Well, thanks to the vigilance of the NYC bike community and the Internet…they got it back.
Here is their story:
We were coming home from school and on our way to the doctor’s office (my daughter had pneumonia,) when we got a call from a guy named Mike. He said that he saw our post/flyer on a blog and was pretty sure that he saw the bike in Ditmas Park. After a few identifying questions, we were sure that it was our bike that he was viewing with some police officers. We of course had to see the doctor first (priorities, priorities….) so Mike stood guard for almost an hour until we could get there. (Thank you!)
We saw the doctor, and then all three of my children and I jumped in a cab to Ditmas Park. We met Mike, called the police, and waited for over an hour, on the street, in the cold. Mike waited for a long while but then had to go, understandably, and another older gentleman waited with us for 45 minutes or so, lecturing us about stars and planes and such.
About an hour and 15 minutes later I called the police again to alert them that all four of us were still waiting, but had moved into the dry cleaning establishment just in front of the bike. We were cold. About 1/2 hour later the police arrived and after seeing my photographs and bill of sale said, “yeah, since you don’t have proof of purchase with any kind of number on it, I can’t really help you. The burden of proof is on you, and we can only use numbers. I also can’t tell you what to do when I leave here, though, and that doesn’t look like much of a lock.” I asked, point blank if it was illegal to steal your own stuff back to which he replied, “once the lock is cut, the burden of proof is on the other guy.” Nice.
The police departed, and Mike showed up again, shocked that we were still there, and offered, ultimately to no avail, to help us find some bolt cutters. So, I called my husband, already en route and asked him to bring some bolt cutters to clip, get this, a cheap master lock that the thief had used to secure our precious bike. My hubby arrived just as I had nestled our children safely inside our bike, and in less than a second, we were off, feeling the wind in our hair as we got as far away from Ditmas park as possible! We got our bike bike!
We feel incredibly indebted to the people of Brooklyn. The bloggers who posted and linked, and reposed our story and photos. The random people on the street who showed us their support and kindness. Mike who found it and called us! Darek, the homeless guy on 7th Ave. who was sure we’d get it back and spread the word to all of “his” people. And all the other people who have since shown us their support with excited shouts as we bike past, “you found it!” and “you got it back…that never happens!” We are so grateful. We’ve learned so much this holiday season about the love and strength of our community. My faith in people has been greatly renewed. THANK YOU. Thank you!
Amy and the stolen box bike family.