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Old 08-10-06, 09:17 AM   #1
lyledriver
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Interview with a bike thief

So.. yesterday after work, I decide to go to my girlfriend's coffee shop/roasting plant, which is located blocks from my pad, in a sketchy part of town. Right behind the coffee shop is a metal recycling place called Capital Salvage.

Capitol Salvage doesn’t ID their clientele, so all kinds of skids bring all kinds of metals there to be scrapped. Its not surprising to see grocery carts full of aluminum siding there.

Anyways.. I’m walking up, and notice a Green de-badged supercycle cruiser with a baby trailer, leaned up against the dumpster.

(Background: A few weeks ago my girlfriend's sister Aly, was hit by a car along a bike route. While she was taken to the hospital, her boyfriend took her wrecked bike to his back porch. The next day, the tweaked bike was stolen)

I did a double take, and had to go look.

Sure enough, this was Aly’s bike.
I had worked on this thing, and got to know it intimately just a month previous.
It even had my stainless hardware on the rack (nyloc nuts too).

The rear stays were bent and bent back again. The downtube had a big dent.
This bike had been in a car accident. It was tweaked all over.
I inspected it a bit closer.
The baby cart was held on with a bungee cord.

Just as I was thinking about what to do, someone in the capitol salvage yard started yelling.

“HEY HEY HEY, whatcha doin with that bike!”
A graying bearded guy in his 40s comes out of the salvage place.

“Oh, is this your bike?”

“Yeah”

“It was stolen from a porch on 10th Ave not too long ago, would you know anything about that?”

“Hey, You’re the third person that’s told me you’ve recognized this bike. I have a receipt for it.”

“Sure you do, where’s it from?”

“Uhhh.. Sharecare.. that place on Broadway.”

“Sorry what did you say it was called?”

“The consignment place on Broadway.”

“You must mean Sports Junkies, but they don’t sell bikes that have bent frames.”

By this time, I could see his skid buddy inching closer in my peripheral vision, and two of the guys from Capital Salvage came out into the alley to watch if anything was going to go down.

“Yeah, well that’s too bad, cause I have a receipt for this bike. This trailer too, I paid over $300 for it”

I look at the dirtied baby trailer, held on with a bungee cord, and think about how its just silly how baby trailer companies don’t provide fit kits for solid axles on their $300 trailers..

“Right…. Well, either way, the bike is stolen. How’s it feel to be a thief AND a liar?”

At that point Kim (who had come out of the coffee shop into the alley) yelled something to the effect of “Way to steal from a young woman!”.

I was livid, but really, there’s nothing I could have done.

Aly already has a new (Norco) cruiser bike, that ICBC will be reimbursing her for… and a skid gets to ride around on a crappy super cycle with a bent frame.

Deck him and have to fight his skid buddy as well?
Stomp the spokes on Aly’s bike?
Get my tools and take back my stainless metric hardware from the rack?

Fists balled up, I had to turn around and walk out of the alley and into the coffee shop.
Pacing back and forth in line I realized I didn’t even want coffee anymore.
I went back outside to talk to him some more, but he was gone.

..so I went home, hopped on my bike, and started cruising all the low alleys (ie at the bottom of the hill by the shop) looking for him.

I had my U lock with me, and just wanted to lock the rear wheel to the frame.
Really that’s all I wanted. It would be worth it to see him trying to carry that sled with his trailer full of cans attached.

I didn’t find him by 6pm, so I gave up and went back to the coffee shop to talk about it with Kim.
The only good thing about this, is that I can now identify one of our cities bicycle thieves.
Still pisses me off though.
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Old 08-10-06, 09:32 AM   #2
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Just a suggestion, but why didn't you call the cops? I mean, if your girlfriends' sister could prove the bike and trailer was hers (receipt from the original store---I keep mine in my wallet at all times), you'd have had the guy stone-cold.
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Old 08-10-06, 09:38 AM   #3
lyledriver
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Aly didn't file a police report when it was stolen, and the bike was given to her by her Aunt so no reciept.
I'm also pretty sure that she hadn't written down the serial number anywhere.
Thats why I felt powerless standing there.

Also, the cops have practically stopped responding to calls from the coffee shop since they have a junkie incident about once a day.

Edit: The trailer wasn't hers. That was presumably stolen from some other young woman's back yard.
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Old 08-10-06, 09:45 AM   #4
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I would still call the cops. You may have a case if you can identify some of the hidden parts. You mentioned you worked on it and have an intimate knowledge. Also, if the police get enough complaints, they may investigate further.
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Old 08-10-06, 09:54 AM   #5
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I would still call the cops. You may have a case if you can identify some of the hidden parts. You mentioned you worked on it and have an intimate knowledge. Also, if the police get enough complaints, they may investigate further.
Even threatening to call the cops might have gotten you the bike.

Chances are the guys were not fine upstanding pillars of the community and did not wish the attention of the police and just would have given it up rather than have the cops run their names through the computer.

They obviuosly didn't pay $300 for it, but they may have paid $10 to the crackhead that did steal it, if they didn't steal it themselves.
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Old 08-10-06, 10:01 AM   #6
lyledriver
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I didn't really want the bike.
Its a supercycle (canadian tire brand) cruiser, welded in Mexico, hit by a car in Vancouver.
Its essentially worthless, especially since Aly has a nice Norco Cruiser now.
Whether or not he was the thief or just supporting the thieving economy, I just wanted to deck him for trying to feed me that BS.
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Old 08-10-06, 10:10 AM   #7
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I would be angry to maybe take a picture and post on the internet and post the street address when people get there bikes lifted they have at least one place to look. Bike theives make me want to go into a homicidal rage
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Old 08-10-06, 10:10 AM   #8
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I've been through this and there's nothing you can really do if you don't have the bike's serial number. Be sure the new one is registered. Then you would have these cruds to rights.
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Old 08-10-06, 10:30 AM   #9
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What's a skid?
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Old 08-10-06, 10:45 AM   #10
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What's a skid?
A pallet.
(did that help clarify it?)
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Old 08-10-06, 10:51 AM   #11
lyledriver
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I use skid interchangably with junkie, and occasionally lowlife. (ie from skid row)
I don't use it to denote financial status, as some of the bottle pickers roaming our alleys are honest upstanding citizens. I use skid when describing the guys on stolen bikes, trying to get money recycling stolen metal.
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Old 08-10-06, 11:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lyledriver
I didn't really want the bike.
Its a supercycle (canadian tire brand) cruiser, welded in Mexico, hit by a car in Vancouver.
Its essentially worthless, especially since Aly has a nice Norco Cruiser now.
Whether or not he was the thief or just supporting the thieving economy, I just wanted to deck him for trying to feed me that BS.
I can understand the situation you're in-- not wanting a crappy damaged bike, not filing a police report in the first place-- but the other side of that coin is these guys either stole a bike or bought a stolen bike and lied about it. That wouldn't feel right to me, letting them off like that.

Next time (well, let's hope there is no next time), keep records of ownership (by the way, a repair receipt would be evidence of ownership, but you really should record the serial number) and file a report if a bike is stolen. Then call the cops on the bike thief, even if you don't want the bike back.
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Old 08-10-06, 11:11 AM   #13
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Call the police, from a safe place, those people probably wouldn't think twice about hurting you.
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Old 08-10-06, 12:43 PM   #14
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I dont think you should of let the guy get away with it regardless of wether you didnt care for the bicycle anymore, its the principal!
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Old 08-11-06, 09:53 AM   #15
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You were going to throw down with junkies over a Supercycle? A BUSTED Supercycle? A busted Supercycle that wasn't even stolen from you? A busted Supercycle that wasn't even stolen from and had already been replaced by something BETTER?

I think you're drinking WAY too much free coffee shop coffee.

Maybe I could see being that upset in the heat of the moment, but to go back out looking for them? Maybe if these 'skids' had knocked your girlfriend's sister down to get it, or if they had happened on her after the crash and stolen it there and then, but if I read you correctly, all they did was steal a wrecked bike from the front porch of someone's home. Which I agree is a violation, but you have to put these things into some sort of perspective.

Last edited by Alox; 08-11-06 at 10:00 AM.
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