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stolen bikes

I got a few flyers from my good friend Dan Katz, who turns 40 today. Gulp. (I’m next)

Seen uptown in NYC.

and this one…

I was talking with Hal Ruzal, who started Bicycle Habitat back in the late 70′s, along with Charlie McCorkell. He’s the guy you can’t miss in the stores front window with his long mane of dread locks, hammering away on customers bikes. He has these hilarious videos on youtube, done by streetsfilms.org where he rates peoples bike lock ups.

I asked Hal, what is it these days with bike theft, are we seeing more of it? “Well people are reverting to their old ways, being unemployed and all.” he said in a phone conversation…meaning more people out of work means more thieves, and there are more “pickins” with the increase in the popularity of bikes. “But mostly people are idiots,” he said in reference to the fact that people just don’t lock up their bikes properly and are cheap with security. They also don’t lock up wheels. Hal says he gets about 2 people a day coming into the store looking for new wheels because they’ve been stolen.

So a word of caution out there:

Don’t cheap out on the type of lock and secure everything you want to keep including both wheels and the seat. Due diligence is the name of the game. Send a message to the bike thieves that you’ve done the work to properly lock up your bike with both a diesel lock and chain and locked all the key parts. Then, unfortunately, they move on to someone who slacked.

Here is the most recent case of theft.

Maritza Trejo contacted me:
Hi, a friend told me about your website and that I could post info regarding my stolen bike. It was stolen earlier today, Wednesday July 28, 2010 between 2-4pm outside of the Target on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn (it was locked with my boyfriend’s bike in the bike racks but only mine was stolen). It is a Vita Specialized in red. I bought it last year. Notable identifiers include:

- scratches in the middle of the handlebar
- scratches on the brake/shifters lever
- small dent on the frame
- red light attached to the seat post
- missing the right toe strap

I would really appreciate it if anyone out there could keep an eye out for the bike for me. Please email me asap if you see/hear/find anything.

Here’s a picture of the bike and a link for more info:

specs from bikepedia.com.

Any info contact: maritza.trejo@gmail.com

Well now we ask people how it was locked.

My bike was next to my boyfriend’s bike. He had his locked with a U-lock and mine was attached through a Kryptonite 4′ flex cable to his u-Lock. In addition i had another smaller chain locked for the back tire. Whoever stole, cut the flex cable and the other chain.

Also I followed up on a theft I posted on the 22nd of July. Natalie had her bike stolen from within her building.

She was kind enough to explain more about what happened.

I live in a 3 unit building and all three floors of tenants are very friendly, so trust within our building is not an issue. While I usually bring the bike inside my apartment, and sometimes lock it up outside, on occasion I also leave it out on the landing right outside my apartment door. We are on the top floor, so the only people who come up there are our household and our guests. I did not have it locked to anything on the landing. I just assumed it would be safer unlocked inside than locked up outside–guess I was wrong.

We aren’t entirely sure if someone broke in or if there was a problem with the door (unfortunately, someone had only left the bottom handle lock engaged and had not used the deadbolt, and it’s possible that the door didn’t completely latch closed).

Anyway, now everyone in the building is really diligent about using the deadbolt and I obviously will not leave anything valuable outside of my apartment.

This is another unfortunate reality of living and biking in NYC. Apartment buildings are notorious for having bikes swiped from inside. Don’t assume anything. Either bring it inside, or lock it up the same as you would on the street.

Maybe we gotta go back to this:

(photo seen on smashenger.blogspot.com)

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