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Police distribute images of SE Portland bike thieves in action

Posted by on June 25th, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Bike theft suspects at work in Eastmoreland this morning.
(Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

The Portland Police Bureau have distributed images of bike thieves who were active in the Eastmoreland Neighborhood this morning.

Here are the rest of the photos:

According to the PPB, up to two suspects broke into cars and stole three bikes from a nearby home at SE 36th and Henry (map).

“An alert neighborhood resident took pictures of the suspects as they rode the stolen bicycles in the neighborhood,” reads the police statement.

We’ve gotten recent tips about brazen bike thefts in other parts of the city, so let this be another reminder that June and July always see a major uptick in bike theft. Tis the season, so take extra caution: Never leave your bike unlocked β€” even if its in your yard or on your porch.

If you see the guys in these photos, contact PPB Detective Chris Brace via email at chris.brace@portlandoregon.gov or call (503) 823-0541.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you β€” Jonathan

  • Travis June 25, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Definitely incentive to figure out how to best lock my bike up in my garage.

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  • Buzz June 25, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    even if you just lock it to itself inside a locked garage, at least it can’t be ridden if they get in.

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  • Granpa June 25, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    In response PPB will be initiating a stop sign enforcement in Ladds Edition

    Recommended Thumb up 62

    • wsbob June 26, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      Doubt it. Too bad people that roll stop signs, prompting neighbors to have police to to conduct stop sign details, aren’t thinking when they roll the signs, more about important problems such as bike theft prevention that their actions may be taking police resources away from.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • 9watts June 26, 2014 at 9:28 pm

        I should not allow my child to climb trees because my busy body neighbors have a habit of calling child protective services on us. My child should consider that child protective services has better things to attend to and cease this activity. …

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        • davemess June 27, 2014 at 9:19 am

          To play devil’s advocate. That is not a good analogy, as I don’t think your child will fall off that tree and possibly hit a pedestrian walking in a crosswalk.

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          • wsbob June 28, 2014 at 1:07 am

            Thank you Dave, but it’s even simpler than what you’ve countered with. Children aren’t the main problem traffic regulation violators, nor is it their bikes that thieves most likely have a particular interest in. Bad adult behavior is the problem.

            Adult people that don’t like that their disregard of the law, creating a nuisance and safety issues, is having police spend time on enforcement details, shouldn’t be complaining that police aren’t spending enough time solving other important problems.

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      • dr2chase June 28, 2014 at 6:13 pm

        Given the much higher rate of traffic violations committed by drivers, it hardly seems like this would make any difference at all in the police workload — unless enforcement is grossly out of proportion to both social harm and actual infraction rates.

        And heck, given how harmless bicycles are, the demonstrated non-carnage resulting from Idaho stop laws, how much cyclists hate to come to a stop-and-wait when they can see that it is safe to proceed, and if your claim of misallocated resources is anywhere near true, it seems like we should just get rid of the law instead. That would let police concentrate of real problems, make cycling more pleasant, and not cause any social harm.

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  • Spiffy June 25, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Never leave your bike unlocked β€” even if its in your yard or on your porch.

    I never leave my bike unlocked in my locked garage… my hope is that if somebody breaks into the garage they’ll steal my roommate’s unlocked bike that they can ride away instead of my locked one that they’d have to carry…

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  • Spiffy June 25, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I didn’t realize that breaking into cars in a residential neighborhood was still a thing… I can’t think of anything of value that anybody leaves in their cars anymore…

    most stereos in new cars won’t work in another car… nobody has CDs anymore… what’s a common valuable item left in a car?

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    • El Biciclero June 25, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Bikes, apparently…

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      • JV June 25, 2014 at 4:58 pm

        From the release, it sounds like they were two separate incidents by the same vile people : breaking into cars and then stealing bikes from a house.

        But do lock your bikes when on car roof racks as well! Stay ever vigilant.

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    • J June 25, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      My car gets opened and the glove compartment gets rifled through every few months parked on Germantown and Leif Erikson, in the mornings I go out there. They are looking for cell phones and laptops. I stopped locking the car because paying for a new window adds injury to insult. Why, you ask, do they break in? Because collectively, these three “criminals” have an I.Q. of 85- on a good day, with cliff notes.

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    • Bald One June 26, 2014 at 11:57 am

      ID theft: receipts, documents, etc. Spare change. iPhone. Tweakers still find value in some of these things.

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    • davemess June 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      Plus some people still leave backpacks, gym bags, maybe the get lucky and find a laptop bag. People still get stuff stolen out of cars.

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    • q`Tzal June 26, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      Garage door opener thing clipped to visor; break in to an easier target to gain unguarded access to garage & house.

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  • PNP June 25, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I’m suddenly feeling the need to lock all three of my bikes to something solid, even though they’re in the garage and behind so much stuff that they’re not visible from the street. I hope these bikes were recovered.

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    • JT June 26, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      Good Plan. Theft out of a garage is by far the most common way bikes get stolen in Portland.

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      • davemess June 26, 2014 at 12:47 pm

        Do you have any stats to back this up?
        Seems to me the most common is cutting a cable lock, or just riding away with an unlocked bicycle.

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        • JT June 26, 2014 at 4:37 pm

          Got the info from an interview with the Portland PD I read a while back. I’ll see if I can track it down when I get home.

          Random theft from cable lock cutting would, I presume, be in second place. But those seem to be mainly crimes of opportunity. Apparently the “pros” highly prefer ripping off bikes from houses.

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          • davemess June 26, 2014 at 6:22 pm

            Portland has a lot of detached garages, and garages with no doors. Always hearing about a lot of bike stolen from my neighborhood out of backyards, patios, car ports, etc. I guess there is a big distinction for me between a locked garage (esp. on attached) and some’s bike being lifted from a carport or permanently open garage.
            I would also imagine that people who have a bike stolen from a garage (or garage area) are more likely to report to police so they can try to get an insurance claim (even if the bike was not actually in the garage when stolen).
            I’m not attacking, you just having a hard time visualizing a lot of really highly motivated thieves actually breaking into things rather than just snagging stuff that isn’t locked or is just in a backyard.

            Thieves usually tend to go for the low hanging fruit.

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            • davemess June 27, 2014 at 9:20 am

              Sorry for the typos.

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            • Brian June 27, 2014 at 9:53 am

              Locked garages may not hold the lowest of hanging fruit, but they do contain the more expensive bunches of it.

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  • Aixe June 25, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    I saw a guy in that exact same red socks/shorts/hoody outfit steal my friend’s bike out from under my nose in NW Portland. We were sitting at a sidewalk cafe, my friend went in for more coffee, and this guy’s female accomplice walked past me, and grabbed my friend’s bmx that was 6 feet from where I was sitting. I chased her but could not run fast enough in cleats to grab her. Later my friend ran into them and dramatically recovered his bike, but the cops didn’t show up in time to arrest the pair. They were brazen. I hope they catch them.

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    • Pete June 26, 2014 at 10:12 am

      That sucks. One thing I do when I have to leave my road bike in view while grabbing a sandwich or something is to “lock” the front wheel to the frame with my helmet (buckle inside, against the wall bike is leaning against). I also shift to the highest gear in case someone tried to ride it away when using flat pedals, otherwise speedplays and 62cm frame don’t make my road bike the easiest to pedal away.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Scott H June 25, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    All in favor of amending the constitution to exclude repeat bike thieves from the 8th amendment so that they may be placed in stocks and publicly humiliated, then be tattooed on the forehead so that anyone can spot them from a distance.

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  • reader June 25, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    What exactly are the maximum consequences for these thieves should they be caught and convicted?

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Pete June 26, 2014 at 10:14 am

      Whatever it is, it’s likely higher than if they killed a bicyclist while driving…

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      • lyle w. June 30, 2014 at 9:06 am

        Well, it depends if the sun was in their eyes when they were sawing through the u-lock.

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    • Granpa June 26, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      That is a hypothetical question. Once one is arrested, then it can be answered.

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  • mh June 25, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    That makes me feel a whole lot better about storing four bikes in my living room. Old bikes, but half of them are well loved. Keep away!

    Recommended Thumb up 7

  • Jeff June 26, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Part of me hopes a bad batch of meth hits the streets and cleans house.

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  • TOM June 26, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Did Emily Finch’s stolen cargo bike ever get recovered ?

    I wish the “Leah Treat Police response” to stolen bikes was more universal.

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  • Brian June 26, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Those clowns in their bright socks shouldn’t be too hard to spot, I doubt they have more than one pair. Keep the police number in your cell phone contact list. As a community, we need to be less concerned about being wrong and call the police if something seems sketchy. If you have the time, follow the jack@sses.

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  • Joe June 26, 2014 at 9:37 am

    I will never forget the day trying to catch a guy that nabbed my bike, but I had cleats on and he pulled away so fast, ran after him for about a mile before lost site πŸ™ bike is now vintage MB-1 miss ya.. hope they catch these guys!

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  • TOM June 26, 2014 at 11:19 am

    That sucks. One thing I do when I have to leave my road bike in view while grabbing a sandwich or something is to β€œlock” the front wheel to the frame with my helmet (buckle inside, against the wall bike is leaning against). I also shift to the highest gear in case someone tried to ride it away when using flat pedals, otherwise speedplays and 62cm frame don’t make my road bike the easiest to pedal away.
    Recommended 0

    My road bikes roll so well that they don’t want to stop, even when parked. So, in addition to the locks , I have “parking brakes”
    Those heavy Live Strong rubber wrist bands wrapped twice around the bars just below the brake handles. When I park, a loop of the band gets pulled out and set over the lever. Bike WILL NOT move with brakes locked ON.
    Sure, it’s not any type of security, but if someone jumped on and tried to ride ..they’d get nowhere. I have forgotten to release the band at times and surprised myself …NO GO

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    • Pete June 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      Thanks Tom, great idea – I think my RoadID would do this trick.

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      • davemess June 26, 2014 at 6:23 pm

        You must not have the super skinny rubber one that I have. I can’t imagine that being much of a deterrent.

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  • Dave June 26, 2014 at 1:44 pm


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    • CaptainKarma June 26, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      Like my T-shirt says, there’s a special place in hell for bike thieves…

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    • q`Tzal June 26, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      “You know, I hear tell they used to keelhaul [thieves] back in the day. I don’t have a keel to haul you on, so…”

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  • TOM June 26, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks Tom, great idea – I think my RoadID would do this trick.
    Recommended 1

    Try it Pete, works well.

    I AM NOT SOLICITING, and if JM wants to delete this, will understand. Needed more bands for my 5 bikes and didn’t have enough , so went to eBay and ended up with more than I needed. I put the extras (they are new) on CL.

    only posting this to make it easier to visualize what I’m talking about. Any band of this type works equally well. I tried normal rubber bands, but they deteriorate quickly in the weather.


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  • wsbob June 26, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Situation like this one is where some serious, well organized, modern technologically equipped neighborhood watch may be effective.

    Should an “…alert neighborhood resident…” happen to spot some fun and games like this going on, instead of just snapping a few pictures, perhaps something like a tweet alert with photos, swiftly hits the phones of other interested neighbors. Maybe those hard working boys with the bikes would have enjoyed the notified neighbors rolling the welcome wagon out with a plate of cookies and coffee. Or something.

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  • Gumby June 26, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    When I had my bike stolen, I fantasized about setting up a vigilante sting and grabbing the theives and dropping them naked about 10 miles up a country road.

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  • kevin June 27, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I’ve heard savvy bike thieves are looking at publicly posted rides on Strava. A lot of folks list their bikes and show their starting point, which is often their home.

    I don’t know of anyone who has had their bike stolen from this type of targeting, but it sure seems logical.

    I bought a jacket from a guy on Craig’s List a couple of years ago. He had me come to his house and walked me into his detached garage to get it. The guy probably had $30,000 worth of bikes (not counting tools and parts) hanging unlocked on the wall.

    Whenever I buy or sell anything through Craig’s List I insist on meeting at a very public place to do the transaction and don’t provide anything other than my phone number.

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  • was carless June 27, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Why did the guy take pictures and not dial 911? Let the cops sort ’em out. Its not like they’re going to charge you if you’re wrong!

    I just don’t understand…

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  • todd June 27, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    That kid with the hat looks like a known bike thief in our Westmoreland neighborhood. His name is Michael and his parents live a few houses south of me on 20th. I work from home and see him every day with a new bike, leaving them in their fenced in back yard. He’s also left a few bikes he didn’t want or took parts from at the stop sign 20th and claybourne.

    Again, can’t say for sure if it’s him as his face isn’t clear in those pics, but it looks like him.

    Also.. if someone is taking a picture of them, why not yell at them? they’re cowards and would have dropped the bikes and ran.

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    • J_R June 27, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      So, did you inform Detective Brace about your suspicions? I certainly hope so.

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  • Berkeley June 28, 2014 at 1:04 am

    Saw both these guys here in Eastmoreland slowly driving down the street scoping out homes yesterday. Were driving an older bronze Taurus sedan. I wonder if there is a car matching that description outside the Westmoreland house on 20th.

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    • Eric June 30, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      There is not. If it is indeed Michael, he doesn’t live in the house on 20th. His mom (and his dad, if he’s still alive) live there. He was living in a flop house in Sellwood that was in his dad’s name and was recently, finally torn down because of numerous code violations (if I remember correctly). He only visits his parents to verbally berate them loud enough that you can hear him down the street. They give in and give him money and he goes on his merry way. If it is him, I’ll gladly post his mug shot from last summer or the one before where he was arrested for public intoxication and urinating in front of some of the stores on Milwaukee.

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