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Thief grabs bike from woman at MAX stop

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 28th, 2006 at 10:05 am

There was a stolen bike listing that caught my eye the other day.

Apparently a woman was waiting for a MAX train when a thief ripped her beloved steed right out of her hands. The woman's husband emailed these details:

[Liz and bike, pre-theft.]

"She was at the PGE Park MAX stop when a guy ran up behind her, grabbed the bike and took off. Several other people at the stop ran after him, but he got away. She called the police who responded. It happened at 3 in the afternoon when other people were at the same stop waiting for the train."

We've had a brazen bike theft story recently, but this one takes the cake.

If anyone witnessed this incident, please get in touch and I'll direct you to the police officer on the case.

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  • Donna June 28, 2006 at 11:42 am

    I think it is time for someone to explain to the police that for a cyclist - especially one with no car, this is on the same trauma/hardship level as carjacking except that many of us don't have the kind of insurance that would replace the bike.

    As the number of car-free cyclists increase, they have got to come up with something different than what they're doing. They're really kind of encouraging vigalante actions by their inability to act effectively.

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  • Kevin June 28, 2006 at 12:28 pm

    RE: Brazen bike theft at PGE Park
    One possible solution, which might go against Portland's freewheeling culture, would be to require all bicycle's to be registered with the City. Ann Arbor, Michigan, has successfully run the program for decades, and lost/stolen bikes had a high recovery rate. Portland might be different insofar as thiefs might simply hawk the bike outside Portland's city limits. Perhaps mandatory bicycle registration at the state level?

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  • mckenzie June 28, 2006 at 1:12 pm

    Hawaii has a similiar program to the one you mentioned in Ann Arbor. All bikes must be registered and display a white sticker with a registration. Unfortunately, it has dissolved into yet another reason/ excuse for police, both in cars and on bikes, to pull over cyclists, often issuing $50 tickets for 'improperly displayed permits' and other forms of harassment. Until a law is an effective way of helping, not controlling, a situation, it is pointless to bring into action.

    Back on topic, my best wishes to Liz and the recovery of her bike. I can't imagine losing my wheels, let alone having them ripped out of my hands!

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  • jami June 28, 2006 at 3:04 pm

    bike registration=hassle and parking tickets.

    the only advantage of bike registration is that you were once forced to write down your bike's serial number. we can all do that without a court order, methinks.

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  • SKiDmark June 28, 2006 at 5:49 pm

    I thought about my possible responses: my gut reaction is to leave a bike out, and chase down the theif and administer the beatdown of his theivin' life. Then I thought about it and perhaps a more diplomatic route involving a Police *Sting Operation* may be more effective.

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  • bArbaroo June 29, 2006 at 7:07 am

    I've heard of simialr thefts happening...in Oakland CA... and it's horrendous to know that theives are now so brazen in P-town. I see this as affront to all of the dedicated communters and recreational cyclist of this city.

    Also seems that a ciy striving for Platinum status would/should be strindent in reducing ALL types of bike theft and especially these bike-muggings.

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  • Liz herself June 29, 2006 at 1:57 pm

    Thank you all for your kind sympathy. These last few days , I have been going through a bigger grieving process than I realized, not to mention the violation of being robbed in broad daylight. I bought my Bianchi Tangent a week after my father died in 1990, as a special gift to myself. I had been commuting for years on an old Raleigh too small for my size. My Bianchi suited me perfectly and I have ridden it happily for 16 years. I really feel like I lost an old friend, probably sold for 50 bucks for drug money. I will be making every effort to check pawn shops and craigslist. Any help offered will be gratefully accepted.

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  • beth hamon July 3, 2006 at 11:37 pm

    Portland, like many cities across the US, DID have bicycle registration once upon a time. As in so many cities, the cost of registration alone was not nearly enough to cover the costs of administering the program; and eventually the programs were discontinued for lack of funding.

    Bicycles simply do not produce the level of revenue that cars do. No gas is needed, no insurance is required, and bike maintenance costs a fraction of what car upkeep does. Bicycle paths are not subsidized in the same proportions, for the same reasons, and by the same institutions that highways are. For those reasons alone, car theft merits a much sterner punishment than bike theft does. No one calls it "Grand Theft Bicycle", after all.

    Add to that the social barriers to bicycle riding in so many cities -- bicycles as a sign of poverty, the statistically greater distances that lower income people must travel to get to work, etc. -- and the problem becomes much, much bigger than one woman's missing bike.

    I am so sorry that this snatch-and-run theft happened, and I can only imagine what this woman must be going through. Thank goodness bike theft was the guy's only goal here, and that she was not seriously injured. I hope she will be able to get another bike soon.

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  • Liz herself July 20, 2006 at 6:45 pm

    Check out the "Street Beat" column in the In Portland section of the Oregonian for Thursday 7/20. Many thanks to Boaz Herzog and the Oregonian for devoting an entire column to this bike-jacking. By the way, I am back in the saddle (with a much-less-expensive, used but serviceable Bianchi Broadway) and I can't help myself from looking for fathead bike thiefs every time I take the Max...Liz
    P.S. It is funny that people do seem to think that if you commute by bike it must be because you are too poor to own a car. I never noticed that before, but I have gotten that reaction a few times recently since this theft.

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  • Marc November 27, 2006 at 11:41 pm

    Just for people's information: without meaning to minimize Liz's horrible experience (which happened across the street from where I live, dammit), there are other cities, like D.C., where at least at one time it was an ordinary occurence for people to be physically removed from their bicycles. I was riding a mountain bike up a steep hill there in my neighbhorhood when some kids in a schoolyard yelled 'let's get 'em!', ran over to me, and punched me off my bike. I heard similar stories there of punches, mace, etc. I have a feeling the same thing has happened in NYC more than a few times.
    Let's hope that that doesn't spread to here. After moving here a few years ago I asked around if similar things were going on and people hadn't heard of any. Comments?

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  • adam November 28, 2006 at 9:07 am

    kruger, is this crime solved yet.

    if anyone wants to lead a group to beatdown bike thieves, I am down with that.

    cannot wait til they feel my sting.

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  • Jonathan Maus November 28, 2006 at 9:09 am

    Adam,
    Remember, Kruger is in Traffic Division. I doubt he has jurisdiction over this type of crime.

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  • adam November 28, 2006 at 9:45 am

    sorry, jonathan, I get confused about who to talk to in the ppb when I need help. what number should I call when my bike gets stolen?

    I did find some more accurate history, though - fascinating read http://ppbcomplaint.com/deontae/lawsuit.htm

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