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Cops search for PDOT bike thief

Posted by on June 13th, 2007 at 5:46 pm

Detectives from the Central Precinct are looking for a brazen bike thief. The man below was caught on security cameras in front of the City of Portland Building wielding a set of bolt cutters in hopes of stealing a bike. When the security guard showed up, he made a hasty retreat.

Emailing: pdotbikethief
(Photo: PPB/PDOT)

To help track down this bike thief, the cops have put together a flier that is being circulated to city employees. Here’s the (somewhat humorous) text:

“Here’s a little bit about me: I am the gentleman wearing the Dallas Cowboys cap making a hasty retreat from outside the Portland Building on May 29th. The bike you see on the right was almost mine – I pulled some bolt cutters out of my backpack and nearly had the lock cut off when the security guard at the top of the picture intervened. Luckily for me, the victim was not located and I didn’t cause any damage, so no probable cause exists for my arrest. But Central Precinct Detectives and security for the Portland Building would like to know who I am. Also, should you see me on a bike I’ll probably come up with a fascinating story about how I acquired it. Should you find me, please contact any Central Precinct Detective. I look forward to meeting you.”

Bike thefts are definitely on the rise this summer (my listings are broken at the moment). Be wary out there.

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  • Todd B June 13, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    This is one Portland building at which I always worry about parking at…a long history of bike theft and parts theft.

    Perhaps it is time for safe and secure bike parking for both staff AND vistors?!

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  • matchu June 13, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    -edited my desktop image to include this image.

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  • Kristen June 14, 2007 at 9:13 am

    Ha! Who says Portland cops don\’t have a sense of humor? I love it! Hopefully, this flyer will cause this guy to get caught! :)

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  • Prettybikelover June 14, 2007 at 9:18 am

    I work in this building, and lock up my bike usually in the extensive underground bike parking section of the Portland building.

    The underground area requiring your city swipecard to access seems relatively safe, although I have co-workers who\’ve had lights and other accessories swiped from their bikes even in this Fort Knox section of the building. Locking my bike outside the Portland Building (in the area shown in the photograph) requires two u-locks, and the removal of everything, and I mean **everything** from your bike.

    I once had a bike thief that tried to steal my rear-bike rack in the non-swipecard section of the Portland Building\’s underground bike parking section. He or she got halfway through stealing it, then was probably disturbed by somebody, and fled. I was left with a bike rack hanging half off my bike, and no-way to get my panniers and their heavy belongings home.

    The Portland Building is a very bike-friendly place. It encourages its staff to bike, and has financial incentives for those that do. It has loads of bike parking. On the whole, it\’s an awesome place to park your \”vehicle\”. But bike security is an issue, just like anywhere downtown. I\’m glad the security guard was keeping an eye out. If you see them, thank them!

    Tighten everything down! Remove everything that\’s removable! And don\’t ever, ever use cable locks. Ever!

    The end.

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  • N.I.K. June 14, 2007 at 9:37 am

    Not to stray too far off-topic, but considering that cable locks are pretty well useless, why are they even manufactured/sold anymore? I\’d almost chalk it up to the fast food effect, except that there\’s obviously a lot of demand for crappy-but-cheap hamburgers while there\’s (probably) quite a bit less for crappy-but-cheap bike locking solutions, not to mention a decided lack of repeat business, higher production costs, etc.

    Why?

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  • Dave June 14, 2007 at 10:13 am

    Cousin of mine just got a new bike with a new cable lock. I asked why she didn\’t get a U-lock, and she said its too hard to carry, since she can\’t just wrap it around the seatpost. Most people don\’t really think they\’re actually ever going to get their bike swiped, and they\’ll go for perceived convenience over abstract-to-them security every time. Ask an IT person about password policies sometime…

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  • N.I.K. June 14, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    I don\’t have to ask about passwords, I\’ve done IT and I\’m still involved in a lot of IT-related activities and I\’ve seen it all before. :) I guess the bottom line is that with anything related to security or safety, you can throw best practices and demonstrate techniques and the whole nine and people will favor supposed convenience over a few more seconds of time, a little more thought, a bit more cash, or a scant few hairs worth more effort.

    Sure, it\’s easy to pretend that it won\’t happen to you and take the easy/cheap route. In the long term, though you wind up suffering: so-and-so gets info on your bank account and you wind up in I.D. theft hell, so-and-so gets your network share password for work and you get locked out until IT can get to you (tossing your whole work day down the toilet), or, in this case, your bike gets stolen and your lock\’s damaged, resulting in you having to pony up TriMet fare, get a new bike and a new lock, and (hopefully) you learning a lesson.

    But just think: ten more seconds to lock up more carefully, a couple extra pounds of weight in your bag (or on your frame: brackets look lame but *you* don\’t have to shoulder the weight!), $40-$50 more for a good u-lock than the $10 you threw away on your cable, and you most likely won\’t have to worry about it. That\’s a bit of an investment for many of us, sure, but it pays off in the end: you get to keep your bike, spend less on transit, and avoid having to re-buy the same objects all over again.

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  • J.V. Morton February 13, 2008 at 6:21 am

    So, has that guy been caught yet? Or are the Portland police as concerned(not) with bike theft as the ones here in Wichita? I work in a local bike shop and I think we recover more stolen bikes than the police…

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