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Observing Crime While Cycling

Old 05-22-20, 09:30 AM
  #1  
flangehead
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Observing Crime While Cycling

Last night I was riding home when I heard some young girls screaming. I circled back around and saw them running across a 4 lane road in the dark. I rode in their direction and they jumped in a car; I memorized the license plate. As I turned I could see someone at the convenience store across the street with his phone in the film/picture position.

I rode over and gave him the license plate number and he told me they'd run out with merchandise without paying.

It reminded me of the time when I was stopped at traffic light early in the morning and heard noises from the same convenience store. I looked over and a couple of guys were coming out with the cash register. I yelled "hey" and they loaded up and drove off away from me.

My initial reaction on that one wasn't good. I shouldn't have drawn attention to myself. My plan now when I see a robbery in progress is to get to a safe place as first priority.

I find that as a cyclist I can see, hear (and smell) much better than motorists. I encounter situations, including criminal activity, that otherwise wouldn't be noticed.

Any war stories and lessons learned from others? I like hearing about other's experiences because it helps me prepare for situations.
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Old 05-22-20, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by flangehead View Post
Last night I was riding home when I heard some young girls screaming. I circled back around and saw them running across a 4 lane road in the dark. I rode in their direction and they jumped in a car; I memorized the license plate. As I turned I could see someone at the convenience store across the street with his phone in the film/picture position.

I rode over and gave him the license plate number and he told me they'd run out with merchandise without paying.

It reminded me of the time when I was stopped at traffic light early in the morning and heard noises from the same convenience store. I looked over and a couple of guys were coming out with the cash register. I yelled "hey" and they loaded up and drove off away from me.

My initial reaction on that one wasn't good. I shouldn't have drawn attention to myself. My plan now when I see a robbery in progress is to get to a safe place as first priority.

I find that as a cyclist I can see, hear (and smell) much better than motorists. I encounter situations, including criminal activity, that otherwise wouldn't be noticed.

Any war stories and lessons learned from others? I like hearing about other's experiences because it helps me prepare for situations.
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Old 05-22-20, 10:20 AM
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The only crime me and the people I ride with are subjected to is..................me in lycra.
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Old 05-22-20, 10:37 AM
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I've seen many fashion crimes while cycling.
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Old 05-22-20, 10:40 AM
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I've witnessed a few vehicle accidents, but no criminal acts. One accident involved someone who took off after briefly stopping; they were part of the accident and there was injury involved, so leaving made it a felony hit-and-run. I got their license plate # and gave it to the police who showed up.
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Old 05-22-20, 10:41 AM
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In the cash register scenario they could have not thought twice about popping you with a cap as a witness. Stay safe!

Observe and report.
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Old 05-22-20, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I've seen many fashion crimes while cycling.
I admit to it. . . guilty as charged!
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Old 05-22-20, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by flangehead View Post
Last night I was riding home when I heard some young girls screaming. I circled back around and saw them running across a 4 lane road in the dark. I rode in their direction and they jumped in a car; I memorized the license plate. As I turned I could see someone at the convenience store across the street with his phone in the film/picture position.

I rode over and gave him the license plate number and he told me they'd run out with merchandise without paying.

It reminded me of the time when I was stopped at traffic light early in the morning and heard noises from the same convenience store. I looked over and a couple of guys were coming out with the cash register. I yelled "hey" and they loaded up and drove off away from me.

My initial reaction on that one wasn't good. I shouldn't have drawn attention to myself. My plan now when I see a robbery in progress is to get to a safe place as first priority.

I find that as a cyclist I can see, hear (and smell) much better than motorists. I encounter situations, including criminal activity, that otherwise wouldn't be noticed.

Any war stories and lessons learned from others? I like hearing about other's experiences because it helps me prepare for situations.
Catching teenage girls stealing makeup is something right out of Hollywood...

I remember witnessing a child lift a pack of gum a few years ago. Didn't have the courage to confront him though.

Many nights of lost sleep over that fateful day...
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Old 05-22-20, 11:53 AM
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Seen enough traffic violations to wallpaper the Smithsonian museum....

Witnessed a snatch and run at a Kroger, got descrips and license #.... Manager DID NOT want the info

One morning saw a guy, toting a shotgun, enter a liquor store. Called in on my maintenance radio. It was the owner
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Old 05-22-20, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by washed up View Post
The only crime me and the people I ride with are subjected to is..................me in lycra.
Beat me to it.
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Old 05-22-20, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I've seen many fashion crimes while cycling.
I don't even need to be on a trail to witness that. You can see them at local malls, Walmart and in public.
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Old 05-22-20, 09:03 PM
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Old 05-22-20, 09:24 PM
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Twice I've been stopped by police asking if I've seen a suspect. On one of those occasions they also asked if I'd heard any gun shots or screaming - that time I was about 1/4 mile from home. I've never witnessed any actual assault or other violent crime.
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Old 05-23-20, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I've seen many fashion crimes while cycling.
Beat me to it.
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Old 05-23-20, 06:24 AM
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Cyclist harassment where I am the target. Intentional close passes and veering into the marked bike lane are crimes (infractions at least).
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Old 05-23-20, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I've seen many fashion crimes while cycling.
I am a career criminal when it comes to committing fashion crimes while cycling. I commit crimes against cycling fashion every time I go out for a ride.
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Old 05-23-20, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by flangehead View Post
I encounter situations, including criminal activity, that otherwise wouldn't be noticed.
I've never seen criminal activity while riding except for traffic violations and perhaps lately some social gathering infractions.


Originally Posted by flangehead View Post
My plan now when I see a robbery in progress is to get to a safe place as first priority.
My plan for when I see a robbery is to engage in social distancing of six miles.

That's defining robbery literally, as in the criminal has a weapon (ie, gun). If it's simple theft, I would help if possible.
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Old 05-23-20, 07:48 AM
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^
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In the early 1990s Stroud attempted to come to the aid of a man being mugged on the street in Greenwich Village, New York City. He wound up getting stabbed ten times, including his right eye; he can no longer see out of it.
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Old 05-23-20, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
I admit to it. . . guilty as charged!
LOL Guilty!

Other than that, not while riding. At work our instinct is to grab them or whatever they're taking, but It's just stuff and not worth a human life.
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Old 05-23-20, 08:05 AM
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Not a ride goes by that I don’t see at least several thousands of dollars worth of low level traffic violations, that any decent cop could easily cite. I’ve ridden past domestic disturbances countless times, esp at night. Probably witnessed hundreds of drug deals / consumption events, but I don’t really consider that “crime” per se. That’s about it for me. All the really bad awful stuff I have seen has been when I’ve been in my car, thankfully.

Other than the time I once stopped at a convenience store on the bad part of town, and when I came out a local gentleman was admiring my fancy racing bicycle and asked if me he could take it for a “test ride”, and assured me that he “would bring it right back”. But I’m not sure if that’s even a crime, he was just checking to see how big a chump I really was, it was nothing personal.
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Old 05-23-20, 08:43 AM
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I've never observed a crime in progress in a more typical context. The closest I've been to being the victim cycling are 1) having soft drink thrown at me 2) forcibly, intentionally driven off the road by a pickup truck that had been unable to pass on narrow twisty secondary. Ironically, they had a clear shot to pass at that point but chose to 'make a point.' Both happened in nicer parts of the suburbs, along with 99% of general road rage verbal abuse. In areas of the city that many of these suburbanites would hesitate to venture into I've never felt threatened in any way.
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Old 05-23-20, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Not a ride goes by that I don’t see at least several thousands of dollars worth of low level traffic violations, that any decent cop could easily cite. I’ve ridden past domestic disturbances countless times, esp at night. Probably witnessed hundreds of drug deals / consumption events, but I don’t really consider that “crime” per se.
Stirred some memories. A couple of years ago I rode off to the nature center of a campground while touring to get help to break up a domestic disturbance. A man and woman, both drunk, were fighting. He hit her with a tree brach and threw her to the ground. Park police arrested him. I provided a written statement. Scary to see.

Way BITD our small group was camping in a town park in a small town in NE Washington state while riding across the country. Three or four times that evening I witnessed what were obviously hand to hand drug sales. The same truck kept pulling into the park. Each time a different car would then enter and pull along side the truck. Arms out the windows and then they would drive off minutes from each other.
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Old 05-23-20, 10:12 AM
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One day some teens were toting a couple of flat panel TVs down the local MUP I used for my commute. Rather telling when they tried to hide their faces to the front camera on my bike. What they didn’t realize is the rear camera captured their faces. Gave the police my video and statement, which they successfully used to prosecute.

Then there is the other time I was shot with paintballs six times, a block from home, also thanks to some teens in a car, firing from the sunroof. I didn’t spill, and was impressed by their aim. After all they were driving at about 35mph or so. Left some nice bruises all over. Police took my statement and also caught them, although my then video camera was too low resolution and it was dusk, rendering it useless.

Only daily “crime” (depending upon the jurisdiction), other than drivers, is the near constant smell of marijuana. I’m not bothering the authorities over that. Funny thing is I smell it at 6am, which to me seems a bit early. C’est la vie!
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Old 05-23-20, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by But its me View Post
Only daily “crime” (depending upon the jurisdiction), other than drivers, is the near constant smell of marijuana. I’m not bothering the authorities over that. Funny thing is I smell it at 6am, which to me seems a bit early. C’est la vie!
I believe the term is "wake and bake".
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Old 05-23-20, 12:43 PM
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I was witness to a road race incident where one guy just pummeled the other. If that wasn't enough he went back to his car and got a golf club and went after him a second time then drove off. I took the licence plate number and talked to the police and gave them my statement. I actually followed them for about ten blocks before the fight actually broke out so I my statement also included the intimidation before the actual assault. Months later the police contacted me to say because my statement was so good the guilty party was even going to try and fight it. He plead guilty and that is the last of it.

Now, on the other hand I have been the victim of road rage when I got pushed around on my bike and thrown into oncoming traffic. He was charged and convicted of Assault with a Weapon x 1 (he tried to hit me with his car before he got out to grab me) Assault x 1, Mischief x 2 to property for breaking my iPhone and wrecking my bike. The beauty of this besides being convicted in Criminal Court, was he did this with his mother in the car. An expensive mistake for him that is for sure.

I live in a big city, stuff happens.
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