Posted by Michael Andersen (Contributor) on July 29th, 2014 at 12:38 pm
— This post was co-written by Michael Andersen and Jonathan Maus
KATU-TV ended their evening newscast on Friday with a pretty touching anecdote about a girl who knows how much her dad’s bikes mean to him.
As soon as six-year-old Roxy Thompson and her father Rob discovered that someone had stolen “about a half dozen custom road bikes” from his garage, she tried to think of things she could do to help.
“The first thing she said when we saw the garage door open was I could have all her money, all her life savings,” Rob Thompson told KATU.
Then Roxy took it on herself to make a sign that said, “Shame on you bike thieves!!! Your mom would be so disappointed!” She made the dot of each exclamation point into a frown-face and added an annotated picture of a broken heart with an arrow pointing to a picture of her dad.
This young lady personifies the widespread disdain of bike thieves in Portland these days, and the vast scope of the problem itself. We’ve been reporting on bike theft for many years and the problem has only increased. Below are some examples of what’s going wrong and how the problem impacts Portland…
“we can think and ‘know’ the bikes are stolen all day long, but proving it is a different story. If we have no grounds to search the bike, or no consent in most cases, it’s tough to take a bike(s) back.”
“The thief pried open the garage door, but only partway. I have a crowbar jammed into the door, so he was only able to open it to knee-height. Once inside, he sawed through one of the structural supports to which my girlfriend’s bikes were U-bolted, and dragged them out. I have a burglar alarm, but he was able to grab the bikes and go within the 15 minutes it took the police to get there. I have lots of power tools, but he only took the bikes.”
“I moved to Portland in June 2012, and almost immediately had my bike stolen. I was fooling around with band names at the same time, with the name ‘Garage Sale’ being the dominating idea in my head. However getting my bike stolen really bummed me out, so I stayed home and watched movies at my new place… one of them being The Bicycle Thief, which is a rad Italian film. I Googled “bike protection bike thief” and “portland bike thieves” and quickly realized how big of a bike theft problem we had in town. I then connected the creative dots and figured that naming my band something so despised could really be a good way to make a memorable name.”
Something needs to be done. Just this week we started kicking around the idea of a “bike theft summit” in Portland. Given how many ways bike theft is impacting our city, it’s time to raise the level of attention to the issue. Maye we should get some advice, or at least a keynote speech, from little Roxy Thompson?
What do you think? What’s the best way to address this problem?