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  1. #1
    aspiring island dweller spinninwheels's Avatar
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    Bike thief caught in the act - I didn't lose it

    This morning at work, I noticed this cyclist lock his bike outside of my work (hotel restaurant). I was curious, because usually only couriers lock their bikes there. I had seen the same bike locked there yesterday morning too. The cyclist then walked into the hotel towards the elevators. I presumed he was attending a meeting or something.

    Anyways, a couple of hours later I saw a person hunched over the bike, whom I initially thought was the owner. After realizing it wasn't the same person, I noticed the bolt cutters in his hands.

    I've always thought that I would go postal on any bike thief. Especially if I caught them in the act of stealing a bike.

    I rushed outside and shouted, "Hey, what the hell are you doing?" The thief half-looked over his shoulder, stood up from his crouched position, and briskly walked off. I didn't chase him, and I kind of felt sorry for him.

    To say that bike theft here in Vancouver is a problem, would be a huge understatement. The thief looked homeless and/or a junkie trying to finance his next fix. On some level I felt a little compassion for the person. This is merely a symptom of an underlying problem. A means to a neverending end, if you will. Granted I probably would have been less tolerant if it was my bike.

    I guess what I'm saying is that my reaction, or non-reaction, kind of surprised me.
    Life is either a wild adventure or nothing - Helen Keller

  2. #2
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Thanks for at least doing something to prevent the theft. Many people end up taking the "assume it their's"/"ignore it and it'll go away"/"none of my business" route.

    I'm sure the owner was glad their bike was there when they returned.

    Did you leave a note on the bike suggesting the owner finds somewhere else to lock it up, now that it's been targeted?
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  3. #3
    Second Tier Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinninwheels View Post
    I didn't chase him, and I kind of felt sorry for him.

    To say that bike theft here in Vancouver is a problem, would be a huge understatement. The thief looked homeless and/or a junkie trying to finance his next fix. On some level I felt a little compassion for the person. This is merely a symptom of an underlying problem. A means to a neverending end, if you will. Granted I probably would have been less tolerant if it was my bike.

    I guess what I'm saying is that my reaction, or non-reaction, kind of surprised me.



    Feeding the animals is not good. It just means he has lost his fear and will come back again.

    Don't feel sorry for a crackhead.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ilmooz's Avatar
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    Compassion for junkie thieves allowed to walk off unreported and free to victimize someone else. It's like a pablum puker's fairy tale.

  5. #5
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    You should have demanded he give you the cutters in exchange for you not calling the cops.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  6. #6
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobartlemagne View Post
    You should have demanded he give you the cutters in exchange for you not calling the cops.
    He'd get another pair. If he were arrested he might do time and lose the cutters as well.

  7. #7
    I am Joe's lactic acid. Big M's Avatar
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    Junkie's deserve pity and charity up until they start victimizing others. At that point, a surprise running kick to the kidney is fair game.

    Though it's probably better to have the guy arrested, he'd be gone before the cops show up.
    If there was a problem, yo, Ill solve it
    Check out the hook while my dj revolves it

  8. #8
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    He'd get another pair. If he were arrested he might do time and lose the cutters as well.
    Thief tax. He should have to go to the hassle of buying/stealing another pair of cutters.
    As it was, he might have stolen a different bike a few minutes later.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  9. #9
    aspiring island dweller spinninwheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    Thanks for at least doing something to prevent the theft. Many people end up taking the "assume it their's"/"ignore it and it'll go away"/"none of my business" route.

    I'm sure the owner was glad their bike was there when they returned.

    Did you leave a note on the bike suggesting the owner finds somewhere else to lock it up, now that it's been targeted?
    Upon inspecting the cable lock, it was almost cut through. I knew the thief would probably come back, so I went to the Mezzanine Terrace where a meeting was underway. I walked into the meeting, found the guy and recommended he bring his bike inside. Which he did.

    A couple of things. Firstly, it was a cheap-@$$ cable lock. Granted the bike didn't look like anything special, but that's not the point. The bike theft problem here in Vancouver is rampant. I told the guy to invest in a good U-lock. He mentioned a past U-lock being compromised by prying it apart. I again suggested buying a good U-lock and locking the rear tire through the rear triangle.

    As for demanding the cutters, calling the police, etc...the problems that exist in the Lower-East Side are complicated and extensive. The Hotel is only a ten minute walk from this very dense area, which is probably the poorest postal code in the country. Anyone who is unfamiliar with this problem, will soon find out in 2010. It's going to be a big black eye for Vancouver, and everybody's going to be watching.
    Life is either a wild adventure or nothing - Helen Keller

  10. #10
    Recreation Ecologist
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinninwheels View Post
    Upon inspecting the cable lock, it was almost cut through. I knew the thief would probably come back, so I went to the Mezzanine Terrace where a meeting was underway. I walked into the meeting, found the guy and recommended he bring his bike inside. Which he did.
    A lot of folks might not have taken this extra step. Excellent work.

  11. #11
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinninwheels View Post
    Upon inspecting the...<snip>...going to be watching.
    Cool, glad it all worked out.
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
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    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  12. #12
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    He'd get another pair.
    If you cut them off at the base, they won't grow back.
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  13. #13
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Good job! Thank you for being alert and getting involved. You did the right thing by just shouting and not really confronting him. You never know what he is going to do.

    Don't feel sorry for the thief. He is in the position he is in because he chooses to be there.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  14. #14
    Dead Men Assume...
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    You did a good thing and like most here I wouldn't feel sorry for the thief.

  15. #15
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    yeah i agree. I don't feel sorry for the thief but you did the right thing. You never know what these folks can do if you confront them. At least you helped the bike owner too. It's not always possible to call the cops in a bad neighborhood either.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  16. #16
    aspiring island dweller spinninwheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac View Post
    You did a good thing and like most here I wouldn't feel sorry for the thief.
    I hear what everyone is saying with respect to feeling sorry for the thief. It was fleeting.

    What surprised me more, was the fact that I wasn't enraged. Granted it wasn't my bike, so I was more detached. But I have had two bikes stolen in the past. For all those who may have had bikes stolen in the past, I'm sure there would be some lingering anger. And I thought that this would be where I would direct it.
    Life is either a wild adventure or nothing - Helen Keller

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