Whaaat . . . ? BIZARRE !
Police in Riverside had an odd bicycle theft situation. A man was objecting to the fact that the police were charging him with bike theft because he reasoned that he had left his bike in place for the one he took.
The thief had stolen a $1,000 Diamondback Performance bike and then left his men's mountain bike in it's place.
The victim saw the crime going down and shouted to the thief, "What are you doing?" The thief replied, "I'm stealing your bike."
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When my wife had her hybrid bike stolen near Union Station (cut ulock), the thief (we assume) left an unlocked much-older hybrid bike in its place. It was strange.
We checked the stolen bike registry, notified CPD, and posted an ad on craigslist for anyone looking for it, and then ended up donating it when no one stepped up to claim it as stolen.
This is not uncommon. A thief, already riding a stolen bike, looks for a nicer bike to steal and since obviously they can only ride one at a time, they leave the first one.
Yes, I'm familiar with ghost riding, but most bicycle thefts are crimes of opportunity.