Writing article about bike theft in SF- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Writing article about bike theft in SF

    Hey everybody,

    I am a freelance journalist and a biker writing an article about the black market for stolen bikes in SF. I was interested in interviewing people (especially Velocipus) about how their bikes go stolen and recovered. Velocipus, I'd love to hear the story about how you recovered those 3 bikes. I'm also looking to track down some bike thieves, chop shops and stories of bike theft rings. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Best,

    Justin

  2. #2
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    My story is:

    Early 2005 my bike was stolen out of my garage in Pacific Heights in San Francisco. It was locked down with two locks, one master lock with a cable and the other a U-Lock around piping that was part of the building complex. They picked both locks. After filling out a police report I was told I was the 7th person that day to report their bike(s) stolen in my neighborhood. A few days later I got a call from the SFPD informing me that they found around 200 bikes at the Port of Oakland inside a shipping container that was going to be shipped to China. I met the police and searched for my bike, no luck. The police *thought* at that time it was a gang of bike thieves stealing bikes, then shipping them to China to be sold for huge profits. Of course; I can not confirm that story this is what I was told by SFPD, however I would be lead to believe it is somewhat true since my neighborhood got hit hard that night as well I read a month later that in total there was a huge increase of stolen bikes in San Francisco that month.

    Good luck with your story.
    You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.

    -Joe Louis

  3. #3
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    Have you contacted the SF Bike Coalition?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by imjps
    Have you contacted the SF Bike Coalition?
    Yes sir. Provided them with pictures, and serial number. It's a lost cause. Renters Insurance covered the cost of my new bike. I just had a set of new rims built, and some new rubber put on. I was planning to ride that to work in the morning then ride over in the headlands to test out the new wheels...
    You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.

    -Joe Louis

  5. #5
    just another bleepin SSer
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    I've had 2 bikes stolen when I was living on the Peninsula (so may be outside of your geographic target), but never recovered. Had 3 bikes - girlfriend's Juliana, my Schinn Peleton pro road bike, and my On-One Singlespeed all locked with a single cable in a locked (but shared) garage. Were on a bike rack with a half dozen or so other bikes, all the department store variety and mostly unlocked. Thief cut the cable and took the Juliana and my road bike, so knew which were highest value. Must have been in a rush, as they left my SS.

    When mine was stolen, it was recommended that I check at Karim's Cycles in Berkeley to see if they had it. Seems they have a reputation for selling stolen bikes. One person said they found their bike their, took it for a test ride, and went straight to the police station with it. Actually, not sure what has happened to the shop - they did get busted a short while back - http://www.dailycal.org/printable.php?id=18888.

    (ps - my apologies for anyone who read what I first wrote. I listed the wrong bike shop name accidentally as the place with the stolen bike reputation).
    Last edited by singlespeed.org; 05-05-2006 at 12:26 PM.
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  6. #6
    Too Much Fun
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    I traded my One-Off Ti for a burrito...

    No, I was not tripping my balls off or any such thing. I was riding my beloved 110% totally custom One-Off Titanium hardtail built by Mike Augspurger (Merlin Co-founder), locked it with a huge (1"+ thick cable; very short cable) Krypto lock which I only used for super quick stops.

    Went into Taqueria Cancun on Mission and 19th. Bike was locked right in front. I could almost see it standing in line... Coupla shady looking kids in front but I didn't really sweat them that hard. Not much of a line, ordered my usual veggie burrito, then got a weird feeling... Ran outside... and it was GONE. Lock too. They had it in under 2mins.

    I should have know better, growing up in NYC and having plenty of hoodlum friends who know how to boost bikes every which way.

    Oh well, I got 8+ years of pure pleasure out of that bike. It was gone so fast I just took a deep breath and let it go back into the universe. Then I drove around for hours with a buddy peeping it out, with my bat in my lap.

    I still look out for the bike all the time.... If you see a funky Ti bike with anodized stays and a big Halson "Inversion" fork on it... Its MINE.

    FWIW, not long after that I read that SF is the bike theft capital of the US. Beats NYC even. So much for dirty hippies being NICE.
    - -benja- -

  7. #7
    jrm
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    So you want our lock combos..

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin J.
    Hey everybody,

    I am a freelance journalist and a biker writing an article about the black market for stolen bikes in SF. I was interested in interviewing people (especially Velocipus) about how their bikes go stolen and recovered. Velocipus, I'd love to hear the story about how you recovered those 3 bikes. I'm also looking to track down some bike thieves, chop shops and stories of bike theft rings. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Best,

    Justin
    No way jose'..

    The story abou the jerhico SS bike is a good one..

  8. #8
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    Hey Justin,

    PM your email address to me...

    Uhh... just realized this is your first post....
    click on the moving eyes (avitar) and look for a link that says "send velocipus a private message"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin J.
    Hey everybody,

    I am a freelance journalist and a biker writing an article about the black market for stolen bikes in SF. I was interested in interviewing people (especially Velocipus) about how their bikes go stolen and recovered. Velocipus, I'd love to hear the story about how you recovered those 3 bikes. I'm also looking to track down some bike thieves, chop shops and stories of bike theft rings. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Best,

    Justin
    I used to return stolen bikes to people, as a profession. I worked directly with police departments all over the country - even around the world - including SFPD (also NYPD, Boston PD, Miami PD - even Guam National PD and etc). I can get you in touch with the right people at SFPD if you like... according the my contact there, I helped them double the number of bikes they returned.

    They have tons - literally - of bikes in their property rooms, just sitting there. A large percentage of stolen bikes eventually end up in police property rooms - and just sit - eventually to be auctioned off.

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