The Chainlink

Bike Theft Gangs Using 'Sucker Poles' to Steal Bikes Across the City (DNA Info)

Yesterday's article with mentions to Bike Index, Stolen Bike Registry, The Bike Lane and The Chainlink...  

Kudos especially to Kevin C and Howard and others for all their hard work fighting thefts.

Bike Theft Gangs Using 'Sucker Poles' to Steal Bikes Across the City

Paul Biasco

By Paul Biasco on November 11, 2013 8:10am | Updated on November 11, 2013 8:10am

Stolen Bikes
 
Stolen Bikes

LINCOLN PARK — On a sunny Wednesday morning as moms, kids and workers walked along Halsted Street, a bike thief worked in plain sight.

It was as easy as lifting a tow zone sign right out of its base, slipping the U-lock off the metal pole and riding off with the lock still attached to the frame of the bike.

Couldn't have been more than 10 seconds.

"He had the pole in his hand when I saw him, and he had it up in the air," said Kathy McInerney, a 24-year-old Lincoln Park resident. "He threw it back down into the [base], and he just hopped right on [the bike and went] down Lill." Read the rest here.


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Fox32 and now WGN are now all over the "Sucker Pole" story.

Kevin's take: They're a small percentage of overall bike thefts, with unlocked and cable locked bikes still being the majority.

Howard's take: I don't use the term "sucker pole" because it implies that you're OK if a bolt is present (maybe, maybe not) and also because we have a huge bike parking shortage  in this city and often no better choice is available. 

good observations...

h' $550 said:

Fox32 and now WGN are now all over the "Sucker Pole" story.

Kevin's take: They're a small percentage of overall bike thefts, with unlocked and cable locked bikes still being the majority.

Howard's take: I don't use the term "sucker pole" because it implies that you're OK if a bolt is present (maybe, maybe not) and also because we have a huge bike parking shortage  in this city and often no better choice is available. 

Are there really "bike theft gangs?" Is there a connection between the habitual thieves and the established Chicago gangs?

Howard's take: Yes.

Kevin's take: No.

Kelvin Mulcky said:

Are there really "bike theft gangs?" Is there a connection between the habitual thieves and the established Chicago gangs?

I don't use the term "sucker poles" because it implies that you deserved it that your bike got stolen. No one deserves their bike stolen.

h' $550 said:

[...]I don't use the term "sucker pole" because it implies that you're OK if a bolt is present (maybe, maybe not) and also because we have a huge bike parking shortage  in this city and often no better choice is available. 

There are team of bike thieves that ride the loop in dark work vans with no windows. They will pull out the angle grinder and saw away the best locks in minutes. Chicago is the bike theft capital of the US. We need better locks, more police, better locking strategies ect... Enough is enough. Lets stop this.

Ive never understood why some people only lock their frames to objects. At bare minimum grab a wheel with it.

You have said on more than one occasion that Chicago is the bike theft capital of the US. Cite please? 

Team of bike thieves riding the loop in vans with no windows angle grinding locks... Cite please?

A comparatively small percentage of theft reports to the CSBR (<5%) are of bike locks which have been defeated by angle grinders. It certainly doesn't mean that can't be accomplished (and quickly), but our data just doesn't bear that out. The CSBR data indicates that 25% of reported thefts are of unlocked bikes. Another 35% of reported thefts are of bikes locked only with a cable lock. Is this more of a problem with well-equipped, methodical bike thieves or more of a problem with bike owners who fail to take adequate (or even minimal) precautions to keep their property safe?


El Dorado said:

There are team of bike thieves that ride the loop in dark work vans with no windows. They will pull out the angle grinder and saw away the best locks in minutes. Chicago is the bike theft capital of the US. We need better locks, more police, better locking strategies ect... Enough is enough. Lets stop this.

I thought that was what I said. Were you actually intending  to agree with someone here?

Duppie said:

I don't use the term "sucker poles" because it implies that you deserved it that your bike got stolen. No one deserves their bike stolen.

h' $550 said:

[...]I don't use the term "sucker pole" because it implies that you're OK if a bolt is present (maybe, maybe not) and also because we have a huge bike parking shortage  in this city and often no better choice is available. 

Not that simple, but I have no interest in saying any more about it publicly and would rather have let this question go unanswered.
 
Kevin C said:

Howard's take: Yes.

Kevin's take: No.

Kelvin Mulcky said:

Are there really "bike theft gangs?" Is there a connection between the habitual thieves and the established Chicago gangs?

OK, I just went and read this article twice through to try to figure out where there's any mention of gangs.

(yes, I finally figured it out...)

Please give me evidence of this. There are at least 500 bikes parked in the loop every day and I rarely - if ever - here of a u lock being cut. If this was true there would be many locks cut every day, which I know there are not.

I do know of one guy who had a $2,500 bike and that lock got cut on Michigan avenue. Very expensive bikes will be stolen, u lock or not.


El Dorado said:

There are team of bike thieves that ride the loop in dark work vans with no windows. They will pull out the angle grinder and saw away the best locks in minutes. Chicago is the bike theft capital of the US. We need better locks, more police, better locking strategies ect... Enough is enough. Lets stop this.

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