Now that the excitement of Friday’s Critical Mass is over, let’s catch up on a few more interesting items that came up during last week’s Bike Task Force meeting with the LAPD.
First up comes news that California has an existing system to register and identify stolen items — such as bikes, for instance. All that’s necessary to have a stolen bike entered into the system is to provide the police with a serial number or other unique identifying number when you report your bike missing.
That’s why you should always record the serial number of your bike somewhere safe, as well as noting any other identifying information.
Personally, I always keep current photos of my bike, including a close-up photo of the serial number. However, since thieves will often remove a bike’s serial number, it also helps to engrave your name or ID number in a hidden location on your bike; some cyclists slide their business card inside the seat post since thieves seldom check there.
And always report a bike theft to the police as soon as you notice it missing.
That doesn’t mean the police will respond right away. Limited resources mean that they can’t always respond immediately to less urgent calls that don’t involve immediate danger. But they do take bike theft seriously, particularly since it’s one of the few types of crime that’s going up in Los Angeles. And a fast report can greatly improve your chances of getting it back.
Which also brings up the question of what number to call when you do.
According to police officials, call 911 anytime there’s an actual emergency — as they put it, if there’s blood and guts or a crime in progress. Otherwise, call the citywide 311 help number and they’ll direct your call to the appropriate agency.
Or as an alternative, call the front desk of your local precinct; if you don’t get what you think is an appropriate response, ask for the watch commander.
One final bit of news from the task force meeting. It appears that the long-delayed report on the infamous Hummer Incident in Downtown L.A. that occurred back in April 2009 has finally been approved by the Police Commission, and forwarded to the City Council’s Transportation Committee.
When or if we will get to see it is yet to be determined.
And speaking of long-delayed items, I’ve been informed that the proposed anti-harassment ordinance isn’t dead yet, despite the long lack of news. At last report, it was still working its way through the City Attorney’s office and may resurface in the hopefully not-too-distant future, though in what form is anyone’s guess.
A bike thief is caught in the act — possibly in Long Beach — and no one seems to care. Police look for a cycling Santa Monica groping suspect. Reed Bates, the Texas cyclist repeatedly arrested for riding a bike in Ennis, TX, is back in jail yet again. A Virginia Beach bike path turns into a corridor of crime after dark. A Montpelier, VT cyclist competing in a 2700 mile cross country race is killed in a head-on collision in Colorado; first link courtesy of No Whip, who could have been there. An apparent drunk driver refuses breathalyzer and blood tests and assaults a police officer after killing a cyclist near DC. Build it and they will come, which applies to bike lanes and cyclists, as well as the thieves that follow; heads-up courtesy of Bike Blog NYC. Cyclists shouldn’t take the Black Hawk, CO bike ban sitting down; turns out, city officials may not have been entirely honest about the studies showing it isn’t safe. The incomparable Jeanie Longo wins her 9th French national time trial title at age 51, bringing her total to 57 national titles, 13 world championships and four Olympic medals. The fallout from Mark Cavendish’s crash in the Tour of Switzerland continues as pro racers Heinrich Haussler and Tom Boonen will both miss this year’s Tour de France. An international team of researchers develops a mathematical formula to explain why you don’t fall over when you ride. After her husband is killed while riding, a mother of three says more could be done to protect bicyclists. Why aren’t bikes allowed on trains in Ireland? An Aussie grandmother’s wrist and elbow are shattered in a collision with a cyclist.
Finally, when the sidewalks are closed on both sides of the street, where exactly are the people supposed to go?