BikePortland.org

Bike thief wants job, gets arrested instead

I can’t get enough of stolen bike recovery stories. This one, involving a bike recently listed here, is one of the best I’ve ever heard.

On Monday a reader named “jeffcycles” got his beloved Eddy Merckx stolen from the PSU campus. He quickly spread the word and told everyone he knew to keep an eye out for it.

A few days later the thief walked into a local restaurant with the bike in tow, wanting to apply for a job. The hostess at the restaurant was a cyclist and could tell that something was fishy with the bike. She could tell it didn’t quite fit with the guy so she asked him a few questions about it. Not satisfied with his responses she got on the phone and called her friend, who happens to be a bike shop mechanic and member of the PSU Cycling Club.

As luck would have it, jeffcycles had already told this exact same mechanic about his bike being stolen. Sure enough, the mechanic was able to confirm with the hostess that the bike in her restaurant was indeed the same bike jeffcycles had just told him about.

Playing it cool, the hostess let the thief continue with the application process. She must have held back a smile as she watched the thief write out a personal check to pay for his background check.

After leaving behind a personal check and a completely filled out application, the thief went about his day. The hostess called the cops and they found the bike locked up on the thief’s porch. The thief was arrested for possession of stolen property and jeffcycles has his beloved Merckx back!

This story speaks to the power of community awareness. It’s easy: the more we keep an eye out for stolen bikes, the more of them we’ll recover. Check out this recent post for a few more recovery stories.

So far this month I’ve had 20 bikes listed and two of them have been recovered. I’m working on expanding my Stolen Bike Listings. One of the exciting features will be a weekly email digest of stolen bikes that will be automatically sent to every shop in town. This printer-friendly email will then be posted on shop bulletin boards and in service areas so employees can keep an eye out. Stay tuned for developments…

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