Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Stolen bike recovered by shop employees

Posted by on March 21st, 2006 at 7:23 am


Just got word that we’ve recovered yet another stolen bike! Here’s how it went down:

Last Friday, two guys walked into the downtown Bike Gallery store. The employees were suspicious because they seemed to be high and they left a nice, unlocked green Kona parked outside. When the guys left the store one of the employees, Mike Hilbrandt, jumped onto the Stolen Bike Listings and did a quick check. Sure enough he saw the bike listed! (here’s the original listing).

Thinking ahead, another employee followed the bad guys down the street until they stopped at the courthouse. One of them went inside while the other hung out with the bike. The Bike Gallery employee called the cops. The cops showed up and arrested the bad guy on outstanding charges.

We had a bit of trouble tracking down the owner, but she finally went down and positively ID’d the bike. Suffice it to say she was very happy! Here’s what she said:

“Everyone told me I should just give up and get a new bike, but I wouldn’t let the dream die. Thank you so much to everyone at BikePortland.org and to the Bike Gallery downtown. I owe you guys! I made you a little drawing to show my bike’s and my gratitude. I hope you like it.”

Here’s the drawing:

I love happy endings!

[P.S. Thanks to all of the shops and vigilantes concerned citizens who have signed up for the Stolen Bike Digest. The more sign-ups we get the more effective the listings will be.]

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  • Ethan March 21, 2006 at 10:02 am

    that sure put a smile on my face. kudos to all involved.

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  • kara March 21, 2006 at 10:31 am

    AWESOME! ive been bummed out about my recently nabbed bike. . . . .and its SOOOO good to hear about someone being reunited (under a rainbow, no less!) with theirs!

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  • Austin March 21, 2006 at 11:36 am

    Wow! Nice work Bike Gallery!

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  • patrick March 21, 2006 at 11:48 am

    That is the coolest story!!!!

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  • organic brian March 21, 2006 at 4:25 pm

    Huh-WRAY for the power of community.

    This I mentioned before, but… steps to do when your bike is stolen:

    – Report the theft to the local police, and tell them you want the info put on the LEDS and the NCIC.

    – Report the theft at stolenbicycleregistry.com (run by an individual, very popular).

    – Add the info to the “stolen bikes” section of bikeportland.org .



    Here is the best info I found about LEDS:

    Info about NCIC:

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  • Jonathan Maus March 21, 2006 at 5:14 pm

    KATU-TV wants to do a story on this tonight at 11..so if anyone knows Allison please have her get in touch with Shellie at KATU – (503) 313-5573.

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  • Donna Tocci March 22, 2006 at 7:34 am

    Great, great, great! Cyclists are winning over the thieves in Portland! That’s what we love to hear.
    Bravo and congrats to all involved.

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  • bignoseduglyguy March 22, 2006 at 11:54 pm

    Excellent! As a victim of bike theft (a much prized Brompton) before I left the UK for New Zealand, I can only imagine how Allison must feel. My blood boils to think that someone’s out there riding my old Brompton or, more likely, sold it for a pittance to get off their face. All credit for reuniting steed and rider!

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  • Anita March 23, 2006 at 10:32 am

    The funny thing – KATU thought Allison was in junior high… based on her initial report and the pictures! Imagine their suprise when she turned out to be 25! The best part – in the email the reporter sent to her, she asked Allison to have her PARENTS call the station!

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  • Jonathan Maus March 24, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    Just heard that this did run on KATU News at 11. Cool. I didn’t see it…but if anyone did I’d love to hear how it went.

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  • lianagan March 24, 2006 at 7:42 pm

    Commuting to East Portland I see a lot of bike casualties and a plethora of unlikely dudes riding nice bikes, ie: a nice silver Marin Mt. Bike in the Safeway at 122nd..they don’t have locks so they’ll bring it inside. Another casualty leaning against a fence on 162nd and Stark, minus a front wheel, what was once a nice Mt. bike with front suspension, the whole thing having been hastily spray painted silver, not quite covering all the logo markings on the frame. I see this daily, so if you’re looking for your stolen bike, that area is probably a good place to begin. (I am very fortunate in that I have a locked, secure place for my bike at work).

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  • […] The good news is that the listings are working. We’re re-united bikes with their owners just by staying vigilant and keeping our eyes peeled. On that note, I’ve just sent out the first Stolen Bike Digest to 46 subscribers that includes almost all the local bike shops. So the number of eyeballs looking out for stolen bikes is growing. I also think the sheer number of listings and several recent recovery stories have helped put the bike theft issue on the radar screen of more people. One recent story got noticed by KATU-TV and ran on the 11 o’clock news. […]

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  • Matt Picio March 31, 2006 at 12:55 pm

    Let’s not forget the most important part of helping recover stolen bikes: documentation.

    1. Write down the serial number of your bike and all serialized components. Ditto for the make, model and brand names.

    2. Photograph the bike from multiple angles, and if you change the configuration with new equipment, a trailer, fenders, etc. – photograph it again. Photo yourself with the bike to establish ownership.

    3. Keep your receipts. Set up a little folder or envelope and keep ALL your purchase reciepts. This establishes a chain of the bike modifications. Bikes come stock (mostly), but most of us customize them to some degree or other. keeping receipts and photos help establish that it is indeed YOUR bike, and help police, store employees / owners and concerned citizens recognize the bike.

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  • Karl April 15, 2006 at 4:23 pm

    Glad to hear the successfull return of the Kona. As a Portland expat living in the Netherlands, I’ve learned about the Dutch bike culture… and bike theft. Bike theft is a ‘big deal’ isssue here. So far, I’ve not had my bikes stolen (knock on wood). I ride a folder on my work commute, a couple of roadbikes for the Classics and weekend warrior fun on the polders; but when I’m tooling around town it’s on an old ‘oma fiets’ (grandmother bike). It’s old, rusted, built like a tank and probably worth not more than fifty bucks. The seat is ripped, the dynamo is broken and it’s heavy. But whenever it’s in town, theres a U-Lock, a chain lock and the manufacturer issued ‘ring’ lock. At least one lock if not two, are locked to a permanent structure when I park it.

    Two things about bike theft here is that it’s either a theft of convenience. (On more than one occassion I’ve been approached in the early morning hours and offered a bike for five or ten euros (!)) Or it’s organized and they’re after specific items. That’s happened to me: a one week old wheel with cassette was removed overnight from a bike I parked outside my apartment, but they left the rest of the bike.

    One thing I’d like to contribute is that the Dutch bicycle association (fietsersbond) recommends the use of two different types of locks to make your bike more theft resistant.

    On the oma fiets – like most bikes here – there is a ‘ring slot’ or ring lock, that is permanently attached on the inner diamond side of the seat stays and when locked, blocks the rear wheel. This is NOT theft proof, but it is a lock of convenience that adds one more step in detering a would be thief.

    I’ve included the Dutch site http://www.fietsersbond.nl/urlsearchresults.asp?itemnumber=2708 for more info on theft prevention. Sorry it’s all in Dutch, but Babelfish or Google should translate it fairly ok. See “De beste fietssloten” (the best bike locks) and “Hoe zet je een fiets goed op slot?” (how do you best lock your bike?) links in particular. I don’t have time to translate it all, but if there’s a specific question, I can post a short summary.

    Success in theft prevention!

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  • […] The last twenty-nine hours went like this: up at 5am Thursday, nap at 1pm, up at 7pm, down at 2am, up at 5am. I was wide awake at 6am this morning to share in JV’s bike commute to Vancouver. The wonderful JD showed up. He broke his back while riding his bike in November and is finally back on the bike—awesome. Always great to talk with, always positive. Two Mikes came also, including local hero Mike Hilbrandt. This was a really heartening ride I’d like to do again. Going over the I-205 on the bike trail is neato because you’re right in between both lanes of traffic (with concrete barriers and fences on your sides) and it’s super loud. It was supposed to rain but didn’t, so I was overdressed, my little plastic raincoat creating a mini “weather system,” as JD put it. D-ew! […]

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