Bike Theft in NYC and SF

I’ve spent a lot of time on my blog trying to help with bike theft by using the social networking power of the Internet and having the NYC bike community be on the look out. Mainly this does little for the actual theft, but more for getting bikes back to their rightful owners.

The NY Times just published an article about a recent NYPD sting operation to thwart bicycle theft, primarily in the East Village where there have been a number of incidents.

Bike Sting Operation Draws Arrests and Criticism
by: Joesph Goldstein-NY Times.

The police sting operation involves posing as thieves and trying to sell bikes to food delivery workers, who are believed to be the biggest recipients of stolen bikes.

As much as I like NYPD involvement in bike theft, this seems counter productive. Why spend that energy posing as a thief with bikes that aren’t even stolen? Why not plant a nice bike in a high target area and wait for someone to attempt to steal the bike. In other words, go to the source, the actual people stealing bikes.

Targeting food delivery workers, often undocumented immigrants seems to after the fact and penalizes people just trying to make a living. It seems similar to the drug war in America, where we are going after the users and criminalizing drug use instead of the dealers and the sellers.

Speaking of theft, here is a story and video where a thief is caught red-handed by a female office worker in San Francisco. All caught on video.

More in the Huffington Post.

2 comments to Bike Theft in NYC and SF

  • cr

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the biggest bike thieves out there are the guys in vans who travel around the city illegally picking up scrap metal. They have the tools and the means to cut your lock and transport your bike away from the crime scene quickly and easily. If cops wanted to catch bike thieves they could easily by trailing those guys around the city at night utilizing a lower-profile form of travel (like a bike) where they could observe the perps from a distance unseen And what a sexy arrest that would be, right? – they’d catch guys who are stealing money from the city with the scrap metal *and* stealing resident’s bikes. Or they could just continue going around tricking delivery guys who don’t possess a basic grasp of English.

  • Michael Green

    I’m sorry you have to keep saying it, but well said and so true.