Community Post

Stolen bike recovered thanks to CDN!

I posted yesterday after I discovered my old commuter bike had been stolen off of my deck.  

Another CDN reader, D. left me a phone message about some suspicious bike activity she had seen.  D. and her son were out walking when they saw some (two?) people riding one bike and carrying another.  She thought it looked suspicious so she took note of where they ended up, a house near an intersection not quite a half mile from my house.

I made sure my dog walk today went by this intersection and – sure enough – my bike was there in the yard.  It had already had one wheel taken off and was spray-painted over the identifying decals.  

I bee-lined back home and called the non-emergency line.  Within a half hour, Officers Schmidt and Ball (Bell?) came by my house, took a description of the bike, and went to the address.  They were back 10 minutes later with my bike, including the back wheel.  Officer Schmidt obviously knows more about bikes than I do.  He’d reattached the back wheel and from the odd front gear (a biopace), he correctly guessed that it dated from the early 1990s.

The officers said they just went and got the bike without any interaction with the residents.  Apparently one of the home’s recent residents is known to them as a juvenile burglar, but they said there is no way to know who was responsible for my bike.  They also observed some lawnmowers, weed wackers, and other “porch items” in the yard and planned to follow up with the burglary detail about whether any of those items were stolen.  

I apologized to the officers for not having reported the bike yesterday (and felt like a bit of a jerk about it, since I did take the time to write a blog post).  They reminded me that all crimes should be reported, since reported criminal activity helps us get more patrol officers in our area.

My bike is now home and locked up.  The back tire needs to be fixed and I plan to head to 20/20 Cycles to keep the positive bike energy in the CD.  Thanks to CDN, observant reader D., and the SPD for helping reunite me with my bike!

0 thoughts on “Stolen bike recovered thanks to CDN!

  1. I’m so confused by the outcome..

    They stole your bike and spray painted it, and the police retrieved it yet there is no recourse to them? Isn’t possession of stolen property a crime? At the very least vandalism of your property? Would it be so hard to find the person who spray painted considering they likely have a red finger?

    Just such an odd thing to me that the police would retrieve it without further investigation, can you explain it more?

  2. No recourse is bullshit! The cops did not want to do paper work thats why they need to investigate and arrest the person responsible, are they just letting it go as he was a known youth burgukar thats bullshit!… THE COPS NEED TO DO THERE JOB AND NOT JUST RETREIVE STOLEN PROPERTY BUT ACTUALY DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

  3. Yeah, that seems really strange – they walked around in the yard of this other house (at least enough to inventory what was there and locate your missing wheel), but had no contact with the residents? And they’re following up with the burglary detail, but not doing anything about your stolen property (other than returning it, which I agree is the best short-term outcome for you)?

  4. I got the idea that the street patrol officers don’t do investigations, hence why they were going to pass a “memo” along to the burglary detail. Of course, I stand to be corrected by someone with better knowledge of the police system.

    Although I’d like to see the thief or thieves caught and appropriately punished, the pragmatist in me would rather have scarce policing resources go toward unresolved crimes and/or prevention. If nothing else, it sounds like the thieves will be getting some more police attention paid to their side-yard fencing operation.

  5. Exactly where was this house? 27th and E Spring perhaps? That’s where all of our stolen neighborhood goods seem to migrate to.

  6. 28th & Lane…
    I observed different bikes earlier on Sunday, not JRo’s, but I had called 911 when I saw a kid riding one bike with another (cabled bike) on it’s handlebars & decided to follow…as I did, I saw a second kid walking 2 bikes to the same yard.

    A note of warning: cable lock your bike to SOMETHING…my kids learned a big lesson that day!

  7. That is awesome.. congrats to another lucky bike owner that experiences the good fortune of our Central District News!

    For those poor folks that do experience a bike loss, I did find this site as another opportunity for exposure and increase the chance of bike recovery:

    By the way, when my bike was stolen they cut the cable chain in no time (& no fuss)- those cables are worthless. The more expensive U Locks seem to be the way to go. Thanks neighbors :)

  8. Great. We should mark it on the map, the address where stolen bikes, lawnmowers, etc. are likely to be found. Maybe when something goes missing we can peer over the fence and see if we can spot it.
    Thanks for your eagle eyes! I’m going to custom paint my bike so it sticks out like a sore thumb.

  9. That’s where I retrieved my daughter’s bike about 7 years ago. First saw her small pink helmet w/ hearts on the front porch, then bike minus tire in the yard.

    Thanks Delaney for keeping your eyes open. Glad you got your bike back JRo.

  10. Glad you retrieved your stolen property, not that common these days.

    I understand the frustration with the lack of police follow-up. Surely this does not deter crime when all that happens to the offender is they don’t get to keep the stolen goods.

    I’d reccommend a good U-lock also, not all are that great. But even more importantly, pick a good spot to lock it up where a thief would have a harder time stealing it. I’ve had a rock lock for 20 years now, super heavy but never lost a bike.

    See youtube for how to pick locks and craigslist for your stolen bike- may find it in Portland or Vancouver.

  11. 26th and S Washington, this is my upstairs neighbor. The oldest child is a real problem. He often is digging through purses and wallets on the balcony, throwing the non-valuable cosmetics and trinkets into our trash (or more commonly just tossing it into our yard). Has a different bicycle in the yard every day it seems. But it’s impossible to conclusively say that it’s him, and not just one of his friends. He’s never alone, always with a crowd of older kids.

  12. With just a stolen bike lying in a yard, and no way to conclusively tie it to any one suspect, the police really can’t make any charges stick. They can make educated guesses with a pretty high degree of certainty, but when you get right down to it they can’t prove anything.

    And in case you haven’t noticed, our local governments aren’t exactly rolling in cash right now; I doubt the city attorney’s office is going to devote scarce resources to making a flimsy bicycle theft charge stick on a juvenile.

  13. I would recommend calling 911 any time you see anyone digging through a purse that doesn’t appear to belong to them

  14. My kids and I left this morning to go to my sons last football game, and My 10 year old says hey mom someone took Matthews back tire.(Matthew is my 8yr old) Ther has been a lot of bike activity in my apartment complex in #18. I told my sons that when we got home from the game we will study Matthews frony tire and go to apt. #18 and investigate the tires on all the bikes down there. Bingo we foung the tire on 1 of the bikes, FOR SURE!I knocked on the door and was hollering and cussing about my kids bike tire and how I wanted it back!! How could they??? (cussed too much) They gave me my tire back and also came to my apartment a bit later to apologize. I think they heard me saying I was going to report this to the police. I’m pretty sure they have a bike sting going on down there. Never nothin legal going on there. I’m not the 1st one to have bike issuses with these guys! Should Istill go to the cops? They did give me my tire back and apologize. I am so mad! I don’t want more trouble though as I am a single mom with 3 boys. They will probably leave me alone now, but I am sure they will continue stealing bikes and parts. What would you do?? Help me in Arcata Calif!!!!