Vintage Ritchey bicycle recovered

[Officer Jim to the rescue]
Photo: Jack Newlevant

I’m happy to share that yet another bicycle has been recovered due to this site and the vigilance of our bike community. This time the bike was the beloved, vintage Ritchey belonging to Jack Newlevant. He has documented the story well on his personal website. Here’s an excerpt from his story:

“I locked my 1986 (Tom) Ritchey “Outback” and my helmet with a fairly heavy cable to an 8-ft tall signpost in front of a nice restaurant in downtown Portland on Tuesday 8/22/06. The bike, helmet, cable & padlock were all gone an hour later.

On Wednesday I filed a Police Report & sent details to Jonathan Maus for his BikePortland.org Stolen Bike Listings. On Thursday I got a phone message from a fellow named Bryan who said he’d “seen” it on the website and that he’d just spotted some guys with the bike at a west waterfront bench near SW Oak on his way to work.”

For the rest of the story, check out Jack’s website.

The best thing about Jack’s story is that the police not only responded but that they treated the incident with respect and worked hard to resolve the case. Check out the impromptu cop car bike rack photo…

[Jack’s Ritchey in the makeshift Police car bike rack.]
Photo: Jack Newlevant
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felix
15 years ago

“Officer Jim was impressive in his sympathy and desire to help me follow through on prosecution. The DA, after 3 weeks said the case isn’t strong enough to prosecute.”

Without prosecution what deterrent is in place for them not to take more bikes?

Super Terrific
Super Terrific
15 years ago

Glad to see him get his bike back!

SnarkyPants
15 years ago

Great to see the bike returned! Hard to swallow the non-proecution.

Peaches
Peaches
15 years ago

Why would the police waste their time prosecuting a bike thief who has no income? There’s money to be made up the street harassing bike messengers.
I’ve seen this same thief numerous times since this incident riding other stolen bikes.

Gregg
Gregg
15 years ago

It’s nice to see this.

But boy, referring to something from ’86 as vintage sure makes me feel old.

curio
curio
15 years ago

for mountain bikes, anything pre-95 is regarded as “vintage”. sometimes people restrict it within the 80’s only; thumbshifters, rigid forks, lax geometries.

you’re not old … MTB just hasn’t been around for too long.

Joel
Joel
15 years ago

That makes me what…a classic? (Anything over 30 years, right?)

Carl
Carl
15 years ago

Wow. An ’86 Ritchey. That is a hot bike! Do you think that’s what the thief was thinking when he nabbed it (and turned it into a truly “hot” bike)? We often assume that theives are lured only by shiny Cannondales and Bianchis…but an old Ritchey with a rack and fenders? Do they realize what that is? …or was the “fairly hefty cable lock” the attractant?

I hope this bike, and other rare classics like it, will soon acquire some new U-shaped jewelry. The cable necklace, no matter how hefty, is just too decorative and weak for a bike that well built and functional…and hot.

tonyt
tonyt
15 years ago

Amen Carl,

As Jonathan states on his tips page for keeping your bike from getting stolen, using a cable lock is a BAD idea. Really bad. Can’t emphasize that enough. I’ve sold a ton of new bikes to theft victims and they were almost all locked with cables.

Folks, do NOT use a cable lock unless you only “kind of” want to lock your bike. While nothing is theft proof, cables are notoriously easy to foil.

If you’re concerned about that front wheel and don’t want to take it off to put it next to the rear, then use a cable to lasso it and then secure the cable-end, frame, and rear wheel with a U-lock.

Rixtir
Rixtir
15 years ago

That’s the kind of police response I hope will be the standard here in PDX. Nice to see!

From the story, it appears the police were ready to prosecute this case; it was the D.A. who declined to take the case to court. We’d have to ask the D.A. why, but I suspect that there’s no proof that the suspect stole the bike. he’s got a hot bike in his possession, but he can always say he bought it from “some guy.” How does the D.A. prove that he stole it?

Here’s what I would suggest might work. If this guy truly is seen riding bikes that are known to be stolen, he should be reported and busted every single time. At a minimum, it will get the stolen bike back to its rightful owner. And even if the D.A. can’t prove that he stole a bike, if he’s engaged in a pattern and practice of riding stolen bikes, that may be the kind of evidence the D.A. could use to prosecute for bike theft. I think it’s at least worth asking the D.A.s office about.

Donna
Donna
15 years ago

It’s wonderful to read such good news. I’m also glad to have a picture of this guy – I’ve seen him downtown. You’d better believe I’ll be watching what he’s up to when I see him again.

Jack, please assure us that you now own a good U-lock…

Cecil
Cecil
15 years ago

curio said “you’re not old … MTB just hasn’t been around for too long. ”

honey, we were mountain biking in the 60s – we just didn’t call it that and we did it on our Schwinn Breezes (coaster brakes and all)

Vintage-bicycle Mike
14 years ago

That was a nice story, I mean the happy ending. Around here, I believe the police will hardly even bother with a \”stolen bicycle\” case.
Luckily, I have been able to keep my current one for many years – maybe it\’s too ugly to be interesting for those thieves…