The Chainlink

From Amber Crain:

Chicagoans... a few months ago my boyfriend's bike was stolen from outside his downtown office in the loop despite being locked with a kryptonite u-lock. He got a new bike, the strongest u-lock available and a chain lock.

Last week, someone attempted to steal his bike again. Below is some video footage. The thief wore a yellow "official looking" public service coat while using an angle grinder with sparks flying. You see where security began questioning him, at which point he attempted to show a security badge, but then fled.

This is a notice to all Chicago bike riders as well as pedestrians. If you see this, say something!!!! This guy is a professional. Please share this post with your Chicago friends. Even if we can't ID him by sharing the post, we can drive awareness that this scenario isn't official - it's theft.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

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Ha ha!   Including the bike thief?   Do you think that guard would be stupid enough to accept a scrap of paper with the frame number written on it from Mr Yellow Jacket?

C'mon Ernesto...to prove ownership, you've gotta produce a LEGAL DOCUMENT with both your name and the frame number on it.  Like a Bike License from the City of Chicago.  Or a detailed receipt from an LBS. 

We're living in the Wild West here in Chicago when it comes to bicycles.  There's no law!  Possession is 100%; once you have that bike in your hands, it's YOURS.  And no one can prove differently.

One thing you COULD do if you had the foresight.  Would be to etch your NAME on the frame.  Then you could prove the bike was yours if a cop asked.  But in the case above, that STILL wouldn't have helped the guard confirm a theft.  Because chances are, the guard wouldn't voluntarily look for or see your etched name somewhere on the frame.

Hey why don't you go ride your bike, get off the internet, and stop being a troll.

Thanks Yasmeen.  Kinda cute!

And Gage B, I HAVE been riding my bike today.  Decent weather, finally.  Don't think I've looked at ChainLink for a week or more.  My intent today is to EDUCATE, not stir up any arguments as a troll does.  

Serge seems to realize the need for proper bike ownership documentation; the rest of you seem clueless.  Sorry.

Sorry for what? 

Sorry but not really sorry. See trolls^^

The guard probably doesn't ride, so he doesn't know how all this works in the Chicago bicycle underworld. Bike thief probably won't think of that either since he's in a hurry to steal a bike. 

I am not going to be carrying around receipts. Does anyone? 

To prove ownership, I take down the serial number, know what parts are on the bike, etc. I make my bikes unique. If stolen, I wish a fast and speedy death to the thief.

If I am not the one rising these, they're stolen. Precautionary measures is that the bikes are in the bike room at home and double locked outside if i know I am going to be eating out/meeting a friend, I make sure the bike is locked and within my sight.

Pink work commuter bike fixed gear mountain bike, locked in building's garage. All others, in the house. In the dedicated bike room. 

Attachments:

Did you read this part?

"Last week, someone attempted to steal his bike again. Below is some video footage. The thief wore a yellow "official looking" public service coat while using an angle grinder with sparks flying. You see where security began questioning him, at which point he attempted to show a security badge, but then fled."

Well Mr Yellow Jacket didn't need to flee; what could the guard do?  My little play-acted scenario I wrote above was hypothetical.  And the thief could have claimed ownership, continued with his grinder until the bike was freed, get on and ride away.  The guard had no basis to stop him.  Maybe another two minutes' work?

The point I'm trying to make is, without a Chicago Bike License system, there is very little that can prove bicycle ownership.  I know the concept is unpopular on ChainLink.  But there ARE some positive aspects to mandatory bike licensing.  Sorry. 

And BTW Ernesto, you have some fine-looking wheels there.  Where do you live?

Thanks.

in Chicago. 

That scenario is possible, although it would take an exceptionally brazen thief to pull it off.  The idea of bike IDs or licenses isn't bad, if they were voluntary and minimal in price.  One question is, how would you license bikes for which there is no receipt or proof of purchase, like mine?  None of them are stolen, but I've never bothered asking for receipts on inexpensive (but not suspicious) used bikes.  I keep pictures of my bikes on my phone that would show up in Android as having been taken years ago.  I think that would at least help.

Hi Jim!  I'm usually impressed with your posts.  And this one is no exception.  But brazen thief?  Thieves are 'by definition' brazen and bold.   Have you seen the security CCTV clips on the evening news this week of the thieves breaking into all the Chicago LBSs and yanking $10 000 bikes off the ceiling and making off with them?  How much more brazen can you be, to commit the same crime time and time again?

Bike thieves with angle grinders know that there is no way they can be stopped, even if confronted by security guards or cops.  Because these security people have NO WAY to dispute their stories of ownership!

You're not alone; NO ONE asks for or carries receipts for the bikes they ride.  And even if they did, those receipts wouldn't show the FRAME NUMBER along with YOUR NAME.    Pictures of similar bikes don't cut it.  Security people cannot tell one bike from another.

How would the City license bikes?   Only by possession....if you're riding the bike, then you own it.  And can license it.  I'm sure stolen bikes would be licensed along with legally-purchased bikes.  But a data base of thousands of licensed frame numbers would form along with names and addresses, against which stolen bike reports could be matched.  And your 'brazen' bike thieves would be eventually be brought to justice.

At least that's the way I see it. 

Hi Yasmeen!  I AM truly sorry...to be posting different points of view.  This is Chicago...and THIS IS OUR MOMENT!

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