effort to find this bike.
(Photo: Len Rubin)
This is turning out to be one of the most interesting stolen bike stories we’ve ever followed here on BikePortland.
Len and Tamara Rubin — owners of the prototype, one-of-kind folding bike that was reported stolen yesterday and which held the key to their future business (not to mention having immense sentimental value) — have been working non-stop to find it. The story has been picked up all over the local media (including a spot on FOX’s ‘Most Wanted’ segment) and Tamara Rubin reports that they’ve received four separate tips on the bike’s whereabouts as a result.
“We would like to organize a bike “posse”… We’ll plan on spreading out along the corridor and staying in touch via cell phones.”
— Tamara Rubin in an email to friends and members of the local media
Tamara is very encouraged by the sightings because they all described the same two suspects in the same locations. “As a result of this,” Tamara wrote in an email late last night, “we would like to organize a bike “posse” and invite you to join us.”
The bike was seen being ridden by what people reported as “transients/homeless people” on the Springwater Corridor Trail in the Johnson Creek area between Sellwood and outer Southeast Portland.
Tamara says they plan to roll out with as many volunteer posse members as they can round up to patrol the Springwater from 3 to 6pm this afternoon. “We’ll plan on spreading out along the corridor and staying in touch via cell phones.”
Pizza, beer, and hopefully a recovery celebration will follow.
A friend of the Rubin family has donated a $200 reward for whoever finds the bike and a website has been created at MissingBike.info with more details. If you want to join the Rubins and help find this valuable bike, contact Tamara at (415) 609-3182.
A quick bit of advice from a story we did back in August: If you see the bike, call 911 and don’t let it out of your sight until the police arrive.
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Please… No violence. I hope the posse just takes the bike back and sends the transients on their way. It’s prob not worth PPD’s time… unless this posse turns into a mob.
I posted in the other thread and I’ll post it here:
Please don’t get the police involved. It’s not worth taking the life of a transient over a stolen bike. Simply bring an “offering” with you, like a cheaper, more useful bike for the transient (possibly a cruiser with a cart or rack) or some money or food.
I would not risk getting the Portland Police involved unless you want the person who stole the bike shot to death, and I hope no one wants that.
Good luck to you all and be sure to let us know if you find the bike! Can’t wait to hear of its safe return. 🙂
Sounds like this bike went down the “bike path to nowhere.” Good luck!
Where do I pick up a torch and pitchfork?
Ah, yes, a posse! I notice on the linked site they suggest bringing your kids (middle schoolers). Gotta start ’em young!
I hope you find the bike!
Jackattack (#2) – These people had a bicycle stolen from them, one representing dozens of hours of hard work to design and construct. They have solid information on how to recover their stolen property, and will likely receive little support from the police, because police resources don’t allow follow-up on most cases like this.
In the absence of support from official channels, they intend to use volunteers to find the bike, and presumably call the police to recover their property. There is nothing wrong with that.
Yes, Portland police have made mistakes dealing with homeless, transients, and the mentally ill, some very eggregious mistakes with fatal consequences. Most of the interactions are not of that character. Right now, with that fact in the public eye and a new police chief eager to repair the PPB’s relationship to the community, that type of mistake is highly unlikely.
My concern is that this group of people obey the law and not take it into their own hands, or provoke a violent confrontation. While I have sympathy for the plight of those who do what they must to survive, there are consequences for one’s actions. Someone made a choice to illegally enter the Rubin’s yard and take a bicycle that did not belong to them. That was their decision, and there are consequences to one’s actions.
#2, police handle thousands of incidents without resort to violence. Your advice is actually rather poor considering violence is more likely when a ‘posse’ of untrained undisciplined citizens is involved. Transients aren’t always known for predictable behavior either.
@ Matt # 7 –
Completely and wholeheartedly agree with everything you said. However, until the PPB and Chief Reese prove themselves to We the People (and they’ve got a lot of proving to do after last week’s debacle), we have every reason to be fearful of them and we every reason to settle matter ourselves (which means NOT resorting to their level of violence).
There are many, many other options of resolution than violence. Practically every problem has a non-violent solution.
I appreciate your input on this.
It probably wasn’t transients that stole the bike. It probably went for a joy ride and got dumped (perhaps on springwater trail) where it started getting some use from transients. better them than the meth heads that would take it to the metal recyclers
The police are not going to kill everyone they encounter. All of the people that did get shot were not co-operating in some way that got themselves dead. This last one that Sam Adams was all sad about had shot at and tied to kill a police officer.
If you do what the police say you will not get shot or manhandeled like some people with attitudes that are quite stupid as an end result….
Hi guys – we’re not planning on anything violent here of course. Just a group of people casing the trail.I’ve got the numbers of the police (milwaukie, gresham and Portland) on my speed dial – hopefully we will not need to call them. We are going to thank the guy for taking our bike for a test ride and ask for it back (if we find him / her – there are two people a man and a woman and 6 sightings of them so far) we are meeting at our house today at 2:30 and leaving at 3:00 and we have flyers you can help us hand out and if we find them great – if we don’t… more people know about it. Thanks for all of your support. If you want our address please e-mail or call: 503-702-2708 or email@example.com. We are right next to St.Agatha’s church in Sellwood and our driveway is on Miller if you want to come meet us there at 2:30. Our son is 13. He is 5 foot 11-1/2 inches tall – his friends thought they saw the bike yesterday and were excited about the $200 reward money – so we thought it would be good to harness their energy if anyone has other 13 and ups that want to help (I was not thinking little kids – but there is no reason any kids can’t come on the bike ride too – it’s just a ride -eh?) I also just got a donation of another $100 in reward money – so we are up to $300.
While I agree that another death is not warranted, I disagree with not having the police involved. Here is my reasoning:
1. If it escalates to the point where an officer uses force (i.e. transient pulls a knife), what chance is a cyclist (or posse of) going to have? I see the potential for someone to get really hurt and if you have never been responsible for that, take my word and avoid it.
2. I do not believe it is a good idea to perpetuate the cycle of buying stolen goods (which is what is happening if you give a person another bike in exchange for a stolen one).
I do not see what the size of your son has to do with having him witness a possible confrontation.
13 years old is as good an age as any to become traumatized.
Please consider you are setting out to confront a man and woman over stolen property. You will be approaching them as a mob. They will feel threatened and while you may be going in the mindset of peace and harmony, that is not the world they live in.
Possibly everything will work out pleasently, but then again, be prepared for anything. Including your tall son seeing someone die.
What I was saying is that he is a big kid – not a little kid – and he is another pair of eyes for looking for the bike and another pair of hands to hand out flyers – that’s all – I’m not suggesting kids confront homeless people – we’ll play it by ear. We may call the police, we may not. We’ve had some nice conversations with a lot of homeless people on the trail over the past couple of days and they are mostly on our side – wanting to help… they even suggested we bring a bunch of food as an offering in trade for the bike – which I thought was a great idea. We are totally pacifists… These are the definitions I found for Posse on the internet (if it helps): “a body or force armed with legal authority”, or “A search party.” also “A group of friends or associates” – all from dictionary.com.
I do wish you the best and hope for a peaceful recovery.
We are non-violent types (okay, we can both be loud and strident under the worst circumstances, but certainly not “physical”!) We just want the bike back; we don’t condone and won’t tolerate violence from anyone involved in this effort! We hope to find the bike current riders and persuade them to return the bike in exchange for gratitude, 15 minutes of fame if desired, or whatever cash incentives we can offer otherwise (some kind friends have donated some dough to the reward kitty already)
We live in a great community. We hope this can be resolved as a community – with the resources of our community. – Tamara (& Len)
Get close enough to identify the bike, keep your distance and call the police immediately. If on the trail, have someone ride casually past in case they bolt.
You have no idea how dangerous these people are. Any attempt to confront them, however peacefully and sincere you may be, unnecessarily risks escalating the situation.
Let the police do their jobs.
Great advice Stigx. Thank you! That’s our plan.
Jackattack (#9) – I agree that we should be wary, and that we should hold the police accountable. When the public is afraid of the police, there’s something wrong with the system, not the public, and usually not the police officers (of course there are individual exceptions).
I’ve met Mike Reese. He was instrumental in the PPB working *with* last year’s World Naked Bike Ride to help manage traffic, and PPB did an outstanding job. He’s very community-oriented, very experienced, personable and professional. He’s just been handed a thankless job, possibly the hardest job in the city, where he’ll be under pressure from Adams, the neighborhood associations, advocacy groups, the police union, the city’s watchdogs, state and federal agencies, and his own police force. Reese once led SERT, Portland’s equivalent to SWAT. He’s worked high-stress environments, and he did it without losing an officer and without any fatalities of suspects or civilians. I’m not saying we should loose oversight of the police in general, or even Chief Reese in particular, I’m just saying that we should give the PPB room to succeed instead of assuming they’ll fail.
and I appreciate your input as well – there needs to be people arguing for oversight, transparency, and community input and supervision. I don’t disagree with your points, I’m just hoping we can help each other keep the discussion in perspective.
Rubin family – Good luck and best wishes in recovering the bike, and take the discussion here with a grain of salt.
‘We live in a great community. We hope this can be resolved as a community – with the resources of our community.’
You need the police on your side and they will surely frown upon bonehead vigilante cyclists.
Have you considered that the suspects may be violent towards you, but not the police? You’re not trained and equipped to deal with these situations. Identify the bike and call the police.
Don’t engage the suspects, putting your family and friends at risk over a bike. Please reconsider.
As you pass down the areas in question post fliers showing the bike and the reward. Include your desire to avoid law enforcement involvement and a statement like “no questions asked.”
That is if you just want your bike back and don’t have any interest in having someone arrested.
Assuming that a homeless person has this $300 will pay for a lot of food and clothes.
what matt picio (#7) said.
don’t be a criminal in dealing with criminals. for good or bad we have police for just that reason.
Ah. Cooler heads are prevailing. Nevermind my last post. Best of luck this afternoon.
@ Matt –
Fully aware of Chief Reese’s efforts and I also agree with you: I honestly think he’s the right person for the job. I am also quite happy with Mayor Adams’ decision to oust Sizer and Saltzman of their duties.
I’ve been advocating and researching these issues the past year and while I’m not as close to City Hall as you, I am certainly paying attention and doing my homework.
So far I am happy with the decisions made last week and feel as though we really have a chance to make our Police force more respectable. I’m not an anarchist nor do I condone the activity.
I just want people to think twice before they call the PPB until we know…for certain…that they are capable of escalating situations and even handling situations that require a gentler touch.
Just want everyone to know that as per the PPB’s previous advice about what to do if you see a stolen bike…. Please don’t hesitate to call 911. riding a stolen bike is a crime in progress and should be treated as such. good luck on finding the bike.
This really feels like a bad idea to me on so many levels, not the least of which is the potential example — or worse, precedent — it could set as the paradigm shifts and more and more of us rely on bikes as primary transportation. It just makes me nervous as hell. I sincerely hope no one gets hurt.
The homeless don’t need food, they need cigarettes. You want to catch the thief don’t you?
This just in at 12:03
I just saw this bike on the front of a transit bus, heading north on mlk blvd, at the corner of alberta. The # on back of bus was 2316. I was working out at me fitness when I saw it. Tried to chase it down, but couldn’t get it.
Tamara you should call the Rubin’s:
We just spoe with Tri-met, bus #2316 is a line 72 bus headed out 82nd, scheduled to arrive at Clackamas Town Center at 1:45 P.M.; we’re headed over there right now. If anyone can get there sooner than us, please do. (Obviously, there’s a possibility that the bike may no longer be on the bus, but it’s our best lead so far!)
Man, if I were a Rubin I’d be on 82nd tracking that bus, not waiting at the transit mall!!!
That’s exactly what we are doing!
Heh heh, awesome. Is the bike actually on the front or is it a blind chase?
It was on the front
but it’s gone now
but len hopped out of the car
and got on the bushes talking to the driver
to see if we can get their security video
I’m. Driving behind the bus!
Tamara please don’t text and drive!!! LOL
Looks like this is rapidly developing into a bizarre Portland version of the O.J. Simpson slow-speed chase: a bike on a bus chased by a posse of pacifist cyclists with their kids in tow. I’m loving it!
Oh no! Don’t let the mania take hold, stay calm (as calm as possible)! And yes, please do not text and drive.
was texting quickly at bus stops! LOL Hence the typos. Bike not there…will follow up in a minute with more…
Just wanted to say, this is awesome. I do so hope you get the bike very soon!
Chances are the driver will remember what stop the bike came off at. Who wants to bet on the Springwater xing?
This is Len texting from Tamara’s iPhone–
the driver said the guy got off at PCC, Cascade campus (@NE Killingsworth); when I asked for a desciption of the man and the bike, he said the guy was “super-buff”, maybe 5’6″ (not the “5’11”-6′ tall” guy of previous alleged sightings; he went on to say that the guy was missing all his top teeth (I think he said top), and that he said he just got out of prison and that his wife had been keeping the bike for him while he had been in prison. He said that it was “one of them fold-up bikes”, with a “ripped seat” and no front bag; he opined that it seemed like an “old” bike…
Certainly doesn’t sound like mine at all, but human perceptions and recall are notoriously inaccurate, either the oringinal tipster’s perception or the driver’s–or likely both–is liable to be quite a bit divergent from “reality” (whatever that is!)
“Looks like this is rapidly developing into a bizarre Portland version of the O.J. Simpson slow-speed chase: a bike on a bus chased by a posse of pacifist cyclists with their kids in tow. I’m loving it!”
haha! awesome! we need a live webcast showing an overview of the city as we watch dots representing Rubins…
Definetly want to think twice about confronting a “super-buff” ex-con that is already missing alot of teeth.
He may not be interested in honey; but then again I have never been to prison. Perhaps he is a sugar junkie and that’s why the teeth are gone.
Googlemap app for bike chases!
Heading home to meet the “posse” with beer & pizzas–at least you guys are keeping our spirits high with laughter!
Hmmm… there are other fold-up bikes.
I suppose so.
Some dude freshly paroled is probably not too eager to go back in. If he’s legit with his own bike, he’ll grumble a little but show off the bike to assure that it is not stolen.
Then he might join the posse? 😎