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Suspect arrested in Pearl bike thefts

Posted by on March 26th, 2009 at 11:03 am

Jason Charles Bush
(Photo: Portland Police)

We recently reported on a high-end bike theft from a Pearl District condo.

This theft occurred during a period in which there seem to have been an unusual number of break-ins to bike storage areas in the Pearl.

Police now have a suspect in the thefts. According to KGW, 28 year old Jason Charles Bush has been arrested on burglary charges. Bush is a suspect in three of the eleven reported thefts as well as another break-in.

Story continues below


We’ll post photos soon and update you as we learn more.

For now, you can check out a photo of the suspect as well as the security camera video of one of the thefts on the KGW story page.

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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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Brad Ross March 26, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Get a noose.

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  • Mike March 26, 2009 at 11:23 am

    I’m glad I ride a univega.

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  • Jessica Roberts March 26, 2009 at 11:30 am

    I read in the paper that property crime is likely to fall off of prosecution agendas in response to the economy – cuts in police officers, DAs, judges, jail, etc. So, I wonder if anything will happen to this guy?

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  • velo March 26, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Can we lock him to a bike staple? Please, please, please!

    Actually, I want him tried, convicted and jailed. Glad to see a suspect in this.

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  • peejay March 26, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Too bad about property crime being even less of a priority – as if that’s even possible – to prosecutors. I am hearing some smart talk about eliminating a lot of the mandatory sentencing laws for a lot of drug possession crimes, so hopefully, we can empty our prisons of victimless crime cases, and use some more resources on property crime.

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  • tab March 26, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Rest assured, reactionary bike zealots: the suspect will certainly face a prison sentence, especially if any of the offenses were committed after Jan. 1, 2009. So, don’t worry, he’ll simply go to prison and learn all sorts of new tricks! Job well done.

    I don’t condone theft of anyone’s stuff, particularly bikes, but its also hard to shed any big tears for richy-rich getting their overpriced carbon enhanced status symbol stolen. 25K worth of bikes!!

    Strange, I have never read any post or comment on this blog about how the police should be thrown in prison when they seize a homeless person’s bike in a street sweep and then “dispose” of it because it wasn’t properly claimed.

    The class cloud is chokingly thick.

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  • bahueh March 26, 2009 at 11:56 am

    yes, tab, the class cloud does exist…mostly in your post…

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  • Johnny March 26, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    I like this comment in the story:
    “This is a biking town and people put a lot of time and money into their bicycles. They hold them personal to them really,” added Detective Joe Luiz.

    Clearly Joe gets it, right on Joe!

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  • Anonymous March 26, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Wow, a noose, seriously?

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  • old&slow March 26, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    tab, I think it the class cloud coming from you that is choking me. The “richy-rich” etc. What business is it of yours what people want to spend their money on and why does the price of the bikes bother you? The thief is an a-hole who I hope does some real time, I don’t care what the cost of the bikes was.

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  • Mark March 26, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    No special vengeance or retribution required. I’ve had bicycles stolen and I would have liked to have seen those responsible pay for their crimes. It doesn’t matter whether the bikes are worth $50 or $5,000.
    As for police action, I appreciate their work on theft like this. Of course, it is no coincidence that they are focusing on thefts in areas like the Pearl. Overall, I’d rather see public safety devoted to enforcing traffic laws so that I live in less fear of dying at the hands of uninformed and complacent drivers. (And, I am a driver, too, by the way.)

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  • Mike March 26, 2009 at 1:13 pm


    Your post was so insightful.

    Strange, but I never read an article on this blog regarding police seizing and disposing of a homeless person’s bike.

    I did not realize that I am considered “richy-rich” because I choose to buy bikes instead of cars.

    Just out of curiosity, what must one’s net worth be in order to be considered “richy-rich”? Anything above yours?

    Someone get me a tissue, I feel so shamed…

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  • Mike March 26, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Holy crap… That guy is 28?

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  • Coldswim March 26, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Great, all I needed was more fodder to contribute to my adversion to anyone with the last name of Bush. Glad they caught him though.

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  • GLV March 26, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    I guess now those capitalist dogs will pay for their crimes, eh comrades?

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  • mac March 26, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    @ Mike #8 “Strange, but I never read an article on this blog regarding police seizing and disposing of a homeless person’s bike”
    It happens on a regular basis and is not reported. Why is that?

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  • Hart March 26, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Maybe this guy was stealing bikes from the rich to give them to the homeless who had their bikes “disposed of” by the cops.

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  • bh March 26, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Er, this guys looks a little older than 28 …

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  • chuck March 26, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    #18: Meth’s a hell of a drug.

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  • E March 26, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Do we know if any of the bikes were recovered? Catching crooks is great but I bet the victims would rather get their stuff back.

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  • Mike March 26, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Obviously Ms. Blue is one of the rich conspirators ignoring the plight of the poor. And the ultra-rich Mr. Maus (known globally for his owning of the most powerful bike related blog(at least in all of PDX)) is the mastermind, pulling the strings.
    It’s this conservative blog, it really should be more openminded and not just focused on rich bike riders..

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  • matt picio March 26, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    tab (#6) – that would be because most of us aren’t aware when it happens. I can think of at least 5 people who would post something to the effect that a police officer should lose their job / go to jail for seizing and disposing of a homeless person’s bike.

    I would likely be one of them. For one, it encourages more bike crime. Second, and most importantly, it deprives someone who can’t fight back of their only means of transportation other than foot.

    This town desperately needs police reform – in a way that doesn’t punish the good cops, who I still believe are the majority. I respect the difficulty of their job, but the police bureau and police in general now have too much power in this country with too little independent control.

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  • mac March 26, 2009 at 3:31 pm


    Way to miss the point. Feeling defensive?

    I just find it interesting that there has been very little coverage of cycling by the lower classes on the blog. Heck even the print media have had more substantive reporting… I recognize that it is Maus’s choice. I also recognize that it’s one place (in my view) for improvement.

    Simple as that.

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  • KWW March 26, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I for one am delighted that this cretin was apprehended. The temerity! Stealing expensive bikes, instead of working class bicycles!

    I will rest easy this evening in my gran brut bakfiets limousine, while my chauffeur pedals me to my particle board McMansion in the airy estates of Hillsboro town…

    the glory of bicycling has been restored!

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  • Werner March 26, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Of course he stole high-end bikes. There is no money for meth in Univegas or Magna bikes.

    The severity of the charges goes up with the value of the property. Consequently, so does the attention the popo give to these crimes. $100 bike gets $100 of attention. $25k in property value gets a detective assigned I am betting.

    Frankly, if I had a full-carbon bike, I would boot my wife out of bed to sleep with the bike, not leave it (the bike) in a bike parking location.

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  • Rixtir March 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    A bit off topic perhaps, but a Magna is not in any way even remotely in the same class as a Univega.

    Just sayin’, like.

    Oh, the class cloud’s choking thickness continues er, choking…

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  • Brad Ross March 26, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    If you steal a Huffy, you’re actually doing the owner a favor if you think about it.

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  • pedalstrikeforceagentdown March 26, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    There might be money in stealing a team 7-Eleven Huffy badged Serotta.

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  • Rixtir March 26, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Unless it’s one of the Serotta-built Huffy’s….

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  • Rixtir March 26, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Ah, beat me to it….

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  • Pete March 26, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    mac, interesting point, but what do you suggest? I’m curious?

    In my experience on the roads I’ve seen all “classes” of riders, and I personally believe it’s pretty easy to stereotype cyclists into various groups (classes?), whether they’re roadies in spandex, the ubiquitous fixie hipster label, weekend warriors (I see them driving their bikes round on SUVs in the Gorge), the graying professoresque men and women on flat-bar commuters with laptop panniers and grocery-getters, or the unkempt middle-aged guys I see riding beater bikes on sidewalks (too many DUIs?).

    See, stereotyping is easy and sometimes has foundation. Just look how many people assume this guy’s a meth addict! (I’d personally be willing to bet on those odds).

    But what I don’t understand is how Jonathan’s reporting of a bike-related story in mainstream media – which probably got there because of its patternistic nature and associated video footage and not primarily because the Pearl District was the target – can provoke a class argument?

    tab, I suspect the people on this site read it out of passion for cycling, and would shed a tear for anyone going through the loss of a bike near and dear to each of us, whether it’s an old beater that fits just right, a chro-mo tourer that we’ve seen the country/world with, or a carbon/ti racing machine providing adrenaline/endorphin rushes. I’ve seen stories of people on this site stepping in to replace/repair bikes for people of all ilks in times of trouble, so I think it’s insulting to label our passion as reactionary zealotry. What would you expect from a bike blog?

    We are ALL cyclists… group hug anyone? 😉

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  • pedalstrikeforceagentdown March 26, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Cheers, though.

    No shame in second. It’s still podium.

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  • Pete March 26, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Oh and Mike, LMFAO… 🙂

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  • Phr3dly March 26, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Did I miss something? This guy’s a suspect. It’s a little early to be talking about how to punish him.

    He may not have done anything wrong.

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  • Hart March 26, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Fritz Lang’s ‘M’ springs to mind.

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  • JimLee March 26, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Spent a month on grand jury for property crimes recently. No bike cases. Tweakers always steal Hondas. We nailed ’em good!

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  • Matthew Denton March 26, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    I wonder if you could build a set of stocks that would fit into a staple rack. It seems like a perfect punishment for bike thieves, especially if they stole from a public rack: Look them to rack.

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  • velo March 26, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    OK, to all of those bitchin’ about us being a bunch of rich high class snobs I think you are nuts.

    I ride nice bikes, I also make about $20K/year. I don’t think that counts as rich. In fact, it really doesn’t count as rich. I’m all for social justice, but don’t purposefully antagonize allies.

    As for the complaint that bikeportland covers bikes and not the homeless there is a reason that it’s “Bike Portland” and not “Homeless Portland”. Please feel free to start the latter.

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  • old&slow March 26, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Brad Ross, what an elitist you are! Huffy’s are the bike of the proletariat! I got mine at a Walmart in 1998 and it runs great. It only weighs 67 lbs. and who needs those gears anyway. It had only broke once and duct tape fixed that.

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  • Donna March 26, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    The guy looks older than 28 most likely due to a meth habit. I see it all the time at work. Too bad the state is going to be cutting all the free treatment slots for indigent drug addicts. I would strongly recommend people check the efficacy of their bike locks and storage security in the coming months. Look into renters’ insurance with a bicycle rider if you don’t already have it. We’re looking at the treatment slots going away June 30th. Time to plan for the security of your personal property.

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  • Rixtir March 26, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks for the heads-up Donna.

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  • jim March 27, 2009 at 1:20 am

    I was suprised, he didn’t look how I imagined him from the surveilance pictures. I am really glad they caught him though. Sad thing is that he will probably be out again soon and up to his old stuff. At least now we know what he looks like and the concierges can keep an eye out for him in the future.

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  • Borgbike March 27, 2009 at 7:37 am

    Putting aside all of the discussion about class and jail-time, the good of this story is that there is some documented bike-theft justice (or at least it is in process). That’s one advantage of those Pearl District security cameras.

    Have the bicycles been recovered? That, more than revenge against the thief, would make for more of a happy ending to this story.

    Personally, I’d like to see more discussion about bike registration and shops networking to help recover bikes and prevent resale of stolen bikes.

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  • Mike B. March 27, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Donna (#40) – Everyone run for your lives, the sh_t’s going to hit the fan. I like your jason charles “Bush”/Fox News scare tactics approach with that post. I might not ever leave the house after June 30th.

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  • ms March 27, 2009 at 10:00 am

    @26 – Rixtir, thanks for speaking up for the Univega riders! I often get compliments on my Univega at bike shops, so I was confused for a sec to be lumped in within the Magnas.

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  • are March 27, 2009 at 10:00 am

    kids, kids, kids. let’s all just calm down and look at the facts:
    1. the guy is at least 28 years old.
    2. in the security tapes, he is wearing a reflective bike jacket and a messenger bag, but no helmet.
    3. these thefts were from condo storage units in the Pearl.
    4. eleven bikes at $25k is $2,272.73 per bike.
    5. but if two of the bikes are $4k each, the remaining nine are $1,888.89 each.
    6. in the KGW interview, Det. Luiz is wearing a Livestrong bracelet.
    7. some guy quoted in the KGW story “can’t help but shake his head at the senseless crime.”
    8. I ride an ancient lugged steel Univega road bike with downtube friction shifters.
    9. if the guy was stealing plasma televisions, the story would still have gotten play in the media, but probably not on this blog.
    10. if someone stole my bike, it probably would get no play in the media at all, including on this blog.
    11. there might be a story here about a guy stealing bikes to feed a meth habit, but there might not.
    12. on the other hand, the guy was probably not stealing the bikes for his own use.
    13. if you don’t treat meth addicts, sometimes they will steal stuff.
    14. the deeper you go into the question of treating meth addicts at public expense, the farther away you get from a story about someone stealing “high end” bikes from an “upscale” condo.
    15. named must your fear be before banish it you can.

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  • KWW March 27, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    That dude has a long way to go before he equals the accomplishments of Igor in Canada:

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  • businessgypsy March 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Reading this from south Florida. Do you fine folks in PDX have the foggiest idea of how completely whacked this class warfare insanity sounds outside the rare air of the Pacific Northwest? Man, you ALL have it cushy compared to the rest of the USA. Like my daddy used to say, “stop whinin’, or I’ll give you something to whine about!” Celebrate a possible break in solving bike thefts and stop moaning because someone may have a bigger rat to eat than someone else. Are you really surprised that a thief selects the most expensive target he can find? If someone doing well in life makes you uneasy, it ain’t them that has a problem. Meanwhile, I’m hitting the beach at low tide in my beautifully pre-rusted Goodwill special to give thanks for another day on the planet. You could do worse than counting your own blessings instead of cursing the fortunes of others. Ride on!

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  • Donna March 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Mike B. – that was not a scare tactic. That is simply fact. Unless the legislature pulls a rabbit out of their hat, free drug treatment for the indigent is going away June 30. I’d say at least 90% of the slots my employer gets from the county are filled with clients whose drug of choice is meth. Quite a few of them are former (or at least presently inactive) bike thieves. When the slots go away, property crimes will increase. Bike theft is a popular property crime among some of the meth-addicted in this city. If Portland is already ranked high for bike thefts among US cities, it will only get worse with free drug treatment becoming unavailable.

    Knowing this, I have evaluated my own bike locking practices and have been very mindful of not letting them slide. I’ve also been researching renters’ insurance policies that have good coverage for bike theft. Ideally, I’d like to find one that will cover theft outside of my apartment and would cover other members of the household besides myself. You can sometimes get those policy additions if you have homeowners’ or auto insurance.

    Things are only scary if you don’t prepare for them.

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  • Pete March 28, 2009 at 2:24 am

    Borgbike (#43): “Personally, I’d like to see more discussion about bike registration and shops networking to help recover bikes and prevent resale of stolen bikes.”

    I’ve always thought it’d be cool to have a web site where people could store pics of their bike and associated data (year, make, model, size, serial number), but never had the time or ambition to put it together. I suggested it as a value-add to finetoothcog once.

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  • revphil March 28, 2009 at 5:39 am

    was this the “duff # 5” fence?

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  • Patrick March 28, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Unfortunately I’ve been working out of town and am getting wind of this news way late. Find it sort of interesting the video KGW is showing is from the orginal story over a month ago.

    I’m frustrated I was not able to attend the hearing for this dirt bag last Thursday since I was out of town.

    Find it interesting that this thread always seems to turn into a discussion about the “richy rich” and people start dissing on those who live in the Pearl District.

    Now that the guys name is out there, maybe someone will roll on him. Someone, somewhere out there knows where my bikes are. Still worth a grand each if found.

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  • bhance March 29, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Re: “Personally, I’d like to see more discussion about bike registration and shops networking to help recover bikes and prevent resale of stolen bikes.”

    This has come up from time to time on the work I do w/ the SBR (see the link) mainly re: developing a system where shops can hand out a registration card when they make a sale, and then typing that back into a customer relationship for the shops (so they can do things like offer one year tune-ups over email and so on.)

    Some people get a little scared/annoyed about the whole privacy/data sharing/marketing aspects, but an opt-in model would have a lot of potential.

    But the vast majority of stolen bikes don’t wind up in shops – they end up getting resold through individuals or parted out and stuck on criagslist or ebay. So shops would be a great place to grab people for registration, but their recovery potential is probably limited.

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  • are March 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    here seconding the suggestion made earlier to schedule your bikes by serial number on your homeowner’s/renter’s policy, at replacement cost (not at depreciated present value). this can be done at not much cost by people like myself who have no ambition to keep a $4k bike in a storage locker at a condo in the Pearl.

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  • agreeablecontrarian March 30, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    I’ve had my bike stolen and I hate thieves, especially bike thieves. I hope this is the guy and I hope he sits in jail for a few months, at least. It’s doubtful that a thieving meth addict is ever going to turn himself around, and likely that he’ll be out stealing bikes again. But you never know. The system is imperfect — A few months might help him or might harden him, but it’s a few months he won’t be stealing bikes.

    I speak from the experience of having been caught thieving (as a young man), and having spent more than a few days in jail. The uncomfortable enforced accommodations changed my attitude.

    A smart thief – which this guy is, as thieves go – will always steal the stuff he can sell for the best price. Some of us who would be screwed without a bike, because we’d have to scrounge for busfare or for a crappy substitute bike, are gladdened that it was rich folks (and let’s not pretend someone living in a Pearl condo that features bike security lockers is not rich) who were ripped off in this case. The rich should be made to feel, from time to time, the same kind of pain the poor feel regularly, namely the pain of being shat on through no fault of one’s own.

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  • Ira March 30, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I am seriously disappointed with the Class crap in these posts.

    I had a few bikes snatched too last month.

    I do make good money and can afford nice bikes. I guess screw me for getting a few hundred grand in student loans and waiting nearly 20 years for the investment to start paying off.

    This guy stole peoples rides. I know two of the bikes totaled 13 grand. which means the sum total of the next 9 bikes were just a hair over 1k each.

    I hope this dude rots in prison if convicted and I hope you **** thinking sticking it to people with a little coin and nice rides is funny or some form of poetic justice get yours too.

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  • agreeablecontrarian March 30, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    I won’t make a travesty out of this bike blog by hammering the point that some people just have too much money to get it, because some people who have too much money do get it.

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  • old&slow March 30, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    agreeablecontrarian, there are people who live in the Pearl that are not rich and I don’t see that where you live has anything to do with getting things that you own stolen! Screw you!

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  • old&slow March 30, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    agreeablecontrarian, the more I thought about your post the more disagreeable it became. Post your address, I am sure there is somebody with a lot less than you have who would like to come to your place and take your “stuff”. Everybody is “rich” to somebody and I think you deserve to have your place broken into.

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  • agreeablecontrarian March 30, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    old&slow You’re right, I should be a man — whatever the hell that is — and stand behind my flippant posts. Tell you what, let’s both post our names and addresses and see who gets ripped off first. If you post yours, I’ll post mine.

    In case you’re actually thinking of taking me up on this, I’m kidding, okay?

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  • old&slow March 30, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    I didn’t say “be a man”, I said you were being as a-hole by relishing in someones misfortune. I know one of the people ripped off here and he is not “rich”, his bikes were the most valuable thing he owned and you were being “flip”. Be careful on the class envy thing.

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  • old&slow March 30, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    I didn’t say “be a man”, I said you were being an a-hole by relishing in someones misfortune. I know one of the people ripped off here and he is not “rich”, his bikes were the most valuable thing he owned and you were being “flip”. Be careful on the class envy thing.

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  • Ira March 30, 2009 at 9:42 pm


    Define too much money?
    Whats the measuring stick here?

    I guess you think there is something rightous about being broke and or poor?

    I guess some kid in Africa cant each so we all need to ride Huffys?

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