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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by puckett129 View Post
    These operations are stings. The thief is always caught red handed. The bike is identified before the operation the location where it is to be left is not random to the degree that there is a plan. There is most likely video rolling the entire time (from multiple angles in some cases) and the thief is taken into custody in close proximity to the location of occurrence with the proceeds of the crime in their possession. Circumstances happen that lead to innocent people being accused of crimes, but this isn't likely to be one of those scenarios.
    Don't believe everything you see on TV...

    My brother's a cop! I've got a thousand stories I could tell ya, buddy!

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
    Don't believe everything you see on TV...

    My brother's a cop! I've got a thousand stories I could tell ya, buddy!
    +1! Look at all the cases where even after people go to court they get wrongly convicted of a crime they didn't commit, as can be proven by DNA. My faith in the justice system is rather low. But I still have way more faith in convictions than arrests because the more people handle a case, the more checks and balances there are that might kick it out. There's no reason to assume the sting is actually being run the way you've been told it would. And there's no reason not to delay publishing pictures until after conviction. The principle of innocent until proven guilty is always important. Maybe even more important in cases where there's very compelling evidence of guilt.

  3. #28
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
    So a real bike thief takes a bait bike worth well over a thousand bucks. He then takes it to the Panhandle Park and parks it next to you and your friend who are just sitting and talking in the Park. This bike thief guy, casually knows your friend. He chimes in on the conversation. You all begin to freely chat. Suddenly, you get the idea that you'd like to go to the store for a snack. You ask this guy, if it'll be alright for you to borrow his nice bike to ride to the store. You get half way to the store, when suddenly you're overtaken by a swarm of San Francisco's finest. You're then arrested! You keep saying, "But officer, it's not really my bike!"...To which they respond, "Yeah! We know___!"...

    You left out the part where they taze you for no apparent reason.

    Seriously, I'll admit that this is a plausible scenario. For a white male with a stable employment history, this story might even be enough to avoid conviction. Pessimistically, I would expect that stories like will be used in defenses soon and that quick hand-offs will become a common part of the bike thieves repertoire in the near future. I actually had thought about it, and I came up with an Assassin's Creed-type scenario where the thief takes the bike and immediately rides to a park bench and sits next to the bike for a while, then if questioned claims that somebody else left the bike there. I can easily see that evolving into the thief leaving the bike next to a stranger sitting on a bench for some period of time. Video of the actual theft would be key to prosecution.

    In any event, it's already common practice for newspapers and television news to publish photos of people who have been arrested but not convicted of various crimes. There's really nothing new here in that regard. The reason not to wait for conviction is that a program like this isn't really about getting convictions. SFPD doesn't want people in jail for bike theft. More likely this is a program to trigger probation violation for people they want in jail for other reasons. Secondarily, it works as a deterrent to theft, and that's what the published photo part of the program seems to be about.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    You left out the part where they taze you for no apparent reason.

    Seriously, I'll admit that this is a plausible scenario. For a white male with a stable employment history, this story might even be enough to avoid conviction. Pessimistically, I would expect that stories like will be used in defenses soon and that quick hand-offs will become a common part of the bike thieves repertoire in the near future. I actually had thought about it, and I came up with an Assassin's Creed-type scenario where the thief takes the bike and immediately rides to a park bench and sits next to the bike for a while, then if questioned claims that somebody else left the bike there. I can easily see that evolving into the thief leaving the bike next to a stranger sitting on a bench for some period of time. Video of the actual theft would be key to prosecution.

    In any event, it's already common practice for newspapers and television news to publish photos of people who have been arrested but not convicted of various crimes. There's really nothing new here in that regard. The reason not to wait for conviction is that a program like this isn't really about getting convictions. SFPD doesn't want people in jail for bike theft. More likely this is a program to trigger probation violation for people they want in jail for other reasons. Secondarily, it works as a deterrent to theft, and that's what the published photo part of the program seems to be about.
    From a legal perspective: It is completely legal for the pictures and names of arrested individuals to be disseminated, provided that they are labeled as arrests, not convictions. Likewise, if it is a youth, there are many laws which prevent their name from being released or their often their likeness (blurring).

    As Andy pointed out, this is indeed designed as a deterrent and a way to catch repeat offenders.

  5. #30
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    What these operations would do on the short term is to force thieves to go for low end bikes rather than higher end one. (Not the same risk) Which could eventually give space for all those cyclists that didn't want to use their more expensive bike for daily commute (and by ricochet all those LBS selling more expensive bikes, which should be good for the economy . Though it could also prevent newcomers with low end (walmart) bikes to keep cycling....or not if the theft rate goes down)
    What could also happen in the long run is that thieves would find countermeasures like with anything else. Neverending story.
    Last edited by erig007; 05-29-14 at 12:48 PM.

  6. #31
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puckett129 View Post
    Google image search the highest resolution you can find and then go to a store that prints image files from one of those kiosks. Buy matting and a frame and there you have it. You wouldn't believe how many framed pictures in my home were just JPG's I printed out myself and framed. I almost always mat them to "size up" to the next size frame to make them look bigger than they are. Also websites like canvas 4 life can check images to see how big they can be sized without losing too much detail. Printing stuff on canvass is nice because some of the pixelation that can occur is hidden by the texture of the canvass.
    As a "creative" I have to chuckle at the irony of posting instructions for "stealing" artwork for a bike theft police unit in a thread that supports efforts at thwarting stealing.




    To the OP, this is fantastic. Would be great if more communities would do this, and I too, have no qualms about having the alleged thief's picture online.

  7. #32
    Senior Member puckett129's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
    Don't believe everything you see on TV...


    My brother's a cop! I've got a thousand stories I could tell ya, buddy!
    Yeah, my brother is not a cop. I don't watch much TV - and definitely don't watch cop shows.


    Quote Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
    As a "creative" I have to chuckle at the irony of posting instructions for "stealing" artwork for a bike theft police unit in a thread that supports efforts at thwarting stealing.
    I'll be the first to say I don't know much about copyright law but I would think that as a unit poster or logo for a police department this would be much different than another type of image in terms of its license to be used - especially for other than commercial purposes. Again, I could be wrong. Not going to get into a discussion here about intellectual property, but I will say this; I would gladly buy a larger version of this for a larger frame, but it doesn't appear to be something that's available.

  8. #33
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    oh I'm not all bent out of shape or anything ... just found the humor in it

    And I'd buy one too ... would be a cool way for the SFPD to continue to fund this endeavour, selling that poster and those "bait bike" stickers. I'd buy several of the stickers

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by puckett129 View Post
    Yeah, my brother is not a cop....
    That's too bad! Perhaps, if he was, you'd see the potential destruction such photos could have on the lives of the unjustly accused...

    No pity for the actual bike thieves though, they're entitled to much more than just a mere photo release!

    However, for a recent high school or college grad, just making an attempt to land a job, who's innocent, that kinda thing could prove to be absolutely devastating!
    Last edited by WestPablo; 05-29-14 at 05:14 PM.

  10. #35
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    My local paper runs pictures on just about anyone arrested and accused of a crime in town. It's not a new thing, it's nit a rare thing. It is what it is.

    On another topic, I caught the low life thieves with my bike about a block away from my work. (easy to catch a 5'4 guy frantically trying to not crash a 58cm fixed gear with drop bars... and he wouldn't stop repeating that it was his friends bike. I told him I'd gladly relieve both him and his friend of every tooth in their ugly little heads if they didn't hand over my property. Old lady at the bus stop nearby got a chuckle out of it at least.

  11. #36
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Guess a theres something from paying those Brutal rents and Property taxes in the priciest place on the west coast.

  12. #37
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    This is an excellent operation, and it needs to spread all across the country. That being said, what is being done to ensure the safety of bicycle parking in the first place? The article says that the increase in cycling thefts is due to an increase in cycling, which is due to the implementation of more cycling infrastructure. Maybe businesses could offer safer bicycle parking?

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