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Old 04-18-06, 12:50 PM   #1
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Washington, DC- Campy rear wheel stolen

So this morning, as usual, I locked up my bike (not the rear wheel), went in and taught my classes at Georgetown Law School, and when I went to leave, my Campy Vento G3 rear wheel was stolen! This was right outside of the security office where the officers sit! So of course, I was irate and upset- I just spent the entire morning dealing with the police and all, but I also found out they won't give me the tapes of the wheel getting stolen from the security cameras so I can try to identify the perp. And they won't give me a still shot of it either. All they said they would do is review the tapes and let me know what they saw. As far as follow through, they don't have any. As far as reimbursement, they said I have no recourse. So now, I have to spend money I don't have to get a new wheel, because I seriously doubt they're going to help me.

If I see the guy who stole it, though, I'm going to take my u-lock and bust his teeth and take the ****ing wheel back. I'm seriously pissed off.

Anyone know of some kind of second hand shops or swap meets or whatever in the DC area so I can keep my eyes peeled out for it?

Dammit!

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Old 04-18-06, 01:44 PM   #2
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Ouch! That sucks.

OK, so I assume that if you're teaching classes at Georgetown Law, you must be a lawyer. Why can't you just subpoena the tapes, then? Surely there must be some means to acquire them if Security is unwilling to help?

I can't help you with suggestions about second-hand shops, obviously, but I sure do get annoyed when I see those places. Legalized fencing, apparently. The cops here in Portland just look the other way.

Sorry about your Campy wheel.

Last edited by Blue Order; 04-18-06 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 04-18-06, 01:56 PM   #3
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I'm not an attorney at all- I was teaching aerobics classes to the students at the law school when this all went down.

****in sucks, man.

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Old 04-18-06, 01:57 PM   #4
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Bike thieves are such scum.
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Old 04-18-06, 02:14 PM   #5
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There's a tape of someone stealing your wheel. The security officers won't let you see it.

Ergo:

1) One of them stole it.

or

2) Someone they know stole it, and they're covering for them.

I say take your U-lock to the security guards and beat that tape out of them.
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Old 04-18-06, 02:16 PM   #6
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So are you going to start taking your bike inside now... I would love for them to say that you can not bring it inside and you just remind them that their security sucks and your wheel was stolen under their noses and just walk right past them with your bike...
So they teach aerobics to the law students? Do you think I could convience Univ. of AL to teach spinning to the chemistry students?
Sorry to hear about your wheel...
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Old 04-18-06, 02:18 PM   #7
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Somebody's going to say it, so it might as well be me. What the heck were you thinking, leaving a Campagnolo G3 wheel unlocked???

Sorry, you probably don't want to hear that. I'd keep an eye on Craigslist (DC, Baltimore, Richmond, and Philly) and ebay, and City Paper classifieds. And if you know anybody who's a messenger, ask them to put the word out that your wheel is stolen. Theives like to try to sell stuff to messengers.

Theif will have a difficult time getting anything for it at a pawn shop, if they are the least bit web savvy they'll try to get a hundred bucks or so for it on Craigslist.

I'll be looking out for it, too.
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Old 04-18-06, 02:21 PM   #8
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Get locking skewers so this doesn't happen in the future. I've had good luck with Pitlock.
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Old 04-18-06, 03:05 PM   #9
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That's surreal! The only thing missing is the formally attired Cardinal holding out a crucifix with the echoing laugh track in the background. Oh and your wheel of course. Sorry about that.

And at a law school too! I'd keep pressure up on the security folks. Not yelling at them, but constantly inquiring about their progress on it each time you are there. Before and after each class too. Eventually they would break down and buy you one just to avoid the embarrasment and hassel of dealing with you anymore. I know I would. But then, if an aerobics instructor asked me for anything I would give it to her from the get go. Video copy, ok... still shot print out, ok... wallet, ok.... car keys, ok... anything! What is happening to this world?

Hopefully you wrote your name on the rim tape. This reminds me to do that to my new bike tonight.
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Old 04-18-06, 03:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unkchunk
Hopefully you wrote your name on the rim tape. This reminds me to do that to my new bike tonight.
Dang, that's a great tip. Thanks!

Koffee, I was thinking - are the security guards real cops? Even if they are, you might want to call the police and file a police report, because a police detective would be able to look at any security tape they want.
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Old 04-18-06, 03:20 PM   #11
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Well, I was stupid and I know it. They assured me that campus security was alert and that the bike would be safe. With my new commute out to Suitland, I just decided to leave one lock in Suitland and one at Georgetown. I'm definitely cool with Suitland- no one gets in or out without identification, background checks, etc. Their security doesn't play. But I should have known campus cops wouldn't give two craps enough to watch over the bikes less than FIFTY ****ing feet from their ****ing guard station. Dumb****ers.

Anyway, I'm going to check the locals and stuff, but I have no optimism. For now, I'll be riding the folder, but I'm carrying 3 locks on me from now on- one for each wheel, and one for the seat. There's absolutely no point to having less than three.

****ers. Man, I'm mad- I just put in a call to DeRosa out in Milan this morning right after it happened- I was too mad to speak Italian, so we ended up tabling the discussion to tomorrow anyway.

Dammit!

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Old 04-18-06, 03:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by same time
Dang, that's a great tip. Thanks!

Koffee, I was thinking - are the security guards real cops? Even if they are, you might want to call the police and file a police report, because a police detective would be able to look at any security tape they want.
I called the cops. He came out, but the campus security are real officers, from what they said. They both exchanged information, and the real cop left. Robocop called the supervisor, who claimed the tape was private property, so if I wanted it, I would have to go through legal channels to obtain it. So I would have to pay more money for a lawyer to get a video of the guy in the hopes I can stop the *******. In the meantime, I have to pay for new wheels because I need wheels on my bike!

Sadly, I never thought to put my name on the rim tape. I will before I take them out.

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Old 04-18-06, 06:03 PM   #13
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If there is any "cloud" that spoils cycling, it is the crooks that grab our bikes, or our wheels, and pawn them to buy $10 worth of smoke. Each time a cyclist walks away from a bike, that cloud is passing over our head.

I've learned the hard way how difficult and expensive it is to lose a rear wheel. So, I always (as in always, always, always) put a premium quality u-lock around the rear wheel, just behind the seat tube, and around a beefy steel pole set in concrete. Many bike racks are NOT made from "beefy steel poles" and are NOT set in concrete. Sometimes I have to park half a block from a store, because that is the location of the closest steel pole that I knew a crook can not defeat.

And, sadly, in big cities such as Houston and Washington, you need a cable lock around a cheap front wheel, or a second u-lock if you have a expensive front wheel.

So, that means to be really protected in the "big city", you have to carry about seven pounds of locks. As much as we hate carrying that sort of load, the alternative is worse.
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Old 04-18-06, 06:27 PM   #14
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Maybe this story will make you feel better...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigslist
The Union Station Bike Pilferers

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 2004-02-27, 12:10AM EST


This is to the Union Station Bike Pilferers. Guys. You've pulled some pretty petty **** in the past, but today was . . . well, OK, not even that high on the list. But I'm still pissed.

My first lesson in urban bike defense came years ago when someone stole my rear tire. OK, not a surprise, it happens all the time, right? But not in front of the friggin' DC COURTHOUSE!!!! There are cops walking and driving by all the time! What idiot steals a bike tire right after getting out of lockup? You almost have to admire someone who's in the very heart of the forces of public order, and still feels the need to **** with someone else's ****.

This was my first clue that DC is not a normal town as far as bike theft is concerned (or maybe it is normal, I don't know . . .). But hey, you live, you learn. So from that day on I started locking down the frame and both tires.

Time passes, I change jobs, and now I need to park my bike at Union Station while I'm at work. But it's a high-visibility, public rack, there are lots of people around at all hours, it should be OK, right?

Of course not, silly rabbit! If you've ever seen the racks at Union Station, you know that on any given day there are several sad, lost, stripped-down remnants of bikes that used to happily frolic from place to place as they carried their owners to their destinations without a thought or care in the world. But this was before they crossed paths with the Union Station Bike Pilferers. Now they're hollowed out shells of their former selves, ghosts, really, stripped bare of every useful part and doomed to haunt the earth as rusty hulks.

The last few years have been an escalating battle between me and the Union Station Bike Pilferers--they steal a bike component, I find a way to lock it down, they move on to something else.

Their first shot was my seat and seat post. Ha ha, thought I, I can buy a seatpost leash. Bring it on, *****es, what you got?

Well, what they got was the quick-release bolts that held my bike tires to my frame. That was a good one, I have to admit. But there's an answer for that one, too--I bought me some theft-resistant bolts that have to be unscrewed with a special wrench. Take that, boys, what's next?

Well, what was next was my hand grips. Oooooh, good one. You got yourself some ratty, worn-out grips that needed replacing anyway. Is that the best that you've got?

Well, no. In terms of sheer ****ing-with-someoneness, what was next was probably the best that they've got. I can see all the other stuff being at least somewhat useful to someone's bike, but taking apart and stealing the plastic thingy that holds my u-lock to my frame? Pure ****ing malice. Brilliant. I had to tip my hat to you for that one.

So let's see, is that all they've gotten over the last few years? Well, no. A close second to the plastic thingy in terms of malice is the time someone stole the bolt that holds the now-secure seatpost in place. That used to also be a quick-release bolt. Now, like the tire bolts, you have to use a special key to unlock that ****er.

Someone did saw through a steel cable I used to use to secure one of the tires, but they didn't actually steal anything, just chopped through the cable and left. Given all that, it was almost advice, as if someone wanted to say, "look, rookie, you *gotta* do better than that."

Anyway, I've gotten pretty good at bike defense, and until today, I thought I was invincible. Pretty much everything I could lock down was locked down well enough that someone good enough to steal my bike would know better than to steal it (it's not exactly a top-of-the-line bike by any stretch of the imagination). For the last few months I've been riding in, parking the bike, locking it down, and trotting off to work without giving it a second thought.

So it was a bit of a shock to get back to Union Station this evening and find that I'm missing . . . my brake pads. My *****ing brake pads*!!!!!! Goddamn.

Illusion of invicibility . . . dashed. Feeling of bike-related security . . . here this morning, taken from me this evening. Ability to stop . . . gone. I'm back to the flintstones-ish technique of slowing myself with my shoe.

But this weekend, I will go back to the bikeshop, hopefully for the last time, and I will ask the bike-shop wizards for a bit more of their wisdom. They've given me so much over the years, and I've rewarded them well for their wisdom. Maybe after this weekend's trip I will finally be totally secure.

Whatever happens, I will continue to fight the good fight in the hope that one day, the Union Station Bike Pilferers learn that stealing (from me) is wrong (and too hard to do), and that they should put their labor to a more productive use, such as stealing from someone else. Moving to Crystal City is not an option.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigslist
to whoever stole my wheel

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 2004-04-18, 7:54PM PDT


To the bike thief with a conscience:

I'm still a little confused. I should never have left my bike so poorly secured at the fruitvale bart station, but my partner had just had a pretty serious accident and I was more concerned about her health than my old beater bike. When I came to claim it, though, I could tell that something was wrong. The front wheel (left unsecured by me) was all askew. It was then that I noticed that this was an entirely different wheel. You had stolen my wheel, then in some fit of guilt, compassion, or perhaps just not knowing what to do with your old wheel, you left it with my bike. Here's some advice for you though, in case you want to do this again:

1) The alloy rimmed, dt spoked, deore xt hubbed wheel you left is MUCH MUCH MUCH nicer than the steel rimmed, ?? spoked, ?? hubbed wheel you took.

2) I'll probably change it out pretty soon, but the armadillo tire is much better for commuting and general use (what I normally use this bike for) than the 2.25 inch super knobby offroad tire on that old beater wheel of mine. That tire you got is really only useful for serious off road riding and seriously fat folks riding over potholes.

3) I noticed that there's a slow leak in the tire you left. Thus, it's only fair to inform you that the tire you took has a rather fast leak. I usually carry a pump around because the tire goes flat about every 10 miles. I guess that's why I never really ride this bike unless my other three are out of commission (as is the case now).

Again, thanks for the upgrade! My beater mountain bike has taken on a whole new life! If you have any other similar trades you want to make, shoot me an email anytime.
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Old 04-18-06, 08:29 PM   #15
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Frankly leaving a bike unlocked anywhere is just asking for it. IMHO. Not that it makes your loss any easier. I know i'd be seriously pissed if someone stole my rear wheel. But then again I never leave my bike out of reach unlocked.
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Old 04-18-06, 08:36 PM   #16
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The bike was locked- the problem was that I didn't have two locks on me. I'm still in transition to my new job, so I had one lock at one job, and my other lock at the other job (Georgetown). Still, I should have brought two locks.

I'm working on finding a new wheel, and when I order the wheel, I'll get a few more sturdy locks and have them sent to my jobs. Then I'll have locks no matter where I go. In the meantime, I've got to speak to DeRosa tomorrow so I can get information about the gears. *sigh*

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Old 04-18-06, 09:24 PM   #17
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Koffee, sorry to hear about your theft and the less than adequate response by the campus inSecurity force. Next time you find yourself with a single lock for your bike, you might consider removing the front wheel and threading a Ulock through it and the rear wheel when you lock it up. Obviously, this takes a few extra moments, but it certainly sounds like it's neccessary where you are.

I would certainly be hesitant to lock up a Campy equipped bike over there - or any high quality bike for that matter. Not that a cheap bike is less likely to get messed with, it's just less of a loss if it does. The thief that took your wheel may now need a matching derailleur and shifters!
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Old 04-18-06, 09:36 PM   #18
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Security tip: When you have only one lock, remove the front wheel, then lock the frame and both wheels with the one lock. Everything is then locked up and the theif would have to spend time putting the bike back together. Works better if you remove the skewers from both wheels and take them with you. The extra bit of time is worth it, and beats the price of convience.
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Old 04-18-06, 11:04 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselDan
Security tip: When you have only one lock, remove the front wheel, then lock the frame and both wheels with the one lock. Everything is then locked up and the theif would have to spend time putting the bike back together. Works better if you remove the skewers from both wheels and take them with you. The extra bit of time is worth it, and beats the price of convience.
This is what I do. It takes a minute, but I think it's worth it.
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Old 04-18-06, 11:20 PM   #20
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But does the tape belong to the school or the rentacops, if so go above their heads.
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Old 04-19-06, 02:25 AM   #21
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bad news koffee.

hope you get some cooperation or compensation sometime soon.
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Old 04-19-06, 03:03 AM   #22
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Wow, that's really crappy, Koffee.

Don't tell the couriers or fixie/singlespeeders about your loss though. You'll instandly loose whatever street cred you already have!

Best of luck getting it back.
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Old 04-19-06, 04:02 AM   #23
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What's the point of removing the skewers? Just so that if they do snag the wheel, they still can't just ride away or something? Interesting.

Merton, thanks for the link to lockit.com. I've wanted to get an abus, but you just can't find them here.

I wasn't riding my folding bike that day- I was riding my DeRosa. I guess the good news in all this is that at least they didn't get the WHOLE bike. That would have been terrible.

I'm going to head to Georgetown Law to teach this afternoon- ONLY after they guarantee that I can take the bike with me into the building and keep it with me at all times. I've already tried using their inadequate security, and from now on, when I'm in that hell hole, if I don't have the bike within 10 feet of me, I'm not going there. I don't care how inconvenient it is- they need to figure this **** out now before I head back there to teach one more class. I lost a lot of money going there yesterday. And they said they wouldn't compensate me- they said I park my bike there at my own risk. So no hope of retribution at all.

I'm going to speak to the law students. Surely someone saw something.

Then to top it all off, my whole (brand new) frickin blinkie for my rear light fell off my damn bike when I was riding in, and of course, I didn't know until I got to work. **** **** ****! So now, I have to worry about replacing blinkies and rear wheels. *sigh* I just can't win.

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Old 04-19-06, 05:31 AM   #24
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I always remove my front wheel and lock it with my frame and rear wheel. No matter where I lock my bike I do this. I would never lock up a bike that has campy parts on it that is like offering good parts for free to anyone that wants them.

I have a junker to ride and commute on so parts dont get stolen off them. I think by doing what you did you was just asking for your stuff to get stolen.

Instead of wasting your money by giving nice bike parts away you should by a decent junker and not worry about getting it stolen.
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Old 04-19-06, 05:46 AM   #25
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... hence that is why I ride what I ride
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