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Old 10-11-08, 12:25 PM   #1
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Two Bikes gone in Three Weeks

A friend of mine recently had 2 bikes stolen in the span about of three weeks.

He lives in a decent part of town so you would not think that you would get a bike stolen in his area.

He lives in an apartment in a house in an upstairs unit. His apartment is very small so he leaves his bike unlocked outside. He did this for almost a month and never had a problem. The bike was an x mart mountain bike that I had lying around so I gave it to him. A few weeks ago he woke up to get his bike and head out. To his surprise someone has stolen his bike and left their bike in exchange.

The bike that was left behind was in very poor shape. So he used it to get to my place, so I could try and fix up. It was in such poor shape that I did not want to put that much work into fixing a rust bucket. Luckily, under the stairwell in my building there was the exact same model mountain bike there. The person who owns the bike left it there after the back rim was stolen. He moved to another city about a year ago, so we figured the bike was fair game.

So we swapped out rims and threw the rust bucket in the garbage.

A couple weeks later, which is a few nights ago, he goes to the corner store at the local strip mall and leaves his bike outside while he goes inside to buy a drink. This area is pretty busy at night, a lot of people congregate in this area in the evening and early night. When he leaves the store he notices his bike is missing. A few locals tell him that a dude in a hoodie stole his bike. He asks another person that was parked out front while he was in the store, if they saw anything. They reply that a couple of people pulled up in a pick up, hopped out and threw his bike in the back of the truck and took off.

I guess it goes to show that no matter how crappy your bike is someone will steal it if they have the chance. Even if there a lots of people watching.
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Old 10-11-08, 02:30 PM   #2
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A friend of mine recently had 2 bikes stolen in the span about of three weeks.

He lives in a decent part of town so you would not think that you would get a bike stolen in his area.

He lives in an apartment in a house in an upstairs unit. His apartment is very small so he leaves his bike unlocked outside. He did this for almost a month and never had a problem. The bike was an x mart mountain bike that I had lying around so I gave it to him. A few weeks ago he woke up to get his bike and head out. To his surprise someone has stolen his bike and left their bike in exchange.

The bike that was left behind was in very poor shape. So he used it to get to my place, so I could try and fix up. It was in such poor shape that I did not want to put that much work into fixing a rust bucket. Luckily, under the stairwell in my building there was the exact same model mountain bike there. The person who owns the bike left it there after the back rim was stolen. He moved to another city about a year ago, so we figured the bike was fair game.

So we swapped out rims and threw the rust bucket in the garbage.

A couple weeks later, which is a few nights ago, he goes to the corner store at the local strip mall and leaves his bike outside while he goes inside to buy a drink. This area is pretty busy at night, a lot of people congregate in this area in the evening and early night. When he leaves the store he notices his bike is missing. A few locals tell him that a dude in a hoodie stole his bike. He asks another person that was parked out front while he was in the store, if they saw anything. They reply that a couple of people pulled up in a pick up, hopped out and threw his bike in the back of the truck and took off.

I guess it goes to show that no matter how crappy your bike is someone will steal it if they have the chance. Even if there a lots of people watching.

What part of LOCK YOUR BIKE does your friend not understand? I would have thought he would have learned after the first time. Around here if it rolls and is unlocked it is gone. Just as an example; I was parked in a shopping center parking lot the other night. I happened to have a bike laying down in the back of my truck. I also have enough sense to lock my bikes...even in the back of my truck. Came out of the store and found the bike laying halfway out of the truck. Someone had apparently tried a grab and run, but was foiled by the fact it was heavy cable locked to the large tool box that is also locked down.

If I don't want to lose a bike I lock it, no ifs, ands or buts. I also don't like leaving a bike locked and unattended for any long period of time. I realize not everyone can do that so you have to make your choices and take your risks.

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Old 10-11-08, 02:59 PM   #3
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Your friend should have been a lot more surprised that it took a whole month for his bike to disappear in the first place. Tell him to spend $20 on a U-lock (yes, that is the cheap kind, but far better than nothing, obviously!) and call it a lesson learned.

Incidentally, I used to bring my bike into my very tiny studio apartment (it was about 300 square feet) so no sympathy for your friend there either.

Also, a crowd of people is not a deterrent for theft AT ALL - go to Wikipedia and look up "bystander effect" sometime.
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Old 10-11-08, 04:03 PM   #4
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"Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" or something to that effect.

On the bright side, the crappy bikes are the ones likely to turn up at police auctions- go ahead and report them both if you haven't.
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Old 10-11-08, 06:20 PM   #5
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you would not think that you would get a bike stolen in his area. [...] he leaves his bike unlocked outside.
How does this strike either of you as reasonable?

Also, what a geographical oddity---a location so desirable that unlocked bikes are not to be stolen, but accomodations so small that bikes do not fit inside.
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Old 10-11-08, 07:06 PM   #6
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How does this strike either of you as reasonable?

Also, what a geographical oddity---a location so desirable that unlocked bikes are not to be stolen, but accomodations so small that bikes do not fit inside.


I don't think not locking your bike is reasonable. I have a beater that I use for doing things, which I lock, and I use my good bikes for play time, theses are ones that I would not leave anywhere unattended.

The apartment is in a house in one of the nicer places in town, there are a lot of areas that are like that. Most of the rental units in town are in houses, and they are small so that they can make more money off of them.

I just think that it is funny that he had 2 bikes stolen in such a short period of time. If you knew the person I am taking about you would think it is funny. He blames the city itself, but this would happen anywhere else, he does not realise that.

The area that he got the second one stolen is my part of town, that is where the apartments are bigger for the same amount of rent. You see that's how it works here. You can get a room in a nice part of town where for the same money you can get a 2 bedroom apartment in a less desirable part of town and keep your bikes inside.

Also if the bikes were not to be stolen in his area maybe you can tell me why it got stolen, or are you being rhetorical. The bike does fit inside, he does not live in a closet, but the bachelor is very small, even for a bachelor.

Also don't you see the humour in having one bike traded for the other, then he traded it for another, then it was stolen. Kind of an interesting cyclical dynamic. It is good that the snow is coming soon because he would not have been riding in the winter anyways.
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Old 10-11-08, 11:53 PM   #7
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Also if the bikes were not to be stolen in his area maybe you can tell me why it got stolen, or are you being rhetorical. The bike does fit inside, he does not live in a closet, but the bachelor is very small, even for a bachelor.
That was your friend's assumption, I think, that the other poster was paraphrasing. In reality, there is no neighbourhood anywhere that is "too good" to have theft. (Heck, where do you think thieves GO to look for nicer stuff? They know nobody in their own area has anything worth stealing!)

Your friend was lazy, and he will have exactly the same experience in the spring if he doesn't figure out that the way things "should" be and the way things actually are are two very different scenarios. Sure, he can live in a world where nobody "should" steal, and he can be surprised and indignant every single time his bike gets stolen, or he can adjust to the fact that people DO steal bikes and adjust his own actions accordingly (i.e. lock the silly thing), thereby saving a lot of time, energy, and ridicule on Internet forums.

Seriously. Your friend is being willfully ignorant. That's never a useful strategy, and it wears even thinner over time. Usually individuals who persist in that approach find themselves with few friends and a mysteriously unsatisfying life, which no amount of complaining or casting of blame can improve. That or, if they do it around me too much, they get a free psychoanalysis and a wet fish to the head.
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Old 10-14-08, 12:52 PM   #8
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I was on vacation this past weekend and kept my bike locked up INSIDE the hotel room. Trust no one. But I totally understand your friend's false sense of security. Personally, I live in what seems to be a pretty safe neighborhood. I rarely lock up my house. I'm sure one rip off will cure my sense of security.
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Old 10-14-08, 01:52 PM   #9
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He lives in a decent part of town so you would not think that you would get a bike stolen in his area.
That's why his bikes are stolen. I love seeing people on the news saying "I never thought something like this would happen here!" That's why you're a victim, idiot.
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Old 10-14-08, 02:01 PM   #10
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when my bike got stolen in gradeschool (it was deep inside the garage, 2 feet from the door to the house), the cop said that thieves often drive to the nicer neighborhoods to steal bikes and stuff.
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Old 10-14-08, 02:47 PM   #11
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Your friend wasn't interested in keeping the bikes. It's that simple. If he had paid for them, the result might be different. bk
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Old 10-14-08, 03:19 PM   #12
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Let's not forget that there are two genuine a-holes who took these two bikes instead of just piling on the abuse on the admittedly negligent victim.
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Old 10-14-08, 05:09 PM   #13
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I just think that it is funny that he had 2 bikes stolen in such a short period of time. If you knew the person I am taking about you would think it is funny. He blames the city itself, but this would happen anywhere else, he does not realise that.
I'll bet the thief thought it was funny. It was probably the same person that stole the second one.
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Old 10-14-08, 05:52 PM   #14
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Let's not forget that there are two genuine a-holes who took these two bikes instead of just piling on the abuse on the admittedly negligent victim.
To be fair, leaving a bike unlocked in an urban area basically amounts to saying "I don't want this, take it if you want."
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Old 10-14-08, 06:09 PM   #15
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The story isn't that funny. It's goofy. A lock is simple to buy, a lock is simple to use. It'll help your friend keep bike #3 longer than a couple of weeks.
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Old 10-14-08, 06:21 PM   #16
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To be fair, leaving a bike unlocked in an urban area basically amounts to saying "I don't want this, take it if you want."
Yeah obviously it's dumb to not lock up your bike, but at the same time decent people do not take things that do not belong to them just because they're not fastened to anything. Just trying to point out that the thieves are the bigger jackasses here, even if the guy was being a bit empty-headed.
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Old 10-14-08, 06:22 PM   #17
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Doesn't this fall under: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me"
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Old 10-14-08, 06:50 PM   #18
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"Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" or something to that effect.

On the bright side, the crappy bikes are the ones likely to turn up at police auctions- go ahead and report them both if you haven't.
You're probably thinking of the quote from Michael Scott:

"Fool me once... strike one. But fool me twice... strike three. "
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Old 10-14-08, 07:14 PM   #19
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Well I was hoping you would get a laugh from this story but now I see I touched a nerve.

It is too bad that Yan likens complaining about theft to a woman being raped. I guess this is what perpetuates the acceptance of violence against women. She is a hooker so it is alright to commit an act of violence against her. I wonder if he would think that having his bike violently taken from him would be alright. After all it is an expensive bike and you should not be riding it if you don't want to be a victim.

As for being an idiot it is too bad that you think like that, but I guess when someone is entitled to an opinion they will voice it.

I still like the Simpsons episode where they need to get rid of the trampoline, so they lock it to something and sure enough it is stolen.
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Old 10-14-08, 07:46 PM   #20
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He lives in a decent part of town so you would not think that you would get a bike stolen in his area.
If I were a bike thief, I'd travel to the nice part of town to find a bike to steal -- partly because the bike might be nicer (although that wouldn't matter if it's only going to be sold for scrap), and partly because the residents are more likely to leave them unlocked. Plus, if I live in a bad part of town already, I'd be less likely to steal a friend's bike if I went somewhere else.

Besides, I'm less and less surprised that even the crappy bikes get stolen, if only because of how crappy the bikes are that I see being ridden regularly.
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Old 10-14-08, 07:57 PM   #21
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If I were a bike thief, I'd travel to the nice part of town to find a bike to steal -- partly because the bike might be nicer (although that wouldn't matter if it's only going to be sold for scrap), and partly because the residents are more likely to leave them unlocked. Plus, if I live in a bad part of town already, I'd be less likely to steal a friend's bike if I went somewhere else.

Besides, I'm less and less surprised that even the crappy bikes get stolen, if only because of how crappy the bikes are that I see being ridden regularly.
I guess you are right, I am used to living in the poor end of town so when it happens here no one is surprised. The crappy bikes are probably less valued than nicer bikes so there is not as much care taken to protect them. For me I love my crappy bikes and would be torn if my beater was stolen. At least I would not be out that much money.

I did not care in the least about the bike I gave him so it does not bother me. He did ask to borrow one of my guitars so he could take it home and practice. Normally if a friend asked me this I would give them my beater, but my answer as soon as he asked was no, because I know he would not take good care of it.
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Old 10-14-08, 08:21 PM   #22
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Yeah -- you knew he wouldn't lock up the guitar, either.
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Old 10-14-08, 08:33 PM   #23
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Yeah obviously it's dumb to not lock up your bike, but at the same time decent people do not take things that do not belong to them just because they're not fastened to anything. Just trying to point out that the thieves are the bigger jackasses here, even if the guy was being a bit empty-headed.
Nobody's saying thieves in general aren't jackasses, but the guy was essentially giving his bikes away by not locking them.
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Old 10-15-08, 03:18 AM   #24
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Yeah obviously it's dumb to not lock up your bike, but at the same time decent people do not take things that do not belong to them just because they're not fastened to anything. Just trying to point out that the thieves are the bigger jackasses here, even if the guy was being a bit empty-headed.
Welcome to the real world Bunky...We live in a culture of what can I get for me, and screw everybody else.

It is the rare person that is totally honest and will watch out for others and their possessions.

Interesting theory being tested via video, there is a guy that will lock a bike up using a middle of the road lock then video tape how long it lasts before someone steals it. He is rating the areas as he goes. (can't find the link at the moment).

There have been numerous studies done where parking a bicycle in a crowded area is no deterrent. One done in the Seattle area; they locked the bike using a chain. Then two different guys walked up to the bike with a monster set of bolt cutters and proceeded to cut the chain and take off with the bike. No one said a word, this was on a crowded street, next to a sidewalk cafe. You are own your own to protect your property. Do it or suffer the consequences of missing property, if someone is so naive they don't know this by the time they have reached adulthood, I have little sympathy for them. I would have a more sympathy if they had taken the time and initiative to protect their own property.

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Old 10-15-08, 05:33 AM   #25
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If he had paid for them, the result might be different. bk
Often the work you had to perform to acquire some object is in direct proportion to the precautions you take to ensure the object doesn't get stolen.

Your friend got his bikes for free, so he leaves them outside unlocked.
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