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Witnessed a Bike Theft

Old 07-28-09, 10:01 AM
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adlai
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Witnessed a Bike Theft

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/d...293257324.html
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Old 07-28-09, 10:08 AM
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"Before I had realized what happened, I called 911."

More like, "I didn't feel like getting into a street fight or stabbed or shot over someone else's bike, so I did the smarter thing and let the police handle it."
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Old 07-28-09, 10:31 AM
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well, he was across the street, about what, 20 ft away? If it had been close by, I do think I would have stopped him physically.
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Old 07-28-09, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by adlai View Post
well, he was across the street, about what, 20 ft away? If it had been close by, I do think I would have stopped him physically.
You did the right thing. I saw the CL ad, props to you. You'll never do the right thing by BF standards, always some 'tard that coulda shoulda woulda done different just so they can call you out on it. Better to have not escalated... in the end it's not your bike but it is your well-being. Sounds like the slimeball was braced for a confrontation.
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Old 07-28-09, 03:58 PM
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You could have tried to stop him physically with unpredictable and possibly disastrous results. You have no idea who you are dealing with and whether they are crazy or on drugs or have a weapon (or all three combined). If you are that concerned about a theft follow from a safe distance and see where the thief goes then report it to the police. The police get paid for rounding up criminals and taking the risks involved.
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Old 07-28-09, 04:09 PM
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He was across the street so a physical confrontation wasn't really an option. If from the moment I saw him jacking the bike I had walked across the st. I might have caught him, but it took me a minute to figure out that he was doing something malicious.
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Old 07-28-09, 04:14 PM
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You can always scream calling "thief! theif! Help! Help!" while flapping your arms about. It will get more attention. the thief would likely make a break for it.
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Old 07-28-09, 05:25 PM
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Yes, but it's so out of line with my typical persona out in the world, you know? I mean, sure, if I had the slightest thought that I might witness a crime when going out that morning, sure, but it was kinda a shock to see him doing it so brazenly.
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Old 07-29-09, 12:24 AM
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You should have taken off and nuked the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
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Old 07-29-09, 07:33 AM
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I've been there, except the guy was 10 feet away. Brazen is right. I was also in shock at what i was seeing, it was lunch time in chicago loop and probably my first crime to witness. Then I wondered if kicking him in the head was a good idea (I'm only 135 lbs, should I be starting a fight with a crackhead w/ wirecutters?). My female co-worker wanted to just walk away, thankfully someone else had the presence of mind to call out a guard from the federal reserve post, who scared the guy off.

Lessons learned and things to consider: Is the guy working alone, or does he have a spotter? (we think mine did) The guy could always have a concealed weapon and lets face it, if he's not some young kid that you can scare off by yelling at him, he's probably willing to use it if confronted. Local laws regarding physical defense of property would be good to know before you start anything. Best idea is to just make a scene, probably from a safe distance.
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Old 07-29-09, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by adlai View Post
well, he was across the street, about what, 20 ft away? If it had been close by, I do think I would have stopped him physically.
Originally Posted by adlai View Post
He was across the street so a physical confrontation wasn't really an option. If from the moment I saw him jacking the bike I had walked across the st. I might have caught him, but it took me a minute to figure out that he was doing something malicious.
In that case, it's good for you that you were caught off guard and were too far away to try something. Black_Box is 100% right. I'm 200lbs and pretty confident walking down the street, and I wouldn't physically confront a dude stealing a bike on an empty street.

An assault in progress is a different story. But I'm not risking a facial scar or worse for someone else's bike, which can be replaced.
You handled it pretty much the right way. No need to qualify it or explain that you were caught off guard.
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