officials want the state Department of Transportation to improve safety on a major street, while backing off from plans to install a bike lane and new turning lanes — and making it safer for pedestrians by removing a crosswalk. Sure, that will work.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as someone sabotaged a Boston bike lane with thumbtacks for the second time in a month.

Streetsblog offers a brief history of New York mayors on bicycles, as the current mayor takes a dockless bikeshare bike for a spin.

No bias here, either. There were several ways to describe the attacker who fatally stabbed a Philadelphia developer following an argument. But he rode a bicycle, so of course they chose “cyclist.”

Evidently, officials in bike friendly DC are no better than those in Los Angeles, as bicyclists continue to die as promised Vision Zero projects gather dust on the shelf.

 

International

Donald Trump’s trade war could mean you’ll have to pay more to fix your bike.

Don’t stop in Winnipeg if you want to keep your bike on a cross-country tour of Canada.

The BBC investigates how dangerous it really is to ride a bike on the streets of Toronto, while a college student says major changes are needed. Even though the city is safer for bicyclists than Phoenix, Philadelphia and yes, Los Angeles.

Speaking of Toronto, bicyclists have started a #NearMissToronto hostage campaign to report dangerous incidents and drivers, and call for safer streets. Maybe we should copy it; #NearMissLA has got a good ring to it.

A British writer raises a good point, asking if there’s a class divide in cycling, as rising equipment cost separate riders into those who can afford the best gear, and those who can’t. Or who just get turned off by the perception of high cost, and don’t bother trying.

 

Competitive Cycling

If you haven’t caught up on your Tour de France viewing, skip this next section. We could say the same about the Giro Rosa, except no one bothers to broadcast women’s bike racing.

In today’s semi-spoiler free Tour de France report, classics specialist John Degenkolb had a very good day.

Tour de Suisse champ Ritchie Port is out of the Tour de France, abandoning after apparently breaking his collarbone following a crash near the start of Sunday’s stage nine; Tony Martin is also out with a spinal fracture.

The Telegraph describes Sunday’s stage as a day of chaos on the cobbles.

No, you can’t butt heads in the peloton or bash everyone else out of the way, even on Bastille Day.

Lawson “Crash” Craddock has now raised over $92,000 for a Houston Velodrome by riding in the Tour with a broken scapula; no word yet on whether he survived Sunday’s cobbles.

Nice gesture from the UnitedHealthcare Pro team, which named a five-year old speech therapy patient “Pro Cyclist for a Day” at this year’s Twilight Criterium in Boise, Idaho; they gave her a new bike, helmet and autographed team jersey.

Yes, there was a women’s race, which was largely ignored even though it wasn’t tainted by questions of doping with asthma medication; as usual, a Dutch rider won the race, including the final stage, though an Australian team took the title. Maybe someone can explain to me why any race still has podium girls, let alone a women’s race.

 

Finally…

Nothing like riding 10,000 miles together to inspire a little romance. If you’re going to Comic Con, don’t ride your bike inside. No, really.

And no, being a state legislator does not give you diplomatic immunity from speeding tickets.

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for that last link.

 

Free bike registration and stolen bike alerts now available on BikinginLA

You can’t hang ‘em.

I grew up in an area, if not a time, when anyone caught stealing a horse was subject to being strung up. Often without the inconvenience of a trial.

Unfortunately, that’s not an option with bike thieves in this more enlightened age. No matter how tempting it may seem at times.

Which means we have to find other ways to fight back against one of the fastest growing crimes in the LA area.

I’ve tried to do my part by posting information on stolen bikes whenever a victim sends it to me.

But there’s often a significant delay between when the bike is stolen and when word of the theft is posted online. If I hear about it at all.

I’ve long wanted a way for bike owners to post a notice of their stolen bikes themselves in order to get the information out there as quickly as possible.

Thanks to Bike Index, that day is finally here.

The crowd funded, open source bike registry has partnered with bike advocacy groups and websites throughout the country to provide free online bike registration, as well as a way to report bike thefts so local residents and businesses can be on the lookout. And maybe even get those bikes back.

Now it’s our turn.

If you look at the tabs at the top of this page, you’ll now see links to Register Your Bike, Report A Stolen Bike, and Stolen Bike Listings.

Click on the first, and you’ll be taken to a form where you can record the identifying details of your bike in a free online database. So you’ll have the information when and if you need it, and police, bike shops, pawn shops and individual buyers can check to make sure any bike is legit, no matter where it turns up.

Even if you don’t know it’s missing.

In fact, police often say registering your bike is the single most important step you can take to help get it back if it’s ever stolen.

Then, in the unfortunate event someone does snatch your bike, you can post news of the theft on the Report A Stolen Bike tab.

Your bike will be entered in a national database of stolen bikes, which can be accessed by anyone anywhere in the country — or the world, for that matter — and help bring it back home wherever it may turn up. And an alert will immediately go out on both the BikinginLA Twitter and Facebook accounts so the bike community can be on the lookout for your ride, increasing the chance of recovery.

Finally, it will automatically be entered in the local Stolen Bike Listings, enabling anyone to check an exclusive LA area database to see if a bike was stolen, or to keep an eye out for missing bikes. Right now, it’s set to cover a 20-mile radius from the Hollywood area; that may be adjusted up or down as we work out the bugs.

Of course, Bike Index isn’t the only bike registration program; you can also register your bike with Bike Shepherd and the National Bike Registry, among others.

The important thing is that you register your bike, whether here or somewhere else.

And that you report it to the police, then post it here, if anyone takes it.

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Just to be clear, there is no financial relationship or any other form of compensation between Bike Index and BikinginLA. Bike Index has provided the WordPress plug-ins that allows free online registration and theft reporting, as well the listing of stolen bikes, at no charge in order to help fulfill their mission of helping theft victims get their bikes back. And I accepted their offer for the same reason.

BOLO Alert: New Linus bike stolen from Lincoln Blvd Ralph’s in Santa Monica

More bad news from the Venice – Santa Monica area.

Kaitlin Kolvet reports her brand new Linus bike was stolen on Monday from the Ralph’s market in Santa Monica, 910 Lincoln Blvd.

The three-speed bicycle was attached to the bike rack by just the front wheel when she went into the market around 5:20 pm; when she returned, only the front wheel and lock remained.

  • Less than 10 days old Linus Roadster Sport (3 speed)
  • Color: Marine
  • Serial Number: L4E0301489
  • Purchased at the Abbott Kinney Venice Location
If you see the bike, contact the LAPD Pacific Division, then email Kaitlin at [email protected] Such a nice new bike should be easy to spot.
Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 7.08.30 PM

BOLO Alert: Three bikes stolen from Venice garage on Wednesday

I’ve just gotten word of yet another set of bikes stolen from a garage, this time in Venice.

John Montgomery reports he had three bikes stolen overnight, even though they were locked to the wall.

On October 29th, three bikes were stolen out of my garage. They were actually locked to rings on the wall — and the cuts were clean so it looks like some bike thief pros. The CAADX was less than a week old (and I was really loving it).

Two of the bikes are pictured here, along with a reference photo of the Dolce Apex. I’d appreciate any heads up if you happen to come across one of them on the market. You can reach me via email: johnmont (at) fxguide.com

Details as to the makes/models:

56cm Scott CR1 Team (Black & Red) with  HED JET 4 Wheels 

(Serial Number TBD — docs are back in Chicago)

51cm Cannondale CAADX 105 (Black and White)

Serial Number EM33381

50cm Specialized Dolce Apex (White & Green) 

Serial Number WSBC 602 059 086F

bikes

special

 

Keep your eyes open and contact the LAPD Pacific Division if you see something matching these descriptions for sale anywhere, and email John at the address above.

BOLO Alert: Custom Davidson bike stolen in South Pasadena

Just got word of yet another stolen bike. This one should be easy to recognize, though.

Dan Goods reports that his custom Davidson handmade bike was stolen from outside his South Pasadena garage sometime between Wednesday and the previous Saturday.

As the photos below show, the 14-year old steel frame bike is very distinctive, with a red frame, red and white bar tape, Bill Davidson signature and logo, and Handmade in Seattle tag on the seat tube. It also has DuraAce components, Chris King hubs, handbuilt wheels and Speedplay pedals, though any or all of those could be swapped out if the thief decides to sell it.

If you spot it, notify the local police, then call Dan at 626/399-7316.

As he notes, this is one of the few objects that are meaningful to him. Something I think we can all understand.

Let’s see if we can help get it back for him.

Dan Goods Bike Flyer

 

BOLO Alert: Trek hybrid stolen in Hollywood area; advice on what to do if your bike is stolen

One thing you can always count on here in LA. No matter where you park your bike, there’s potential thief nearby looking for an opportunity to take it.

Antonio Fernandez learned that the hard way yesterday when his bike was stolen from the hallway of his Hollywood apartment building. The theft most likely occurred sometime late Thursday night or early Friday morning near the intersection of Sunset Blvd and North Poinsettia.

The bike is described as a blue Trek hybrid, year and model unknown, with flat handlebars. The one clear distinguishing feature is a University of Indiana registration stick on the seat tube; not many bikes here in Los Angeles will have that.

If you see the bike, call the LAPD Hollywood Division at 213/972-2971, then email me or leave a comment here and I’ll forward it to Fernandez. Or you can reach him via Twitter @anfed.

Fernandez-bike-1

Fernandez-bike-2

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I’m often asked what to do if your bike gets stolen.

1. Always be prepared by keeping records of all pertinent information, including year, make and model of your bike, serial number and any distinguishing features. I recommend keeping current photos of your bike — including a photo of the serial number — on both your computer and your cell phone. And consider signing up with a bicycle registration service, like Bike Shepherd or the National Bike Registry.

2. Once you discover your bike is stolen, contact the police and file a report. Sometimes they will try to discourage you from filing a theft report, but insist on it. Then send me the details, and I’ll list your bike here.

3. Contact your insurance agent. If you have homeowners or renters insurance, your bike should be covered if the value exceed the deductible.

4. Start scouring Craigslist, eBay and the Penny Saver for any bike that matches the description. And look at other nearby areas; thieves will often move a hot bike out of the area where it’s less likely to be recognized.

5. Visit any local bike shops in the area and ask them to be on the lookout for your bike. Thieves will often take a stolen bike into a shop for repairs or try to sell it.

6. Check out garage sales and street vendors in the area, and keep an eye open for anyone who may be riding your bike or park it on the street. If you see it, call the police and let them deal with it. While there are many stories of people who’ve recovered their own bikes, there are just as many of people who’ve gotten in over their heads; getting your bike back isn’t worth risking your own safety.

 

Guest post: South Bay cyclist brings down a prolific bike thief. And pays a cool grand for the privilege.

A happy ending to a long tale of a stolen bicycle; photo by Mike Bike.

A happy ending to a long tale of a stolen bicycle; photo by Mike Bike.

Last week I stumbled on a couple of news stories with an unusual twist.

According to stories in the Daily Breeze and Easy Reader News, a Redondo Beach man had been arrested for stealing a number of bikes from garages in Redondo and Manhattan Beach.

I don’t think anyone would complain about getting a bike thief off the streets.

But the interesting thing was the way the thief was uncovered, when a man simply walked into the Redondo Beach Police station and told them he’d bought a hot bike.

It seemed like there must be more to the story.

And there was.

The next day, I found an email in my inbox from South Bay cyclist Mike Bike, who identified himself as the man in question. And offered a detailed explanation of his role in the convoluted tale.

Yes, it’s a long read. But it’s a great story, and well worth the time.

And fair warning to anyone tempted to buy a bike of questionable provenance.

………

Caveat Emptor

Strange day today. Very strange, indeed.

It started out so well. Jane and I are training for a couple of tours at the end of the month and we had been frustrated trying to get her new bike to fit her. Today’s ride was going very well, though, after we finally got it dialed in: up the west side and back to the South Bay where we’d finish up the long weekend with this long ride.

Then it got weird. But let’s go back a ways.

A month ago we’d started training in earnest after Jane’s school year ended. We had done a serious climbing day up on the hill. We were headed home and Jane was in a hurry because she had some prep to do for a summer class. As we passed ‘the corner,’ I saw some bikes chained to sign posts on the right side. One of them caught my eye because it was a small women’s frame. The issue with Jane’s bike was that it’s a 52cm men’s frame that we thought was just a tad long in the top tube and with the standard diamond frame didn’t give her much stand-over clearance. I pulled over but Jane kept going. It turned out the guy selling the bikes was strolling up to show it to some other guy who just came there and must have called (both bikes had hand-written signs with a phone number). I asked the guy “how much for the Specialized?” He said he had checked on Craigslist and it was worth a lot and he’d have to get $1000 for it. It was a new looking Specialized carbon fiber WSD with Shimano stuff on it. Nothing looked abused. It had eggbeater pedals on it. I told him I was in the market for something like this but that my girlfriend had just ridden by. I wanted her to look at it and test ride. I jotted down the phone and model stuff and left him there.

Jane was interested. She thought it would be worthwhile to look at a bike just a mile from the house. So I collected my mad money, $700, and got in the van to go look. We brought her pedals and a pedal wrench and Allen keys to make it a little better for a test ride. We called ‘The Guy’ and he came on out from somewhere. I asked if I could swap pedals and he said, “sure.” We chatted a bit and he said he rode regularly up on the hill. He had bought the bike for his wife and she loved it but they were forced to move since his dad was dying of cancer in New Jersey. He was moving back there to take care of him and they needed to get rid of stuff. I could sympathize with that. Jane came back from her spin and said she liked it. I told ‘The Guy’ that I only had $700 or so on me, could he take less? He said he needed the grand. I told him I could go to the ATM down the street. Jane stayed and I went to the ATM. I came back and gave him the cash and we did the deal. I asked about cleats for those pedals; he said they had never bought those. His wife only rode it a few times and he had bought the bike like that used, with the pedals. OK, I was a little suspicious; but it was a plausible story.

After a week off for travel, we got on it in the middle of June. It was clear that the stem was too low. On a ride back from the hill, we saw ‘The Guy’ out by still more bikes for sale. We stopped and told him that we were really pleased with the bike but were still dialing it in. Jane asked about these two ‘new’ bikes; He said they had found two more stashed in the back of the garage. We rode away thinking that things weren’t as plausible as they were earlier. As for the stem, I thought it was an 80 mm but it was actually a 60. It turned out a friend at work had an adjustable stem he wasn’t using. And he wanted the pedals so we made a swap.

I did the wrenching and things were better but she was still cramped and getting a sore back. She wanted the seat further back. We moved it as much as possible but she wanted more. I was thinking we bought the wrong size bike. I looked at set-back posts but thought maybe one of my other posts could yield a cm or so. I swapped to a different post with a little more space but it was not enough. Looking at the bike, it was obvious that the bars should be moved forward if she wanted more space. My work friend had an array of stems and he was pleased with his pedal deal so he agreed to lend me all his OS stems. Over two rides we eventually gravitated to the longest of the lot, a 120 mm. We were even able to switch back to the original post.

In the mean time I had purchased side loading bottle cages due to the extreme smallness of this little compact frame, along with a new top-tube bag and seat bag. We had her Garmin on there and a new bell (which didn’t fit so well on the OS bars but I rigged it with a zip tie). Saturday night she declared it finally dialed and she looked at the tour profile and said “We need to do 71 miles tomorrow.” A quick calculation showed the west side run with a trip to Hawthorne would do it. The hot weather would help with heat conditioning though the breeze kept us from getting too hot.

Sunday morning we got underway about quarter to eight. We turned at the plaza and headed north along the coast, and were going much better than other recent rides because the bike was finally dialed. What a difference! Jane held my wheel while I kept an eye on her with my relatively new helmet-mounted rear-view (really nice unit: http://www.safezonemirror.com/install/). Great day.

Coming back, we rode the beach south taking our time through the crowds. Then we rode by the plaza on our way to completing the 71 miles. I did the mental math and it looked like we were right on target. Go to Hawthorne, hit Trader Joes for some cold drinks and then home.

Then it got weird. As we crested PV West I noticed a small female rider on a bike that looked too large for her; she was rocking her pelvis on the saddle and just looked awkward. I passed her and didn’t say anything. I looked back and Jane was off my wheel a bit then I heard the ladies talking. I got to the overlook and pulled off thinking I might give the lady advice. They both pulled up and I thought I heard the lady ask how long Jane had been riding. I told her about 5 years. She looked displeased. It became apparent she was interested in the bike and wanted to know how long we had it. I said we bought it used about a month ago. She said “that’s my bike!” Well, what do you say to that?

She said it was stolen from her house nearby a little over a month earlier along with other items and she had resorted to riding her old bike which had been re-fitted for a daughter (she did not wrench). Then she started obsessing. I asked her about the stuff I had replaced, could she tell me what the original equipment looked like? She could not. But she claimed she had the police report and the serial number in her phone.

The serial numbers matched. Crap. I bought a stolen bike for cash. But I still had the guy’s phone number and I had seen still more bikes at the lot on Friday.

The lady insisted she wanted her bike back right there. I said that we were out on a ride and I understood it was her bike but could we please finish our ride and we’d give it back with the original equipment on it (provided I could trade back to get the pedals!). She wasn’t buying it. She wanted the cops. We agreed, police were needed to resolve this, but she had no idea where she was. I helped her out giving her reasonable instructions on our location (you say Paseo and PV West and it could be about 5 different places). She kept insisting that I should have known the bike was stolen and I should have checked the stolen bike data bases before purchasing. Maybe so, but I’ve been stymied too many times trying to buy well-priced used merchandise on web-sites that I tend to move quickly.

The cops arrived and at first wanted to know who the perp was. Thank goodness they didn’t draw weapons or cuff us. We explained the situation several times to several officers and since the numbers matched (and they checked the report online) they said the lady needs to have her bke. I asked again if we could please finish up our ride and we’d get the bike restored and returned; they said no. They said we should remove our stuff from the bike and they’d impound it.

Fortunately, I had spotted Greg (another guy who’s ridden with us many times and done construction work for us) parked nearby. I went over and he had just finished his ride and I explained some of what was going down. So with Greg’s pedal wrench and my multi-tool, I started taking off pedals, stem, bags, computer, and bell; leaving the bars dangling by the cables. The lady exclaimed “are you going to let that asshole take parts off my bike?” The cops said, yes, they were my parts so I could have them. I explained yet again that I would make the bike whole and I really wanted to finish the ride but if you are going to be like this, this is how it will be done. So Greg loaded up our stuff in his truck, the cops carted the stolen bike off in the back of the police cruiser and I was left to ride home. I passed the lady on the ill-fitting bike and waved. She had my phone number and address and would stop by to let me fix the bike later.

I thought it couldn’t get any stranger. I started mulling over a visit to the roadside bike sales lot to chat with ‘The Guy’; but what to say? Basically, the lady was going to be more-or-less whole; but I was out $1000 and the PV cops had no interest in helping me. At least they didn’t shoot me! Down the hill I went. What to do next. I had to get the pedals back; shouldn’t be a problem. I had to talk to more cops in the south bay; never much fun talking to cops. I turned and headed toward home. I was mulling things over as I crossed an intersection. Someone yelled from a car window “Hey, I’ve been looking for you!” I looked over and there’s the guy! He pulled a left turn and parked the wrong way behind me.

He says his buddy just came up with a high-end bike and he thought I might be interested. A month later and he recognizes me!?! In any case, here he was saying he wants to talk to me I said, yeah, I’m real interested. His wife was in the passenger seat and she offered to take my phone number again since he didn’t have it anymore. He remembered that he sold us the Specialized and that we’d stopped to say how much we liked it. I asked him, again, where did you get that. He said it was his wife’s and said “where’d we get that, honey? Was it Huntington?” She said it was. I asked about how his dad was doing. He said “it is what it is.” Very profound. I was less sympathetic this time. He said “Yeah, we’re leaving in a couple of weeks.” Then they drove up a side street as I noted their vehicle license and make and color. Tres bizarre.

I got home and Jane wasn’t home yet, so I called her. Greg had to drop some stuff at Ray’s house. They were just looking at bikes at ‘the lot’. I told them to forget that; I was going to get a call from him this afternoon to see a bike. They drove to our street. We talked it over and decided first things first, get the pedals. Then the bike lady called and said she had the bike and was stopping by. I said I had the stem but no pedals yet but I’d get them. After 45 minutes and a trip for pedals, she was set. I went back home and we contemplated our next move. No call from ‘The Guy’ so I called the local cops. Cops on the phone don’t really want to chat so I said I’d stop by the station.

Jane and I went down and after some screening at the front desk and sitting on their hard bench, got to talk with first one officer and then a pair. They seemed somewhat disinterested in my bizarre tale; maybe because it sounded like I made it up. But they took down all the info I had: stolen bike police report number, phone number for ‘The Guy,’ plate number, description and times. Then they told me I was SOL; that I was lucky I wasn’t arrested for possession of stolen goods! I thanked them for their compassion and we left figuring ‘The Guy’ was going to have a long career as a salesman.

We cleaned up and decided to go out for dinner with Jane’s daughter. We ended up driving by the sales lot. The bikes that I’d seen earlier were gone. Crap, maybe he’d gotten wise and pulled up stakes after my questions. Then I glanced right and saw a police car parked. Hey, I said, half in jest, maybe they’re visiting my friend. Jane’s daughter said it wasn’t one car but two. We went to dinner and talked about the day.

After dinner and some shopping, we drove back by the place. Wow! Now there were four police cars and a police pick-up truck! And it was loaded to the gills with bikes! Holy crap; not in my wildest dreams did I expect that outcome. We pulled around the corner and parked and got out with cell phone cameras ready. We chatted with the official looking officer on the front steps. He indicated that they took the guy down and he was a major operator. He had been carted away and would spend the night in jail. Wow. Then the two officers from the PD visit emerged with big smiles. They thanked me and said it had been a big help. I told them that ‘the Guy’ hadn’t called me back. I got the police report number so I could cite it for my income tax loss; that’s about the only way I’m going to recoup any monetary benefit on this one. Small claims court seems a long shot. No offense, but I’m not a fan of courts, lawyers or law enforcement. But I’ll give them kudos on this one.

I sent a text message with the pick-up full of bikes to the bike lady. She called back to say she was very excited and glad they got ‘the Guy’.

Reflecting on it now; it was one very strange day. Jane has got a new Specialized from a local dealer; costs more but nobody is going to stuff it in the back of a police car in the middle of our ride.

Oh, and if you’ve lost a bike to theft in the south bay, contact the Police department, (310) 802-5124.

Don’t expect sympathy.

BOLO Alert: Scattante bike stolen from Fairfax District

I’ve just gotten word that a bike was stolen from a garage in the Fairfax District sometime in the last few days.

The bike is a black Scattante R330 — most likely a 2010 model — with two bottle holders and a saddle bag with tools, serial number SI CF J10 F01180.

The bike was stolen from a shared garage on the alley between Orange Grove and Fairfax Avenues, and Oakwood and Rosewood. The theft was discovered Thursday morning, and occurred sometime between then and the previous Sunday.

If you see the bike, call the LAPD Hollywood station at 213/972-2971, then email the owner in care of [email protected].

Stolen Scattante

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