By Yokota FritzLee Crider is allegedly the guy who stole Lance Armstrong's bike last February during the Tour of California. He was arrested on Tuesday. The guy who turned the stolen bike in to Sacramento police, Dung Le, apparently bought the bike from Crider. I'd love to know how much Le paid for the one of a kind time trial bicycle.
Wend Magazine opines:
Bike theft is a crime that should be punishable by castration, even if that crime gave the internet community the opportunity to poke some fun at the seven-time Tour de France champion.
There should be an arm of law enforcement dedicated entirely to busting bike thieves and serving them up some Guantanamo-style justice.
By Yokota Fritz
A guy buys a bike from the street at 16th AND Valencia, he's amazed at the great deal, posts it for sale to Craigslist, and then is surprised when the San Francisco police come and take the bike and throw him in jail.
The police ignored what I was saying and said yah sure we hear it all the time. I was thrown into 850 Bryant the local jail here in San Francisco.
Jail is awful, it's a terrible place. The food is a smear of peanut butter on wax paper, with a couple of slices of bread, 2 packets of jelly, and a few small cookies. And a kindergardener size milk. I was starving the whole 4 days. I lost 10 pounds, and was severely depressed and was suicidal.
My cell mates was a person with 7 counts of terrorism, and 1 count of stalking, a dude who was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, a crack cocaine dealer, and a dude who took assaulted 7 black guys with a baseball bat, because he didn't like the color of their skin. These are not quality people, this experience was hell. My bail was $15, 000 dollars and my friend were not allowed to visit me.
2. Post to Craigslist that you saw an obviously hot bike and bought it so it can be reunited with its rightful owner, like this:
We recovered your stolen Miyata! - $50 (mission district)
My roommate bought this Miyata for $50. The bike is very obviously hot and we'd like to return it to its rightful owner. If this bike belongs to you or a friend of yours, please email me. I'm sure they miss it dearly. We'll gladly give it back for the $50 we paid for it and some sandwiches and/or a case of beer. In order to claim your bike, you must tell me what kind of pedals are on the bike.
3. Receive cash from naive and grateful victims!
Note: It turns out this guy is probably honest. I guess I'm too old and cynical.
A youth who tried to steal a bicycle was severely beaten up by a mob on Friday. The policemen who had rescued the youth left him and fled after being targeted by the mob.
The incident occurred around 3 pm at Bally in Howrah. Aparesh Mukherjee, who owns a medicine shop at Bally market, had kept his bicycle near the gate of the shop. The 24-year-old youth, who was loitering around, tried to steal it. Seeing him do so, locals started thrashing him mercilessly.
The policemen rushed to the spot and rescued the youth, who had became unconscious by then. The policemen also arrested two persons from the mob.
However, soon the other locals blocked the policemen’s way and demanded that the two be released. With the situation almost out of control, the policemen fled the spot, leaving the youth at the mercy of the mob.
The youth lay unconscious on the road for nearly an hour after which some other locals took him to Jaiswal Hospital. He was not in a condition to speak and is yet to be identified.
More and more people I know are riding their bikes to work and to get around. I'm also hearing a lot more about bike theft. It's mostly from newbies who don't know how to lock their bikes effectively, but that's not always the case. It seems like I'm also seeing more bike theft notices posted to some of the local bike discussion lists. To help enable recovery (and recovery does occasionally happen), take a photo of your bikes and record the serial numbers.
At the Palo Alto Caltrain station yesterday, probably 90% of the bikes I looked at were not adequately locked up. I see many thin and cheap cable locks in use and a lot of front wheels only locked up. If I wanted a spare wheel I had plenty to choose from.
In Detroit, the police say they plan to enforce a bike registration law to help fight bike theft.
An ordinance in the Detroit Municipal Code states that it is "unlawful for any person to operate or use a bicycle wholly or in part by muscular power upon any of the streets or sidewalks of the city without first obtaining a license therefor from the city."
The Detroit Police Department said they will be more strictly enforcing this ordinance in efforts to reduce bike theft in the city.
Read more. What do you think of mandatory bike registration laws?
The mayor of Aspen, Colorado had his bike stolen. Mike Ireland normally leaves his bike unlocked around town. His bike was parked outside of City Hall where he was in a council meeting when the bike was swiped.
By Yokota Fritz
The city of brotherly love is now the city of bike theft in Kryptonite Lock's latest ranking of top American bicycle theft cities, beating out New York City for the first time ever. "Our premier line [of bicycle locks] is the “New York” line because we know, in the US, that’s the bike theft capital," says Kryptonite marketing chieftress Donna Tocci. "But now I’m wondering if we need to change the name of our products," she jokes.
In the 2007 list released this morning, New York City dropped all the way to third place on the list, while Washington DC dropped off of the top 10 list altogether. Read more at Unbreakable Bonds, the blog of Kryptonite Locks.
By Yokota Fritz
StreetFilms posted a great followup to Hal Ruzal's video in which he gives letter grades on the locking skills of bikes he sees in the neighborhood. Hal Ruzal is a mechanic at Bicycle Habitat in New York City.
In the sequel, he's joined by Bike Church founder Kerri Martin. They evaluate the security of bikes locked to posts, poles and fences with quality Kryptonite locks and low cost "Craptoenite" locks and chains. Watch and learn how to lock your bike.
By Yokota Fritz
CQ Press has released their annual city crime rankings for US cities. Using crime statistics data from the FBI and using proprietary weighting factors, CQ created their rankings of the safest and most dangerous cities in America.
The 10 most dangerous cities are:
1. Detroit, Michigan 2. St. Louis, Missouri 3. Flint, Michigan 4. Oakland, California 5. Camden, New Jersey 6. Birmingham, Alabama 7. North Charleston, South Carolina 8. Memphis, Tennessee 9. Richmond, California 10. Cleveland, Ohio
I think it's safe to say that you don't see these cities mentioned as bicycle friendly communities. While the rankings are controversial, I think an important component of encouraging cycling is ensuring a safe riding environment. Nobody wants to ride their bikes down city streets if they perceive a problem with public safety.
I've had a close friend who's a cop advise me to carry a handgun with me because of my commute route, but I've never had any problems during nearly 20 years of commuting by bike through sometimes marginally sketchy neighborhoods. Female friends in particular sometimes seem more aware of personal safety issues when it comes to bicycling, which I can understand.
If you need to decide on the safety of your cycling route, I've listed some online crime maps that outline the level of crime in various cities in the United States.
Many many more crime maps are available; just search for "your city crime map. Note that many of these crime maps show *all* crimes in the area, including many that may not directly affect passing cyclists such as domestic disturbances, random vandalism, and even car burglaries. Before you're surprised by the amount of crime in your area, pay attention also to the time span shown.
Lance Armstrong bike thief arrested
it should have read:
You've gotta love the people who want their pet peeve punished by applying eugenics.
They effectively make their standpoint laughable.
Castration, torture and isolation seem extreme to me, but punishment that exceeds the crime might be a reaction to the usually non-existent investigation of bike theft in almost all areas.
Maybe I'm sensitive, but it's a little soon to be using Guantanamo as an adjective like that. There are still prisoners there.
(I know you didn't write it... I'm just getting that off my chest.)
...i'm sure we've discussed this before but here goes, again...
...the old saw "they shoot horse thieves, don't they ???" came about from the fact that in the "old west", if you stole a man's horse, you might effectively be condemning him to death because you were taking away his transportation, his ability to readily salvage food, water & shelter, his protection from predators, be they wild animals or other men... ...therefore, it wasn't considered to be out of line to shoot that horse thief, given the opportunity...
...now, while time & logistics have changed, i'd suggest the emotional attachment to our trusty steeds is also worth a high price as well...
...so i say, you should be at least allowed to shoot the little buggers if they try & make off w/ our bicycles...
Receiving stolen property
"This posting has been deleted by its author."
Any chance you still have it in cache?
Wow...I wish I could have read more, but the post has been deleted. I guess it's better to buy on ebay than Craigslist? (At least you can show a receipt for the bike.)
Ah rats, I knew I should have copied the whole thing :-(
Pulled it from google ========================= Here's what happened to me. I bought a bicycle and went to jail for 4 days. Last week I bought a bicycle from a guy at a garage sale at 16th AND VALENCIA, the bike was a hundred dollars. I thought the bike was a great deal, the bike was nice, but didn't look very expensive. The guy looked like the original owner, his clothing matched the stickers on the bike (yes it sounds silly but he gave me the impression he was the owner). I bought the bike and figured i could make a few bucks on the bike, so I posted it on Craigslist. The original owner saw the bike on Craigslist, 2 days after it was stolen (the day I bought it), and called the SF police department. The original owner saw the bike and told the police he saw the bike posted on Craigslist, he said to meet at his job and I did. When I arrived the police arrested me, without listening to my story, and threw me in jail. The police ignored what I was saying and said yah sure we hear it all the time. I was thrown into 850 bryant the local jail here in San Francisco. Jail is awful, it's a terrible place. The food is a smear of peanut butter on wax paper, with a couple of slices of bread, 2 packets of jelly, and a few small cookies. And a kindergardener size milk. I was starving the whole 4 days. I lost 10 pounds, and was severely depressed and was suicidal. My cell mates was a person with 7 counts of terrorism, and 1 count of stalking, a dude who was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, a crack cocaine dealer, and a dude who took assaulted 7 black guys with a baseball bat, because he didn't like the color of their skin. These are not quality people, this experience was hell. My bail was $15, 000 dollars and my friend were not allowed to visit me.
Jail is a hard place especially if you have never been there, imagining staring at 4 walls 24 hours a day, no books, no music, no television, nothing, only a cellmate who farts all day, and stinks up the cell you are in. My cell smelt like cat piss, and butt.
You have no rights when in jail, I was thinking how could this happen to me. It happens to people all the time! People get locked up because owners see people riding their bicycles and call the police. This is the 2nd highest rated city in the USA for bicycle theft. If you are thinking your bicycle is not stolen, you are probably wrong. Sellers lie, why tell the truth?- people will believe anything you tell them, they have to, most buyers in SF really need a bicycle and can't afford to buy a a new one, so they buy used.
Especially if you see a bicycle that is looking brand new, or close to it, it's probably stolen. The street rate for a bicycle is $40 to $200, when it's super hot (just stolen). Why risk it, don't buy these bikes, jail is a horrible place where you can easily get stabbed with a toothbrush shank, or any item a prisoner can use, do you want to die? I don't, and I will never buy a bike used again.
Here is where you can find the stolen bicycles:
Craigslist, you'll see these people do postings everyday, same background in their picture, same type of ad, these people, some of whom, may have no idea the bicycles they have are stolen. Some guys "fix up" bikes, i did, I bought bicycles form Craigslisters and from flea markets, and thought the bikes had a clean title, I repaired and re-sold them.
"Oakland Coliseum swap meet", has only stolen bicycles, so if you are looking here is where they are. Thieves in oakland mostly illegal mexican immigrants steal the bikes and run them here early in the morning, you'' see these short people, with brand new mountain bikes, and $1000 road bicycle, and you can buy the bikes from these guys super cheap. I heard stories from random people saying that they scour San Francisco, Berkeley, and San Jose for bicycles and go around in trucks with bolt clippers and hacksaws in the middle of the night and get to work, some of whom strip the paint off bicycles, re paint quickly and re-sell the bikes by morning.
"Laney College Flea Market" the place where there are usually about 50 bicycles on any given Sunday, ranging from $40 to $800, most are super cheap, for a quick sell.
I am done with this, I learned my lesson, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Cezar, you rock.
this dude is lying. If he is in the buy/sell business of bikes then he knows that a bike sold on the street at 16th/Valencia is stolen. Dirtbag.
Make Money Fast
I've seen one other case of this, but the guy posted to the Bay Area Cyclocross Mailing List, hardly a den of thieves like Craigslist :-)
I, too, have a lot of trouble with the "probably honest" conclusion ;)
... even more having seen it and the comments. *Accolades?* For buying a hot bike and then wanting to sell it?
Vigilante mob beats bicycle thief
Geez, the penalty for thievery shouldn't be bludgeoning.
That's definitely over-the-line. And what the heck? 24 years old is not a youth, period.This post has been removed by the author.
So what IS an appropriate penalty for witnessed, blatant theft? Bike theft is a major obstacle to bike use everywhere. Bludgeoning certainly conveys a sense of general social disapproval and outrage. What's a really good way to discourage thieves from taking it up? Theft implies that social conventions of honesty don't matter. What other social conventions die with that one?
...the line "they shoot horse thieves don't they ???" from the days of the old west, comes from the reasoning, that to steal a man's horse was to take away a fundamental tool of survival & transportation...
...times may have changed but if you want a good emotional 'take' on it, watch vitorio di sica's "ladri di biciclette" (the bicycle thief)...the film creates such a beautiful sense of desperation, that if you don't find it viscerally gripping, you might wanna question your dedication to the bike...
The bummer in The Bicycle Thief is that he's ultimately tempted to steal someone else's, as I recall.
...you are quite right & as i said, "a beautiful sense of desperation" still applies...
...it wasn't a wise choice but i came away w/ the feeling that ultimately he himself learned a hard but valuable lesson...
Detroit to enforce bicycle registration
My town has a bicycle registration law on the books. I asked about it at the PD once, and was told storing the records cost more than the registrations brought in. The exception seems to be college towns where bicycle registrations are another way to fleece the students. Fail to pay the registration fee and the local authorities will soak you for $25 and costs.
My only concern is whether it's applicable to only residents or to everybody. If you're a resident, a registration shouldn't be an undue burden, but if you're just passing through, how many stickers would you need?
California law restricts licensing requirements to residents of the locale - someone has to remind the authorities at Stanford Univ. of this from time to time.
Oh, I should add that many years ago, my father recovered his stolen bicycle in Savannah, GA because it had a registration sticker on it - from Maryland.
We were visiting, and someone stole it out of our VW van. (yay 70s!!) As we were driving out of town, we spotted it at a gas station. The registration sticker was in numerical succession to the sticker which was still on my mother's bike (and wasn't stolen). That was enough for the police to return the bike to us!
I don't feel that it should be manditory to register your bike. Something about "cold dead hands" etc. etc.
Add this to the list of things that should be encouraged, publicized, and streamlined, but not enforced.
I'm even fine if police won't bother looking for, or even returning, your bike unless you have a valid registration, but to require it in order to ride is asinine.
Bit of a bugger for the long-distance cyclist.
According to our U. regulations, anybody "using a bike on campus" is supposed to register it - as in driving on one of the roads to, say, get across town as I do. No, it's not in any way enforced. I'll just do some kind of DNA insert so everybody knows it's part of me :)
What is mandatory registration going to accomplish? It's not as if cops ever look for stolen bikes, and thief worth the weight of bike he steals is gonna trash the serial and strip the sticker. If there was another, more permanent way, to do this, I'd support it more.
More bureaucracy, more government, more laws unenforced unless you're not favored. Police can't even handle speeding restrictions or the registration of felons as required by the FBI, but cyclists and their rides need more policing? Jack
Look for theft to rise as it did during the mountain bike boom. Any time cycling gets long-term media attention and fashion cred, bikes have greater value to thieves.
Registration is cumbersome and requires fugly stickers or plates on your bike. And what about those of us who run multiple bikes? Do we really get services for our registration dollar? You want to make it meaningful, put money into secure parking structures for bikes. If I lived in a city I would pay to have a secure, reliable parking place. That takes care of a large portion of the time a bike would be vulnerable to thieves, not to mention weather. A rider would still have to lock securely for shopping or other shorter errands, but that exposes the bike for less time.
I'd be fine with mandatory registration if it was like with cars: get a sticker for the municipality where you reside (and/or go to college, to account for the student factor), and it's good everywhere. But maybe you have to renew it it every couple of years, so it's easier to tell whether a bike has been abandoned.
But if I live in City A and bike commute to City B, it would be ridiculous to have to register twice.
Philadelphia: Top city for bicycle theft
We're number one! We're number one! Oh...never mind.
Fritz - thanks for getting the word out. The most important thing about this list is making sure that people learn how to lock properly and do it each and every time.
Fixedgear...you crack me up! :)
Bike lock instruction video
This is quite a funny video. Thanks for pointing it out.
Although, it seems like you almost need a trailer to carry the number of locks and chains shown on most of the bikes.
*laugh* Oh yeah about the trailer :-)
Bicycling advocacy and public safety
I find those maps nice 'cause it's useful to know where around me things like burglaries have happened, having nothing to do with riding.
...fritz, you paragon of joy & good news... ...the highest gas prices in the whole country AND two of the top ten most dangerous cities in america, right here in the bay area... ...& yet, all this beauty...
...ah, yes, thus is the dichotomy of the sf bay area...
Camden, New Jersey is obviously a HORRIBLE place to bike. However, just over the bridge is great riding in Philadelphia. The Ben Franklin Parkway, Fairmont Park, Manayunk, the rail-trail to Valley Forge...all great areas.
Of course, some of the safest large cities in the USA are also in the Bay Area. Even portions of Oakland are nice if you know the areas to avoid. Vallejo and Richmond are probably best to stay clear of also, though again if you know where you're going.
I guess I have been posting a lot of doom and gloom lately. I need an attitude readjustment. Posting will probably be sparse to non-existent over the Thanksgiving holiday as I recharge my batteries.
...fritz, i wasn't rippin' ya, honest, but enjoy yer time off...sometimes we all need a good break...
...believe me, i know...
The car culture is one of the principal causes of crimes. Building "needed" highways to support sprawl so citizens can escape dangerous areas diverts public funds from crime prevention. Then parking lots must be built, destroying neighborhoods and creating ugly environments. Depopulation is the result and public resources become additionally strained. It's hard to stop it once it starts.
On a visit to Baltimore, I apparently accidentally rode the Tour de Sketchy Neighborhoods. On the old beater fixed gear, with my typical shabby wardrobe, no one gave me a second glance.
You gain a lot of safety by not projecting a sh*thead attitude. Don't project a lot of fear or arrogance and don't ride flashy equipment. Look like you know where you're going, even if you don't.
Around hostile rednecks in a rural environment all bets are off. (Cue the banjo)