The Chainlink

Anyone ever catch a bike thief in the act of stealing your ride or a friend's? What did you do?

I caught a creep the other night trying to steal my neighbors bike from an open garage after work. I keep all of my rides in the basement. Lit the piece of sh*t up with my flashlight. The punk took off after I got a ball-pein hammer out of my tool box and scared the hell out of him. Should you beat the hell out of the creep or let the police handle it? I had a bike stolen several years ago and the police were too busy to give a sh*t. I went to police auctions for almost six years and never found my ride. This time around if I caught some one stealing my bike, I would make sure they are eating through a straw and pissing in a bag! It seems bikers never get any justice. Chicago is the 3rd worst city in the U.S. for bike theft after New York and L.A. I have read. My bike was locked with two u-locks and both were drilled out. I was only gone for 3 minutes from taking a leak=(.

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Should you beat the hell out of the creep or let the police handle it?

jesus, are you really going to smash some 17 year olds face in with a hammer? fuck!
ugh not the face, thats the money maker, either the knee's or the ankles...

root said:
Should you beat the hell out of the creep or let the police handle it?

jesus, are you really going to smash some 17 year olds face in with a hammer? fuck!
I would like to think I would do the right thing and let the police handle it. Ideally you should hold the thief until they arrive.
Realistically, with the knowledge that the police may never respond however, I don't think things would work out this way. I addition if one had the leverage (read weapon) to hold the thief there, how long do you you think the guy would wait patiently for the cops before forcing your hand, and causing you to use it.
Also the perpetrator would likely get a light sentence and be stealing bikes in a day or two.
Hopefully if I ever do catch a thief in the act they will flee the scene without the bike before I can get to them. If not I will probably for them, not the police.
This also strikes me as a good time to mention the Chicago Stolen Bike Registery.
http://bikechicago.info/stolen.html
If you pony does get jacked, and you report it here, at least we might be able to learn from each others mistakes. Or if no mistake was made on your part, we can track trends as far as locations and methods of theft.
I once caught a guy stealing my front wheel. I had locked up my bike in a hurry and forgot to lock the wheel. When I came back, I passed a guy carrying a bike wheel and thought to myself, "some douchebag is getting their front wheel stolen." When I arrived at my bike I realized that that douchebag was me! I don't know what came over me - I turned around and ran after him. He was still walking away from me on the sidewalk. I got right up next to him and said, "excuse me, I think you have something that belongs to me." He was really startled and said, "oh, uh, here you go." I took the wheel, took a few steps back, yelled to everyone on the street, "that guy just tried to steal my bike wheel!" and walked away.
im not gonna condone any violence that may occur to a bike theif (or any kind of theif) who is caught by the owner.

i wont condemn it either.

semi unrelated story: three youts come to hammond from chicago and decide to hold a man and his lady up at gunpoint in a local bar's parking lot. the man says "lemme get my wallet out of the truck" and instead of getting more money for the theif, he grabs his gun and shoots him in the face. the guy was permitted to carry the weapon, and he was fearing for his life, so the police had no recourse to charge him with anything, and the 2 accomplices who survived were charged with murder in the commision of a felony.

the point im trying to draw here is that word of this story may have made its way to t0 other folks who might be interested in doing something similar as the aforementioned youts.

if i caught someone trying to steal my pony, i would hit them (probably more than once) with something making sure that any visible injuries arent visible in a mugshot, then detain them as best i could while i made a phone call to either my cousin or schoolmate who works for the local constabulary to have the person arrested.

thankfully i havent had to do anything like that.
Funny story, and true!
Guy steals bike out of bike shop, but has hard time riding it. Drunk? Meds? Who knows. Shop owner just happens to walk out of a nearby business when WHAM, guy with stolen bike runs into a parking meter. Shop owner asks the guy 'you alright?' then notices the bike is A) from his shop, B)and still has price tags on it. Clumsy thief is "yeah I'm ok" then shop owner engages him in conversation: "say, did you have a good experience with our sales staff?" LOL needless to say, the guy fessed up and police report made at the scene.
My ol' lady lives on the second story of a coach house with a balcony that overlooks the alley and a bit of the walkway into her place. A friend came over and left her bike (unlocked) yet inside the gate in a darkened area. We were all inside but came out on the balcony for a second and heard keys jingling down below. Looked over, thinking it was a friend but it was a guy taking off with her bike. Yelling ensued and our 1st reaction was to chase him (on foot). I'm almost certain we would have caught up had we grabbed our bikes.

Ran through the alleys, found her helmet but that's it.

Best part is, the girl whose bike got jacked was riding another down Milwaukee and saw a girl riding her stolen bike. Needless to say, she recovered it.
Kate said:
Best part is, the girl whose bike got jacked was riding another down Milwaukee and saw a girl riding her stolen bike. Needless to say, she recovered it.

How did she manage that? Was there identifying information stashed in the bike? If someone accosted me on the street and said I was riding their stolen bike, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't hand it over. Unless I had gotten it for cheap on the street, I suppose.

Reading this thread, I've been wondering what I would do if I saw someone stealing a stranger's bike. Has this ever happened to anyone?
i agree it's not right to beat the crap out of someone for trying to steal your bike, but as indicated in another thread (the one about bike-car accidents), the police take their sweet stop by dunkin' donuts first time showing up (if at all), unless you tell them someone is injured.

also, if its a fixie, i think beating up the thief is justified, since when you are a fixie rider, you are ONE with the bike, meaning that the person trying to steal your bike is literally assaulting you personally, and beating him/her up would be simply self-defense.

sorry, its friday and i'm feeling facetious.

i had my bike stolen once when i was in college(my fault, i left it on the porch unlocked), and for a few months after that, i walked around campus with a u-lock in my bag so i could lock the bike up if i ever saw it. mostly because it would be pretty funny and confusing for the person who ended up buying the bike.

now back to the original topic - i'm not sure what i would do. i'll probably take out my camera (phone) and try to take pictures of the person and also start screaming for help.

there are youtube videos of bike theft demonstrations (cameras set at a distance) in broad daylight at busy intersections and no one stopping or noticing. kinda disturbing.
To h3 and the rest of the Chainlink Tribe,
The bike was a Standard General Lee BMX ride that was stolen while I was in the store using the restroom. It was locked to a bike rack that was bolted to the ground. I locked the front wheel to the bottom tube and the rack. The back wheel was locked to the chain stays and rack. Thought no one in hell could steal my ride. The lock cylinders on both locks were drilled through with a spade bit or some kind of home made hole saw bit. A hole saw is used to install dead-bolts and door knobs. The other rides on the rack were never touched. Both U-locks were the old type tublar Kryptonite kind; the ones you could open with a bic pen! The theft occured in summer of 2004. The place I work at has bits like this for cutting into steel and mason/concrete. Cordless drill on a high setting has no problem going through a u-lock in about a minute or less. I tried it for the hell of it on a lock that was given to me by a friend. She freaked when she saw what I did to the lock. I told her what happened to me and than she thanked me since she got a differnt lock. As for the kid I caught trying to steal my friends bike the other night he was armed with a 10" screwdriver. I figured if he was going to stab me than I was going to have to make sure I give him a beating. If my friend would have caught him, he would have shot him. His house was broken into last year and he has not been quite the same. I watch his place when he leaves town. Hope he learned his lesson and not steel anymore bikes, maybe next time he will steal a bike or something and not be so lucky. The thing I learned from this is, if in doubt about locking your bike, take it with you. Now if I have to use the restroom, the bike comes with me in the stall. I use the handicaped stall, plenty of room in here. As for other places, in group rides, post some one as a guard over the rides, give them a phone just in case. I have had a ride since getting jacked. Thanks for the commets. Jim
It was a crappy SE Lager. Only she had covered it in wood grain contact paper. The girl also admitted to buying it cheap from a guy on the street. My friend felt bad so she took back the SE n' gave the girl an old cruiser of hers.

heather stratton said:
Kate said:
Best part is, the girl whose bike got jacked was riding another down Milwaukee and saw a girl riding her stolen bike. Needless to say, she recovered it.

How did she manage that? Was there identifying information stashed in the bike? If someone accosted me on the street and said I was riding their stolen bike, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't hand it over. Unless I had gotten it for cheap on the street, I suppose.

Reading this thread, I've been wondering what I would do if I saw someone stealing a stranger's bike. Has this ever happened to anyone?

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