jonos-stolen-bike-cover.jpg
Cautionary Tale

Who Stole Jono's Bike?

Words Cam McRae
Date Mar 19, 2021
Reading time

If you've been riding bikes for a long time, you probably know the feeling; for me it's like being kicked in the nuts continuously. Your bike was there, and then it's gone. Maybe your house was broken into, or a lock was broken, or your bike got jacked when you turned your head or left it unattended for a matter of seconds. However it happens, the effect is the same; horror, sadness, and disbelief.

Jono Lo's first reaction was less extreme when he wandered out of the coffee shop and saw only his buddy's bike on the back of his truck. "I kind of thought it was a joke at first, assuming one of my buddies was lingering around, possibly filming me. So I didn't want to panic and look for my bike. I just sort of stood there looking, and then a few minutes passed by and I realized this isn't really a joke." Jono asked for help from a Tesla driver whose on board cameras were running but when he checked the footage the bike was already gone. His next stop was Spirits of Mount Seymour; "The trusty liquor store. Their security cam got some footage of the guy leaving on my bike just a few minutes after we parked."

jonos-stolen-bike-1.jpg

Surveillance is everywhere in 2021 and sometimes that works in your favour. Props to Spirits of Mt. Seymour for helping identify the guy who rode off on Jono's bike.

The footage showed the suspect riding off on Jono's Rocky Mountain Slayer; "He grabbed the bike out of my truck just after we parked, jumped on, put the dropper up and pedalled off into the distance." This clearly wasn't this gentleman's first rodeo.

At that point many of us would consider it a done deal and accept that our bike is gone forever. Jono and his buddies set up shop at the only two roads that lead out of the Deep Cove area and watched for a couple of hours. In the meantime Jono posted the stills from the liquor store's security to his 3800 Instagram followers. "It's getting lots of comments telling me to the Downtown East side, there's pretty high chance you're going to find it."

If you haven't witnessed it first hand, you may not know that this area of Vancouver is known as the poorest in Canada. Despite rapid ongoing gentrification, it's where those who have nowhere else to go end up, and the Downtown East Side is burdened with far more than its share of misery, despair, and death. In January of 2021 alone, Vancouver recorded 165 drug overdose deaths, most of them in the DTES. While it's a community of people who often support each other, it can be a scary and dangerous place, but Jono, along with Matt Macduff, decided to have a look for his beloved Slayer.

They did a "cruise around the sketchy areas," went home for dinner, but then decided to have another look. Another loop of North Vancouver produced nothing so it was back downtown to see what they could find. "On the last loop of Skid Road there,
just for five seconds, this lady was on the street before she peeled off into a building and she had these two wheels in her hand that looked pretty suspiciously like mine."

jonos-stolen-bike-3.jpg

It's easier to be an outlaw in the time of COVID

After a few hours spent looking closely at any person with a bike, it took only a moment to determine these wheels were different. Jono decided to follow the woman into the building while Matt waited outside. The sign on the awning said "Empress Bar," so Jono imagined a public and open space; "But it turned out to be like a concierge desk and the guy working there was like, 'Oh, how can I help you?' so I said, 'Oh, I just want to see the wheel that lady had.' He immediately got what the question was about and he was like, 'Hey, you're gonna offer that girl money, she'll sell you the wheels and then she'll tell you where she got the bike parts and you can hopefully find the rest of the bike.'"

The helpful guy at reception told Jono to go up to 205 and knock on the door. He got in the elevator, but never made it to the door. "I'm fairly nervous at that point. I'm in this possible crack shack hotel. I don't really know what I'm doing, but not too nervous because, I don't know... The guy at the front seemed pretty chill about it. The boyfriend, he was right there with the frame, and the girlfriend and they were just hauling it down the hallway to go take it into their apartment so I instantly like walked over right to him. Sort of subconsciously I walked over and just stood right over the bike."

jonos-stolen-bike-2.jpg

It says Empress Bar on the awning but this turned out to be a single room occupancy hotel in one of the sketchiest neighbourhoods in North America.

This is probably a good time to mention that the Vancouver Police Department likely wouldn't recommend this approach. Luckily Jono remained remarkably calm considering he'd just stumbled upon two people in possession of his partially disassembled stolen bike. "And the guy was like, 'yeah, what the hell do you want?' And I was like, "nothing, dude, like I'm just checking things out' and he said it again, he's like, 'well, what do you need?' And I was like, 'Oh, I don't know I'm just checking things out.' I tried to be kind of shifty, thinking I got to kind of play dumb here or this guy's going to be on me."

Jono had the presence of mind to retreat at this point but the wait at the elevator turned seconds into minutes. The couple had gone downstairs by this point and Jono left the hotel to recruit the law. "At that point I had a the picture of the guy stealing the bike on my phone, I had my receipt for the bike, the serial number, and I already had a case called in to the North Van RCMP, so I just gave a few details and they were able to nab the guy."

Watch below to see Jono's bike and the individuals who had it in their possession emerge from the former Empress Bar

You'd think the next part would have been easy considering all the info Jono had with him, but that wasn't the case. The serial number on his receipt was different than the one on the frame by one character; it had an 'S' in front for serial. He then asked if Jono had any photos of himself with the bike in the last 48 hours. Jono, who loves to document his rides, laughed and said, "about one every five minutes!" After placing himself with the bike that very day, he showed the video of the suspect riding away on the bike and the officer laughed, "he's like, 'oh my god he's in the same outfit, look at this!'"

Eventually Jono was able to take possession of the bike. It was partially disassembled and Jono was given a, 'handful of stuff.' The woman chimed in to mention there were some parts up in their room, so the officer accompanied her and Jono was able to retrieve a spring and washer from his freehub. In the end he got everything he needed to make his bike whole.

Jono didn't feel encouraged by the VPD officers to press charges, and they made it clear the journey could be a long one with no guaranteed result. In the end Jono decided not to pursue the matter; "I think I'd be missing too many loam laps."

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When he's not chasing crooks, Jono rides bikes on the North Shore, documenting it all on his instagram as @trail.mole Jono is supported by @ride_nf and this photo was taken by the multi-talented @travis_the_tailor

The best cautionary tales have happy endings, but Jono concedes he'd become too comfortable. He's practically the mayor of the meeting place many of us call 'the dumpsters,' and he'd become too comfortable after spending so much time, chilling out between laps and leaving his bike unattended literally hundreds of times. I do my best to never take my eyes off the bike I'm riding unless I recruit a rider to keep it safe. Obviously we can't prevent every potential theft, but vigilance is key, because who wants to feel like they're being kicked in the nuts over and over again?

@trail.mole

@ride_nf

@travis_the_tailor

@spiritsofmountseymour

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Comments

grambo
-1 Shoreboy Beau Miller gregster77 william bailey Tim Garland Nologo Caleb Del Begio twk Merwinn Dan Conant BobS13 OldManBike Chad K Angu58 FatBear
grambo  - March 19, 2021, 12:36 a.m.

I follow Jono on instagram and was super stoked when he got his bike back... but the part of the whole ordeal that sticks with me is the VPD basically saying "don't bother" pressing charges against people who stole a ~$10k bike. Something needs to change in our judicial process, theft of high end bikes needs to result in years of jail time.

Reply

YDiv
+15 Cam McRae twk DMVancouver Merwinn Lu Kz Pete Roggeman Mammal Niels Andy Eunson mrbrett Jimothy.benson BobS13 OldManBike Chad K Angu58 Cooper Quinn hardtailhersh Nologo Caleb Del Begio
YDiv  - March 19, 2021, 12:54 a.m.

Although I definitely get the sentiment, I don't think more jail time would solve the problem. You have to keep in mind that these people have nothing to lose, nothing they can pay back with, and jail would probably be a financial drain for gov't.

At the the end of the day, they're people too. It's unfortunate that they feel like they have to resort to theft, which might be more of a reflection on how our city struggles to reduce the homelessness issue.

On the other hand, bike thieves that have money and jobs...

Reply

Skiteach
+5 Merwinn Pete Roggeman Niels Chad K Angu58 twk Nologo
Scott H  - March 19, 2021, 6:58 a.m.

Luckily I’ve never had my bike stolen but I had my bike rack stolen off my roof one night and it sucked. But my take is that we as a society have to do a better job taking care of one another. Most who steal are down to very few options and they need help. Time in jail isn’t the answer.

Reply

Captain-Snappy
+6 Pete Roggeman Cam McRae Niels Andy Eunson Angu58 twk Tremeer023 Nologo
Merwinn  - March 19, 2021, 8:17 a.m.

I hear you, my 2001 Cove Stiffee was stolen a year after I bought it, but jail time by itself does not deter crime. If it did, no one would be committing first degree murder (25 yr min.). It's been shown that a combination of rehab/education/social programs aimed at youth and adults have a higher success rate at deterring them from returning to crime than jail time alone. This approach is typically blamed for being 'too soft', but ultimately its the long term goal society needs and wants, and not just a revolving door of jail time and not teaching people alternatives (skills, coping mechs) to property theft.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+12 DMVancouver Niels Andy Eunson Mammal YDiv meloroast Cr4w BobS13 Chad K Angu58 twk Todd Hellinga Tremeer023 Nologo
Pete Roggeman  - March 19, 2021, 8:30 a.m.

I agree that it sucks that the crime of stealing someone's 10k bike goes essentially unpunished, but the person that stole it probably needs help a lot more than punishment. No matter which angle you come at it, if the ultimate goal is to reduce crime, you have to treat the symptoms - actually that makes for a poor analogy but the point is that crime is the byproduct of other more serious, systemic problems.

Most of Vancouver's property crime is committed by people looking for a quick buck so they can get a quick fix. If we address addiction properly, crime goes way down. And in many cases, addiction is related to mental health and our judicial system is woefully ill-equipped to help people, even in some cases where they're ready to accept it. So they end up back out on the street, no better off than they were before.

The frustration is real, and I totally get it. But if you've known someone that's struggled their way through the system with mental health and/or addiction, the frustration goes way beyond having a valuable bike stolen, and it's also down to life or death, not being without a beloved toy (insured) for a few days.

Reply

meloroast
+5 Cooper Quinn BobS13 Niels Pete Roggeman Chad K twk Nologo
meloroast  - March 19, 2021, 12:08 p.m.

Yup. Thanks for this. And folks need to remember that people tend to not want to live on the fringe of society. People who steal, generally don't want to steal but they have very few options and/or have operated in a certain sphere of society they can't imagine a way out. 

Keep your stuff locked up and if something happens, let's keep a little perspective.

Reply

cooperquinn
0 Cam McRae FatBear
Cooper Quinn  - March 19, 2021, 12:18 p.m.

This.

Reply

cooperquinn
0 Cam McRae FatBear
Cooper Quinn  - March 19, 2021, 12:18 p.m.

This.

Reply

morgan-heater
+2 Dan Conant BobS13 Velocipedestrian Nologo
Morgan Heater  - March 19, 2021, 10:12 a.m.

I feel like anyone who's successfully parented well adjusted children realizes that punishment is almost never effective long term.

Reply

cooperquinn
-4 thaaad Nologo Caleb Del Begio FatBear
Cooper Quinn  - March 19, 2021, 12:18 p.m.

Yes, lets punitively punish poor people.

Reply

grambo
+1 Nologo
grambo  - March 19, 2021, 1:41 p.m.

I should clarify my first comment in that I fully agree we need a better approach to addiction, mental illness and systemic poverty in Vancouver/BC/Canada. We need a holistic approach to give people a real chance to improve their lives including access to housing, medical, counseling etc. services and that a lot of people dealing with these issues have had a shit life with no hope.

At the same time the status quo of shrugging shoulders are property crime and having no consequences cannot continue. There was a video on Vancouver reddit the other day of a dude with a baseball bat going after a homeless looking guy who just stole something of his. We are going to see more vigilante justice like this and it isn't good.

Career/professional criminals stealing high end bikes is another issue, those guys need serious consequences when caught given value of bikes these days which is what I interpreted this situation as (is it really a DTES addict hiding in the bushes at Parkgate to steal a new Altitude? Doubt it).

Reply

cooperquinn
0 FatBear Nologo
Cooper Quinn  - March 19, 2021, 1:47 p.m.

Yeah, this definitely isn't the career guys who used to come through my home town with a truck and trailer in a day and steal as many bikes as they could, and they'd maybe turn some up a year later out east. 

But locking folks up for survival theft isn't it (which I don't think is your position).

Reply

YDiv
+5 Cam McRae goose8 Chad K Caleb Del Begio Tremeer023
YDiv  - March 19, 2021, 12:46 a.m.

Glad things eventually had a good outcome. Also good to know that nobody got shanked.

Having your bike stolen sucks. Not just financially, but there's so much sentimental value that you don't realize is attached to it until the thing is stolen. 

It's pretty surprising that a large proportion of people don't keep their bikes locked up. Pretty much equivalent to leaving 10k cash on the ground.

And, even if you think your bike is safe, I ask that you think again. I kept mine hanging in the garage and thought everything was fine, but the thieves managed to open up the garage and made off with it easy.

Just my 2 cents, but try thinking from a robber's perspective. Identify any weak spots and do your best to eliminate them. Some examples include: moving the bike to a location that has an alarm (not your old tool shed with some shitty padlock), putting up security cameras, chain your bike*, attach a U lock, etc.

It might seem like overkill but I'd rather go through the minor inconvenience of unlocking than have my bike get stolen again.

*Home Depot sells some thick ass towing chains for waaay less than a Kryptonite chain. I've tested cutting it with different tools, and found it to be pretty good value.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+2 Merwinn AJ Barlas
Cam McRae  - March 19, 2021, 7:33 a.m.

Good advice. Slowing down the process and making a quick grab more difficult is a great strategy. It likely wouldn’t have taken an expensive lock to prevent this theft. Something I do when I have to leave a bike momentarily is shift into the largest cog but then release all the cable tension so anyone trying to pedal away will struggle. If you have AXS you can pull your battery and leave the bike in a useless getaway gear. Obviously the best idea is to keep your bike within arm’s reach but sometimes that’s not possible.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+2 Merwinn AJ Barlas
Pete Roggeman  - March 19, 2021, 8:20 a.m.

Yeah, anything to slow them down. I do the things Cam described, and also attach the loop on my truck pad around the down tube. Again, it's just something that will take a thief an extra 10 awkward seconds to figure out. This is just for 'I'm only going to turn my back for a few seconds' situations...otherwise I don't even trust most locks for very long unless it's in a very public place where someone pulling out an angle grinder would be questioned.

Reply

Captain-Snappy
+1 IslandLife
Merwinn  - March 19, 2021, 8:25 a.m.

Agreed. If I need to go into a store for a second, I take my fr wheel off and bring it with me... at least they can't ride away, and what Craigslist buyer really wants a bike with just one wheel? While a bike w one wheel can be remedied, that takes effort and bikes thieves, all thieves, are looking for easy opportunities. Make it harder for them and they'll look for an easier opportunity.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+2 IslandLife FatBear
Pete Roggeman  - March 19, 2021, 8:31 a.m.

"Hey, that guy Merwinn stole someone's front wheel!"

Reply

mrbrett
+6 Paul Stuart Cam McRae Mammal AJ Barlas Beau Miller jaydubmah
mrbrett  - March 19, 2021, 6:34 a.m.

My hands got a little sweaty when he was in the hotel looking for his baby ... that's some sketchy shit.

Reply

peterk
+8 Cam McRae DMVancouver Lu Kz Niels IslandLife mrbrett grambo meloroast
peterk  - March 19, 2021, 7:11 a.m.

"Jono was able to retrieve a spring and washer from his freehub". Theif be like "I read an article on NSMB.com where Andrew Major and Jeff Bryson overhauled a hub".

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+5 Cr4w Pete Roggeman Mammal IslandLife Beau Miller
Cam McRae  - March 19, 2021, 7:25 a.m.

LOL. 

I thought that part was pretty surprising. It’s amazing to see some kindness from someone sitting on the curb in handcuffs. It’s not surprising she has that capacity of course, only that she had the impulse to think of someone else from the depths of an awful predicament.

Reply

craw
+3 Cam McRae Merwinn Mammal
Cr4w  - March 19, 2021, 7:26 a.m.

Glad you recovered your bike!

Similar thing happened to me once, super early on our way up to Pemberton. Stopped at a friend's house off Lonsdale at 6am. Ran up the steps to knock on his door, turn around, bike's gone off my NSR. It happened that fast. 

Now I pay an extra insurance rider to ensure that if another bike gets stolen I actually get enough money to buy another one (or at least pay for most of it). And most importantly: always lock your bike to your rack. Always, no matter the length of journey.

I also recovered that bike, well the frame. I put up notices on all the bike sites, set up Google alerts, and dropped off a flyer at every bike shop in the city figuring my bike might turn up. Inevitably it did. The shop held it for me. The guy who 'bought the frame off some other guy' wasn't charged. But I got my frame back.

Reply

bailey100
0
william bailey  - March 19, 2021, 8:36 a.m.

Losing a bike is the worst. 

Not only is it hard to get the actual value back through insurance if that's even an option but with the current bike situation you might end up being without a ride for the season.

I'm sorry but I don't buy the argument that people with "nothing to lose" should get a pass on these things. 

Maybe if the outcome was more serious it wouldn't happen as often ?

Rehab programs, job training, should be available to offenders but if there's no downside to doing shit like this, why wouldn't they ?

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+4 YDiv meloroast Cooper Quinn Cam McRae
AJ Barlas  - March 19, 2021, 9:45 a.m.

While I want to agree with you about how to treat thieves that are caught, I have heard of research suggesting appropriate treatments to help people get back on their feet, through rehabilitation, education etc. are more successful than throwing them in the slammer. As Merwinn said. I also knew people who ended up doing short stints in juvy during high school and it was not good. All it did to one we were closer with was make him a harder, meaner criminal when out, with more connections to that world. Something we all noticed as teenagers. We eventually lost touch with him as he fell into crime more heavily each time he was out of jail.

But, I've also had multiple bikes stolen, one from Meadow Park in Whistler during the autumn 'shoulder season' (back when Whistler was completely dead during such time) and another where my house was broken into and multiple bikes were taken. Both were committed by organized criminals that make a living from stealing. The bike stolen in Whistler was later found by police – well, the frame was, nothing else on it was mine. They found it and many others while searching a house under warrant.

I never saw any of the bikes from the break and enter, which included the bike stolen in Whistler years prior. The police said they believed the bikes were in a cube van on the highway somewhere far away by the time I noticed they were gone. They knew who the likely suspects were and shortly after the incident, I saw them monitoring the apartment building where I was told, not by police, that one of the ring leaders lived. To my knowledge, he was never arrested at that time.

It sucks so bad having someone steal anything, but I found it much worse when criminals break into your house/garage while asleep upstairs. We felt violated and unsafe in our own home. That feeling lasted a while. I'd like to see more done to stop these rings or organized crime and in the event of something like what Jono experienced, those people put into some form of rehabilitation and education. Letting them go with nothing more than a trip to the local cop shop for a short stint isn't enough. Jono shouldn't need to pursue charges for the criminals to serve some form of treatment for their crime.

Glad to hear Jono got his bike back and on the same day. What are the chances of that!?

Reply

YDiv
+1 meloroast
YDiv  - March 19, 2021, 10:25 a.m.

Totally agree with what you've said. I think it's important to highlight the fact that not all thieves are the same. Some are homeless and desperate for a quick fix, others are serial criminals. And so I'm not sure that we can apply a blanket solution.

It'll be interesting to see the research that comes out of the current bike boom / theft rise. Hopefully governments will take more notice and implement better measures.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - March 19, 2021, 12:52 p.m.

Completely agree. To generalize and suggest that either all criminals do it to survive, or the opposite, they’re all organized and making bank isn’t accurate. I find myself wondering if a  treatment of rehabilitation, education, etc. would be successful, regardless of the criminal’s situation?

Reply

YDiv
0
YDiv  - March 19, 2021, 10:19 a.m.

You do bring up a good point: bike theft is a low risk high reward scenario.

I think there are a lot of factors that make it difficult for prosecution to occur successfully, and then you have to gauge how effective that punishment is in reducing theft.

I think part of why jail doesn't really work for certain types of people is because they don't fit into traditional roles in society. And so the consequences of jail can vary, which might mean it leaves minimal effect on them.

Reply

DaveSmith
+1 Beau Miller
Dave Smith  - March 19, 2021, 9:22 a.m.

A good news story that was almost an hour from being a little chop shop horror story. Also a good bit of detective work and willingness to go into the scary spots by Mole and MacDuff.

Back in the day(90's), the showroom in that hotel was a right of passage for every dirty indie rock band to play and it was sketchy back then - even as an audience member. If you were good, you graduated to the Brickyard and then moved South West as you built a following.

Reply

Hepcat
+1 Cam McRae
Beau Miller  - March 19, 2021, 11:26 a.m.

Great write up. Thanks for telling both sides. 

Had a few bikes stolen, and recovered:

Get a burglary report.

Finding the bike is on you. It's real work and takes motivation and patience. 

Set up a meeting, call the cops on the way. Meet the thief somewhere safe, I used the entrance of grocery stores with friends waiting nearby. 

Be polite and apologetic, tell the thief the truth, and tell them "you are in possession of stolen property". Stall till the cops come, tell them the thief is aware they are in possession of stolen property, show them the burglary report. 

At that point it's up to you whether to press charges or not.

I went through this process 4 times, each time the thief was just a really dumb person, nothing at all like the nefarious villains our imaginations build up.

Reply

craw
+4 Cooper Quinn Pete Roggeman AJ Barlas DMVancouver
Cr4w  - March 19, 2021, 1:10 p.m.

The part of bike theft I wasn't prepared for was the feeling of violation and the loss of something really personal. For most people a bike is just another stupid belonging, like a kettle or a vacuum. But for mountain bikers it's a very personal thing. You chose it, adjusted it, modified it to suit you over hours and hours of riding, of research and then more hours of riding - you have a really intimate relationship with this piece of gear. I don't commit that level of involvement to anything else in my life so when it's taken away from me by someone who really doesn't give a shit about any of the care invested and will probably sell it for pennies on the dollar. Well that is just extra harsh. 

We want to see retribution on a scale that matches our hurt. But when you go to the downtown east side and see what drives some bike theft it's hard not to feel pity and compassion.

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meloroast
+3 Cooper Quinn Pete Roggeman twk
meloroast  - March 19, 2021, 1:24 p.m.

I don't think anyone is disputing that having your stuff stolen sucks. It absolutely does and it's a violation on many levels, especially if an item is stolen from your home. 

But I'm not sure equitable retribution for expensive mtb theft is high on my social justice list, especially if said bike was unlocked. I totally get the passion people have for their bikes and mtb in general, it's one of the things I love about this community. But the "lock them up" responses expressed against a highly marginalised and disenfranchised part of our community (yes, they are also a part of our broader community) is a bit disheartening and disturbing to me.

Reply

andy-eunson
+3 Cam McRae AJ Barlas Cr4w
Andy Eunson  - March 19, 2021, 1:59 p.m.

We had two road bikes and two mountain bikes stolen from our locked shed back in the early 90s. A number of other XC racers we knew also had break-ins around that time. Speculation was that someone was using results and a phone book to locate where bikes might be. I got one bike back two weeks later. I was riding home from work on the replacement (we were insured) and I saw a guy on my bike. He was close to a foot taller than me so it looked obvious. I confronted him and he said he’d “bought from that (racial slur) in a van down there”. I turned to look, and he had fled dropping the bike. Highly unusual and lucky I suppose.

Some thefts are quick easy and for support of a drug habit. Others are more thought out. It would seem appropriate that there would be different sentences for those caught and tried. Too many people look at the criminal justice system and a revenge. Some want eye for and eye justice which I think may be similar to certain religious laws that those same people will say are wrong. Some criminals I think should be locked up and off the streets such as certain gang members. 

Like many have stated, drug addiction is often fuelled by a mental health issue. That I believe requires a much different approach.

Reply

craw
+1 Andy Eunson
Cr4w  - March 19, 2021, 3:29 p.m.

Apparently people using Strava to locate high end road bikes to steal is still an effective strategy. Note to self: always get a few blocks away from home before turning on Strava.

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AJ_Barlas
+2 mrbrett Niels
AJ Barlas  - March 19, 2021, 6:43 p.m.

Are ‘Privacy Zones’ in Strava no longer?

Reply

mrbrett
+1 AJ Barlas
mrbrett  - March 19, 2021, 7:37 p.m.

Yeah! Turn on your privacy zone, and make sure flybys is off (I think it is by default now).

Reply

niels@nsmb.com
+1 AJ Barlas
Niels  - March 20, 2021, 7:50 a.m.

Best to set multiple different privacy zones around your home. With a single one on your address it's still not too difficult to figure out from a couple of rides.

Reply

denomerdano
+1 Caleb Del Begio
Deniz Merdano  - March 19, 2021, 3:32 p.m.

I once recovered my stolen Flatland bike not too far from where Mole found his. Guy sitting on the sidewalk on a sunny summer's day withy bike next to him... 

I did a.handbrake stop in the middle of Hastings and jumped out of the car with my steeringwheel lock.. towered over the guy inches from his face with the club in hand yelling " I am ready to die for this bike. Are you???"

He must have thought I was an absolute nut job as he apologetically gave my bike back...

I was happy to have my irreplaceable one off ride. 

I was poorer then. Starving student really, I am even surprised that my hand brake worked on the MG Roadster. 

But nothing could prepare me for the violating aspects of the same bike getting stolen off the 3rd story balcony of my Kitsilano apartment few months later.. I was sound a sleep in the same room tired from packing my belongings for my move next day!!! 

That was the last time I rode a Flatland bike...

The theft had changed my life...

Reply

syncro
+3 Andy Eunson AJ Barlas Greg Bly
Mark  - March 20, 2021, 12:15 a.m.

I could probably write an essay on this but I'll keep it short as best I can. To start I think grambo getting downvoted so much is a bit harsh and/or lacks some context. While the understanding that a lot of people here are showing for those on the margins of society is great, it misses important aspects of a fairly complex issue (imo). The cops are right that this would probably never see the inside of a courtroom, but allowing the crime of theft to go unpunished or without any interventions not only allows the problem to perpetuate but it contributes to the drug/crime cycle. So while consequences such as jail don't act as a deterrent for the majority of criminal activity, letting people go with no interventions doesn't provide any solutions either.

What AJ Barlas is referring to is called restorative or transformative justice, and it can make a huge difference in helping get people back on the right path in certain circumstances. It can lead to people getting access to services that may otherwise not have access to or take advantage of. Unfortunately the resources are not there to run these programs at the level they are needed. The irony of this is that the total cost to society is less if we spend the money to make these things happen vs not and picking up the tab in the form of policing costs, first responder costs, medical costs, legal system costs, insurance costs, etc . In the end the money for all this is coming out of one pocket, ours, so I think it makes sense to at least spend the money in a manner that significantly reduces the negative effects we have to deal with - like bike theft.

If you're asking what it's going to take to solve societal issues such as poverty, street crime, addiction, homelessness and mental health the answer is you and me taking time to put pressure on our governments that this is something we want to see fixed and that if politicians aren't willing to make it a significant concern then they might be looking for a new job. It also means that we're going to need to be willing to foot the bill for both types of interventions (preventative AND reactionary) till things can get stabilized. Solving the "problem" will require wholesale societal change on the way we view and deal with these issues.

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cdel
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Caleb Del Begio  - March 22, 2021, 12:38 p.m.

Great comment. The current approach is not working. I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle of the typical left vs. right approaches. It probably involves spending more money upfront on treatment programs (getting people out of the DTES and into programs where they aren't surrounded by drug use) and while simultaneously taking away the freedom to engage in endless property crimes.

The documentary "Seattle is Dying" does a great job of exploring these issues.

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GiveitsomeWelly
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Karl Fitzpatrick  - March 20, 2021, 12:19 a.m.

The only time I'll leave my bike on my (standard two pronged rack) out of sight without a lock is if I can back my car (and therefore rack) right up to a solid wall so the bike can't be slid off. 

I'm fortunate not to have had my bike stolen but it seems a lot more common here in Wellington, NZ than it was even three years ago. 

Higher demand for sweet bikes from more riders = demand from sketchy stealer/seller onners.

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heckler
+1 Deniz Merdano
Sven Luebke  - March 20, 2021, 8:22 a.m.

So, about online security and anonymity...

I see a the.Dumpsters meme IG which is hilarious, posts shenanigans and has lots of followers, but follows only a few. 

I also see a the.Real.Dumpsters IG with no posts, few followers but following 1060 locals, including you and mole!

Which one is trying to figure out where you hang with your fancy bike to come steal it?

I just blocked the.real.dumpsters and put on my tinfoil hat.

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tungsten
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Drinky Crow  - March 21, 2021, 3:21 p.m.

Dude prolly got it d/t on the front of a transit bus. So many times I felt like an accessory to a crime but....what'ya gonna' do?

Pretty ballsy, or just plain dumb walking into the Empress like that. Coulda' gone catastrophically sideways. A lot of those people have got absolutely nothing to lose. I've seen savage assaults down there for way less than a few hun in stolen bike parts.

> Solving the "problem" will require wholesale societal change on the way we view and deal with these issues.Solving the "problem" will require wholesale societal change on the way we view and deal with these issues.

Hang the rich.

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Nohype
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Nohype  - March 26, 2021, 12:39 a.m.

Reading these comments is about as frustrating as dealing with the police. Hate me for what I’m about to say but best solution for thief’s is a serious beat down. I speak from experience. My house was broken into and bikes stolen. Did some leg work like above victim and found culprit then called police. Guess what? They did sweet f*ck all. Said they couldn’t enter culprits house with out warrant yet you could see the bikes through basement window. Two true friends and I return a few hours later boot the door in and 2 of the 3 pukes end up in emergency room that evening. Again hate me for my actions and sharing this story but they got what they deserved. They where responsible for multiple home break ins in our area and career thief’s. They moved out by end of that week. Guess what, no ones bbq, lawn mower or houses where violated after they left. No sympathy for thief’s. Like anyone in life I’ve had my ups and downs financially but I didn’t steal from my neighbours to make ends meet. Government funded councillors and rehab for drug addicts is a joke and another waste of our tax dollars. Cops are useless. Courts are useless. A strong neighbour hood that connects to another strong neighbour hood is the way. Friends who watch each other’s backs are priceless and more people who would kick ass when a douchbag steals or picks on a weaker soul is what we need. To end this comment it’s great you got your bike back and respect to you for having the balls to go get it.

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