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Wednesday, April 08, 2009
  Lance Armstrong bike thief arrested
By Yokota Fritz 
Lee 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.
More.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008
  Receiving stolen property
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.
Read the whole tale of woe at Craigslist.

Kinda sorta related: Make Money Fast with Craigslist and stolen bicycles.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008
  Make Money Fast
By Yokota Fritz 
Three steps to easy money!

1. Steal a bicycle.

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.

See also:
  • Confidence trick.
  • Street smart.
  • Receiving stolen property: "Paying for the goods or intending to collect the reward for returning them are not defenses."
Props to Jym for this find.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008
  Vigilante mob beats bicycle thief
By Yokota Fritz 
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.
Story from the Times of India. Via Doc Logan.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008
  Detroit to enforce bicycle registration
By Yokota Fritz 
Kryptonite New York lock
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?

In the Chicago area, police in Glenview and Naperville remind cyclists to lock their bikes and participate in voluntary registration programs.

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.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008
  Philadelphia: Top city for bicycle theft
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.

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Monday, April 28, 2008
  Bike lock instruction video
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.

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Monday, November 19, 2007
  Bicycling advocacy and public safety
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.

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