Who's got two thumbs and no bicycle?

←← This guy!

Stolen from the bike rack at the top of the BART stairs at 4th and Market, around 7pm. This bike lasted over three years, though, which is an all-time record since way back in the nineteen-hundreds. (Previously.) They didn't leave a broken lock behind, which is somewhat puzzling. It was a u-lock with one of the new-style flat keys with the dimples on them, whatever those are called.

Tags: , , , ,

45 Responses:

  1. hasimir says:

    That sucks, was it insured?

  2. gryazi says:

    ...but the two-locks proposal from the old thread sounds promising, if it convinces them to move on to lower-hanging fruit.

    Is there enough visual distinction between junkie and hipster out there that a bike thief should be distinguishable from frustrated dropped-mah-keys bike owner?

  3. lilmissnever says:

    Now is the time to buy a pennyfarthing. Even if the thief manages to steal your bike, he will probably shatter his wrist trying to ride it away.

  4. vordark says:

    Is this just your cloud of awesome luck or do all San Franciscans have their bikes recycled so often?

    • kowh says:

      I don't know how SF fares relative to Toronto, but here it's a question of when your bike will be stolen, not if. We've got one or more well established bike theft organizations and cops that don't seem to care.

      It may be an isolated incident, but I've heard of a case where the cops didn't bother to do anything even after the owner found their stolen bike (matching serial number and all) for sale and reported it.

      • dr_memory says:

        Pretty much the same deal here. There's one particular guy who's been lifting bikes out of lock-ups downtown for years now: people have posted video and pictures of him doing it, and the SFPD still can't be bothered to do fuck-all about it. (They're too busy shutting down "illegal parties" and confiscating DJs laptops.)

    • lafinjack says:

      There are no bike thieves in San Francisco; everyone's just trying to get theirs back.

  5. sushispook says:

    i've had this happen to me twice - it sucks, and you have my sympathies.

    this is exactly why i no longer care when people stare at me for locking up my bike with 2 u-locks and a cable, even in mayberryalameda.

  6. allartburns says:

    Well, that sucks. Which brand lock? Is there maybe a new hack that hasn't been published?

    I'm about to go to lock+cable+pitlock. Not so much because my bike is worth a lot, but because it took me forever to get it adjusted/tweaked just like I like it.

    • malokai says:

      For a u-lock? A metal pipe and a twisting action.

      • hepkitten says:

        yep, all you need is thick enough pipe and a little leverage.

      • freiheit says:

        That technique shouldn't work on a u-bolt lock that locks on both sides. Well, okay, not work quite so easily. (most u-bolt locks only lock on one side; the other side has an L-shaped end that you insert before locking the other side; allowing bending to release the non-locking side)

        Some u-locks can be defeated in a second or two with an empty soda can.

  7. hochi666 says:

    Obviously it is ridiculous to become attached to an inanimate object, but I do believe that bicycle owners become way more attached to their bikes than car owners do. I've had a car and a bicycle stolen and I felt way worse and violated by the bicycle theft.

    • roninspoon says:

      I'm not so sure the frustration is due to a sentimental attachment to the bicycle, as it is to a sentimental attachment to the money required to replace it.

  8. jonshea says:

    Is there any chance that the bike rack itself is compromised so that the bike and lock could be removed together without even breaking the lock?

  9. After my Nth bike theft I realized that I didn't care so much about the bike itself - they are generally 'used up' after a few years and I'm happy for an opportunity to get a new one - but rather what pissed me off was having to remember all the accessories I had added. So that time I kept a list while shopping, and the next time was much easier. I was also able to use the list in the insurance claim.

  10. kiskadee says:

    All the food delivery guys in NY ride bikes and all of them use chains that look suitable for a mafia hit. Sorry that I don't happen to know brand names...

    • cdavies says:

      Of course, given it's New York, the lack of thefts they experience may be due to the chains actually being used in mafia hits, rather than any inherent resistance to bolt cutters.

    • malokai says:

      The "fuggaboutit" or something.

      They're motorcyle chain locks, and a pita to carry around.

    • hepkitten says:

      i use a motorcycle chain, but with a big enough pair of snips that can be cut as well, as evidenced by the endless wave of chained motorcycles that are also stolen every month in sf. the thinking is still low-hanging fruit however, why haul out the 5ft tall chain snips to take my bike, when you can take that bike locked with a ulock using only the length of pipe you are already carrying.

      • strspn says:

        I use a cheap combination lock on a cable, and a price tag sticker saying the bike cost $60. My last stolen bike was in '98.

        Why is BART the "prole train" by the way? Since more bikes fit on Caltrain, wouldn't it be?

  11. dojothemouse says:

    I got my seat stolen @ 24th and Market BART and wouldn't have mentioned it to anyone except that there were many, many other bikes on the rack and none of them had saddles either.

    The BART attendant said "OH" (meaningfully) and then, "They did that yesterday, too."

    The bike rack at 24th st BART is totally impossible for the attendant to watch: no surveillance and on the other side of a whole bunch of machines.

    At the BART lady's suggestion, I called BART police to request that they consider moving the racks to somewhere visible. The BART detective wanted to point out that many riders bring their seats with them and it's possible that I'm the only one that got my saddle stolen. "Good point, officer."

    So... if I wanted to steal a bunch of bikes, I'd go to BART stations. Since I want to keep my bike a little longer, I'll lock up on the street next to fancier bikes.

    • pyrop says:

      It occurs to me, after reading this comment and the one after, that it might not be a bad (although not particularly practical) idea to insert something into the seat tube, maybe like the kind of dye squirters they put in the fire alarm pulls in elementary schools. You would want some inconvenient and non-obvious way to turn it off, of course.

  12. i_e_d says:

    Hmm I'm waiting for the day that one pissed off nutjob bike rider decides to fill the center tube of their bike with explosives and have a fuse set to a gps proximity trigger in the event it 'wanders' away' I'm also waiting for the day he forgets about it and accidently sets it off himself

  13. sparklydevil says:

    Fuckers! My sympathies.

  14. chaobell says:

    Ffffff. I hope whoever took it hits a pothole at full speed, goes over the handlebars, and lands on his face on asphalt. I hope he does this in the presence of his friends, and that those friends have cameras and YouTube accounts.

  15. ms_nobizit says:

    Crap! That sucks- sorry to hear it.

  16. ryanlrussell says:

    They are, in fact, called dimple keys.

  17. pdx6 says:

    I have to wonder, with all the talk of a "bicycle license" and associated fees I hear from the car folks, I wonder if the SFPD would then be motivated to step up their non-existent bike theft program if such a thing were ever implemented.

    I've been in a police station waiting to get a permit, but pushed aside when a gal walked into report her car stolen. Car owners get a lot more priority from the SFPD (and SFMTA).

    • vordark says:

      Now hold on. Sure, getting a bike stolen definitely sucks and I wouldn't want such a thing happening to me. But, a car is usually at least an order of magnitude more expensive than a bike. Given that police have limited resources, is it so unreasonable that they'd prioritize the theft of an auto above that of a bike?

      Outrage where it's due is one thing, but come on.

      • pdx6 says:

        A bike may be one of the major tools that I use to make a living, a car could be yours. Someone takes away transport I use to make a living, and the cops' priority goes to who ever has the most expensive transportation?

        To cite to you in a more car-centric manner, the police should allocate resources to those that have had their Porche stolen over those who have had their Honda stolen.

        • vordark says:

          The police allocate resources toward the most "major" crimes first. In the case of theft, that is the theft with the highest dollar amount. Don't like it? Move to a communist country.

          • spendocrat says:

            What's the dollar cost of lewdness crimes again?

          • Move to a communist country.

            You are wrong in a number of different ways. First, police
            allocate their resources toward crimes which are most likely
            to result in convictions. In many cases this may be indistinguishable
            from your class of "highest dollar value" crimes, but it is not the
            same thing. It requires the cooperation of the district attorney
            to prosecute, and the court system to convict and punish.

            Second, in the rare situations where police departments are run
            by people who have not worked their way up through the narcotics
            divisions, you find occasionally a focus on "quality of life" crimes:
            graffiti, car breakins, bike thefts, the little shit that tends to pile
            up and make parts of towns unlivable. This often turns out to be
            a very effective means of indirectly reducing the major crimes.

            • vordark says:

              I see you and fellow above both fail at reading comprehension. I'd explain myself further, but that's something of a Catch 22 now, isn't it?