I received an interesting photo from a source at the Portland Police Bureau today. The photo (see it below) shows a man they suspect is a thief using a hacksaw to cut through a bike lock.
The image was taken by a person who works nearby and was sent into the PPB’s Central Precinct. The location is on NW Glisan just west of Broadway near Union Station in downtown Portland.
According to the PPB, when the man saw his photo being taken, he jumped on his bike (in the background) and fled the scene. The PPB are trying to identify the man. If anyone has information, please call the PPB non-emergency number at (503) 823-3333.
UPDATE, 8:30pm: After hearing concern from a reader about putting this man’s identity front and center, I decided to blur his face. I am more interested in the act and the context of the story than I am about catching this particular thief. That job is better left to the police. Thanks for understanding.
If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.
Reminds me of the “Asshole” film from Filmed By Bike this weekend.
Looks like that PPB number needs some attention…
503-823-3333 you can also call information and get the number just like anybody else, bty way that would be 411!
perhaps the poor fellow just lost the key to his bike lock? Right…..
The PPB confirmed with me today that he fled the scene when he noticed his photo was being taken. The police say he’s a “suspected thief”.
maybe it is his own bike? so quick to judge
Shirley, you can’t be serious…
I’m dead serious. And don’t call me Shir…
Tell you what, next time you get mugged don’t be so quick to judge the guy.
…on the other hand, it almost looks like he arrived on that light blue bike that’s leaning against the building in the background.
If it was his bike, he wouldn’t have fled the scene. He’s a bike thief.
Somebody in the PDX bike community knows this guy, let’s hope he gets outed.
In broad daylight? Pretty gutsy/stupid.
Indeed. And at first I thought he was smiling.
With a hacksaw? Unless that’s a really crappy lock, by the time he got through the thing, it wouldn’t be daylight anymore!
Let’s see him do it with a later generation Kryptonite. That lock appears to be something from like 20 years ago.
I ended up losing my keys for one of those once with my bike locked up literally 20 feet from a guy who was doing a retro blacksmithing shop at Ft. Stevens. Dude came over with a heavy duty hacksaw and was through it within 2 minutes.
A motorist looking out for the bike community! Nice shot, it almost looks posed how perfect it is. I’m guessing the other bike is stolen too.
many motorists are also part of the bike community. 😉
hopefully someone busts this guy. . . .i’ve had too many bikes stolen to be merciful.
Wow. Doesn’t even look like a meth head.
I have this photo printed out and stuck to my handlebars. A lil “U-Lock justice” goes a looooong way. 😉
Meth is so 2004! It’s all about the Oxycontin these days!
I propose a section on BP for just such photos. It is totally legal to photograph and post when subject is in public, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
As far as the daylight goes, the rule is “The most obvious is the least obvious” Last time I had a bike stolen from my house, the cop said *most* burglaries happen in broad daylight.
–“and don’t call me Shirley” (late great Leslie Nielsen)
Very true – burglaries, larcenies, and B&Es happen a lot in daytime in cases where the victim works during the day. Some are opportunistic, but many happen where the thief watches the house for a few days to get the pattern of those who live there, so they have an idea of how long they have to ransack the house/garage/car/yard. This is why it’s so important to make things visible. Park in an open/public area, lock with a U-lock, and in the case of property – keep your yard visible to neighbors and lit at night if possible.
Note that some anti-theft precautions may make you unpopular with your neighbors – go talk to them – the best antidote to crime is a neighborhood full of people who know each other, keep an eye on each other, and approach strangers in the neighborhood when the owners aren’t home. Thieves always go for the easiest pickings, and if you’re not the low-hanging fruit, they move on. The ones that don’t get caught.
Now might also be a good time to remind everyone to take pictures of their bike(s) and record the serial number of each one. While it’s unlikely the cops will find a stolen bike, it does happen – but they can’t return them without a serial number. When I was on the citizen’s committee for CCSO (Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office), they had a rack of 40-50 recovered stolen bikes which they couldn’t return because no one had serial numbers to give to the police.
I agree with much of this, except the lighting of your house/yard all night long. I believe motion lights are appropriate.
If you put your fingers over the bike, it looks like a street vendor trying to sell a hacksaw.
How about the city of Portland putting it’s green money where it’s mouth is and shifting some police resources from auto theft to bike theft?
No kidding. And it’s not like they can use the excuse that bikes are low-dollar items anymore with all these crazy $1,500+ rigs I see running around. Pretty soon bike theft will be equivalent to grand larceny!
Meanwhile I wish you could get a decent road bike for $200…
When you register your bike and pay fees to the state of oregon for registration, and then carry theft insurance, The Police would be more then happy to use your dollars to look for your stolen bike.
because that is the start of registering and licensing ! iirc, registering and licensing of autos only began when theft of these “high valued” objects became a concern…
Portland Police have zero resources that work on auto theft. There was a regional ATTF a number of years back, but it’s gone and nothing has taken it’s place. FYI, there are about 3200 stolen cars per year in Portland, and the NYT pegged the average cost of a stolen car at about $6,200, so we’re talking about almost $20M. How many bikes are stolen?
As I recall, the last time BikePortland attempted to ‘out’ a bicycle thief, it was based on hearsay and a complete lack of evidence and the person is question was vindicated.
Thanks for reminding me of that Burr. I regret that mistake, But I think this situation is quite different.
… especially since the PPB asked for assistance in identifying the guy.
and especially because the guy has a hacksaw in his hands!
The get-away-bike looks to be a converted single speed 1970s bike – perhaps french from the look of the fork rake or a Schwinn…anyone know it?
Perhaps a lesson is learned by the owner to invest in a bit more secure lock too…looks like a cheap non-U lock bike lock…one that would allow a hack saw to cut thru it. Though the owner gets extra points for what looks to be a thorough wheel + frame locking job – better than most bike parkers.
And then there is having too much ‘protection’…security that weighs more than ones bike…
I was over near 82nd and Powell yesterday and witnessed a man riding with an additional bike alongside the one he was riding. So I sprinted towards him yelling and cussing to give me my bike back and, wouldn’t you know it, the sonofabish dropped the bike and sped off as I neared. It’s laying by the giant Wal-Mart sign if anyone’s interested.
good job leaving it there, genius. some other bike thief has it by now.
no prob, dillwad, i didn’t really do any of that…but i did see a guy towing a bike
i’ve always wondered if it would be so easy to help retrieve “obviously” stolen property from people who don’t look like(profiling, oh no!) they would normally own high priced equipment
Since I don’t have a car, run a bike loan program, and own too many bikes of my own, I occasionally rock the ghost-ride and move multiple bikes at once. I always wonder if people will hassle me in the way you hassled this dude, but it never happens. I don’t know whether to be relieved or disappointed that folks aren’t looking out.
I thought the same while “breaking” into my car after locking my keys inside. Onlookers eventually told security who I had previously asked to borrow a coat hanger. completely different situation
Isn’t he worried that someone might steal his bike while he’s busy stealing someone else’s? Do unto others…
If the police ever got serious about stopping bike theft they would simply set up sting operations across the city. Use GPS xmitters inside the frames or something (or the fork, since thieves have gotten so aggressive they just disassemble locked bikes). Maybe the bike shops and citizens should set up stings, since the police have neglected their duty to protect cyclists for decades.
totally agree that a bike-theft sting operation would help deter some thieves.
more video cameras over bike parking locations could also be a good deterrent.
Also, would it be illegal to discreetly follow the person to see if they’re taking the bike to a backyard full of other bikes? Maybe it would be legal until their property line?
That is hilarious. Maybe lil’ Joey is a downsized Pearl real estate agent.
Cheeky bastard. That’s the federal immigration and naturalization building. He’s probably caught on four different high quality cameras.
Once had a bike stolen from out front of a Fred Meyer, (NW20th & Burnside)
Moronic Security Guard walked out the door chuckling “Third one this week”..when I asked if any of the security cams witnessed it, he just shrugged and said.
“they don’t cover the racks”.
I’ve taken my business elsewhere .
sweet caught in the act.. photo get the face out
Total bummer life for this dude, why go to this level?
leave ppl bikes alone. I might go 2 u-locks now.
Anybody here remember Ciclo Sport Shop bike stores downtown? They had a store in Old Town that later moved to SW 10th near where Bike Gallery is. The owner REFUSED TO SELL any non-U locks, he thought it was taking peoples’ money for no protection! Is any current shop owner willing to go out on that higher moral limb? Don’t give me the crap about the price of U-locks, they’re still cheaper than another bike!
A $5 carbide grit saw can cut through a u-lock in 1-3 mins.
Unfortunately, some people refuse to spend more than $20 on a lock. And there are others, typically well insured, who are willing take a risk if it means not having to carry a heavy, bulky U-lock. To each his own.
Bike central only sells kryptonite u-locks and keeper cables ( for use with a ulock).
It looks like Jon Bon Jovi! 😉
Looks like jon Bon jovi on a bad hair day
What you do is head over to Hooper Detox ( http://bit.ly/gwDt18 ) intake at 7-8am with this photograph in hand. Stand around the front door. First, look around to see if he’s there and then, offer a little cash to anyone who can tell you where he sleeps. Even if you don’t catch a good lead on that particular day, I bet you have a real eye-opener as to why people might steal bikes. And be nice – we’re all just a few bad decisions or bad strokes away from being in that guy’s shoes.
And PS if people aren’t going to be stealing bikes any more (yeah, good luck making that happen), they’re going to be stealing something else, or resorting to B&E or muggings. Frankly, I’m kind of happy to keep it bike theft. If we don’t take care of the poor and the drug-addicted, we need to expect that there will be theft.
These guys don’t care if they get caught. All it means is getting booked and released and they’ve been through that before. If they do have to spend a few days in jail, it means cleaning up with the assistance of phenergan and clonidine for their withdrawal symptoms so when they do get out their habit is a little cheaper. So its sort of a win/win situation for them when they do something this brazen. If they get caught they get a warm place to stay and help with their withdrawal symptoms. If they don’t get caught they get a bike to sell and more drugs.
Probably a metal thief…. gonna sell it for drugs.
You just have to look like nothing’s up, and nobody will interfere while you steal that bike:
@Esther C You sound colder than a prison nurse! As a former addictions nurse, I want to remind you that “cleaning up” on phenergan and clonidine is a process closer to hell than the swine flu, and that people don’t eagerly do that just to make their habit cheaper. It’s quite a unsympathetic comment and I invite you to consider the possibility that “these guys” DO care if they get caught. Don’t you think they might have goals and dreams, too?!
If I may interject…
I don’t mean to speak for others, but believe me living and working Downtown will harden your soul to these “victims” pretty quickly. I don’t need to go to any missions or detox centers to do that. Downtown is like one big detox. I’m not trying to say that it crawls with “victims” but there are enough occurrences in my 14 block commute to and from work (and my wife’s) that you get to see the best out of these “victims”.
I have no doubt in my mind that as a nurse specializing in addictions you have seen things that would make us normal people scream in terror or wet ourselves, and you are certainly to be commended for your hard work and warm heart. That being the case, that is you and it is obviously what you were cut-out in life to do. It takes a very special person to be a nurse, particularly one who specializes in something as harrowing as addiction.
Again, not to speak for others, but I’m sure any one of us would prefer our taxes to go to better mental health facilities instead of insane, useless, expensive bridges, more lanes on the freeway to be filled with SUVs from the ‘burbs, and what have you. But that’s not reality in Oregon. The reality is that the baristas in the Downtown coffee shops are the drug therapists dealing with these people day-in, day-out, on an hourly basis, with little or no protection.
So if some of us are a little “sandy” at seeing something we’re all more than likely a little too familiar with, get used to it. We are not all nurses with hearts of gold, and not all of us see a “victim” when see weak-minded thieves stealing bikes.
Yes, they’ve got a dream, to steal someone’s bike to buy a fix. Its pretty damned cold to steal someone’s transportation to feed a habit.
The average junkie spends a heck of a lot of time in cold turkey anyway. You sound pretty co-dependent for an addictions nurse. Believing that junkie jive that they’re so damned sick. It is like the flu. Cry me a river.
Wow Ester…Guess you got it all figured out.Do you mind if I put that in my new book titled “Over simplification made Easy”?
Is that Bon Jovi?
Shot in the act…and you’re to blame…darling you give thieves…a bad name.
I’ll have my eyes peeled for that *ucker and his light blue bike. Nice call 9watts!
I’ve seen that blue bike before. I remember the funky handlebars. they are like drop bars that have the drop cut out of them. So be on the look out for blue single speed with drop bars with the drop cut.
This guy stays at a scrapper house in my neighborhood all the time. I report “stolen” bikes ALL the time. Unfortunately, non emergency, as well as much of the Portland Police have bigger fish to fry.
There are already mugshot pages that scrape info from booking sites, it would be easy to put tons of mugshots into something like Picasa and maybe get some hits. I’m suprised this isn’t already done.
@Caroline: bike thieves may have goals and dreams, but I have no responsibility to help the thieves achieve them at the cost of my own.
thefuture, Hahahah that’s a good one
“Shot in the act…and you’re to blame…darling you give thieves…a bad name”
Yup, I’ve been known to yell “HEY, STOP!” when it looks like someone is doing something they shouldn’t. If they ARE guilty, then they do stop and run. If they are truly doing something innocent, either they ignore me (not even crossing their mind that I might be yelling at them,) look around for the person I might be yelling at (again, not realizing it’s them,) or get a confused look.
I’m not on a high horse. I’m pointing out that this person could very well be a family member of yours, a friend, or even YOU someday, that he isn’t the only one, and that singling him out for attack isn’t going to gain any ground. If they’re not stealing bikes, they’re going to be stealing something else. And I’d rather they stole bikes than mugged me or broke into my house. If you aren’t working in politics or donating to shelters etc., then you aren’t helping the problem.
@Grego @esther They generally dream of being clean, getting a job, and reuniting with their family. They don’t have the luxury of dreaming of cars, careers, and vacations like you. They are mostly ashamed of what they have to do to survive. Get a grip.
@Jackattak bla bla bla… Baristas. Ha. I’ve been a barista, too. Your comment about baristas may be the most ludicrous thing I’ll hear all week. Thanks for the big laugh!
I’d rather they broke into your house as compared to stealing my bike.
I think it’s interesting that you didn’t post my earlier comment about this guy staying in my neighborhood. Especially since I spent more time this morning trying to get a hold of ANYONE in the PPB that knew about this case, no one did. I’ve made numerous calls to non emergency over the past 2 years describing bicycles these guys are hauling in. If anyone wants him, shoot me an email and I’ll shoot you an address:)
What does PPB say when you call to report this “action”? How many bikes have you seen?
Wow. Didn’t think my reply to you warranted the snarky response, but I’m glad you’re able to in one post allow your heart to bleed for drug addicts and in another laugh at some of the hardest working people with Master’s degrees in Portland.
At least you have your priorities straight. For Portland, I mean.
looks to be a dept. store mtb.
dude is doing a public service atmo
Just wants folks to know that, after weighing concerns from a reader I decided to blur the man’s face. My interest is in the act of the theft and the image, not in the man specifically. I’ll let the police sort that part out.
Oh c’mon maus. Your readers deserve a more articulate explanation than this. I think you and your staff have led readers to understand that bikeportland is committed to reporting upon bike and transportation related news and issues.
So now, after posting a story about a possible bike theft attempt, with…miracle of miracles…a picture of the suspect taken by a passerby…you, on the word of some un-named reader’s concerns, have come to decide…that showing a picture of the suspected bike thief that clearly shows the suspects face…does not correspond with any specific interest on your part, in what this particular image suggests the activity depicted is quite likely to be: a bike in the process of being stolen by the guy in the picture.
After posting the suspect’s clearly depicted face in the photo, you’re now asking your readers to believe you’re actually not interested in learning who the person in the photo was, or whether he really was attempting to steal a bike? Instead, you’re just interested in the general subject of bike theft? What is it about this particular image that you’re interested in, if it isn’t in identifying who the guy is, and determining whether or not it depicts a guy in the process of stealing a bike?
If you don’t feel you need to or can report the name of the reader whose comments caused you to be concerned, you could at least spell out in detail, the nature of those concerns, so people that aren’t aware of what the might be, don’t have to go wondering.
Here’s my guess: I figure ‘the reader’ warned you of a possible lawsuit from the suspect in the event the suspect…should it turn out he’s eventually identified with help from the photo your weblog posted…. possibly gets the crap beat out of him by annoyed members of the public.
I don’t agree… I realize this isn’t America’s Most Wanted but I don’t remember any other “innocent until proven guilty” people being censored on BikePortland…
How are we supposed to help with possibly identifying him if we can no longer see his face?
@jackattak All baristas have masters degrees? Look, I lived and worked as a barista downtown in the days when you were finding junkies DEAD in Starbucks’ bathrooms. Elliott Smith and John Callahan were hanging around. Yeah it’s grittier now, but it would still NEVER compare to what I have seen and heard while working at Hooper Detox, Portland Providence Inpatient Detox, OHSU, Emanuel, or Good Samaritan. Passing by them, smelling them, kicking them out, or handing them a quarter or even a coffee is nothing compared to having a REAL CONVERSATION with them.
I’m not laughing at hard working people, I’m laughing at the idea of baristas being at the bleeding edge. Caffeine is an addictive drug, too.
For the record, condescension counts as snarkiness.
If you had a picture of a hit and run suspect wouldn’t you post that? I think the readers concern is out of line and that identifying a suspect is a good idea. When KATU does a story on a bank robbery suspect they don’t blur the photo or the police sketch.
by the way I have the image thanks to google cache, I hesitate to post the bayimg link where I uploaded it here out of respect to Jonathan, but if anyone wants it they can get in touch or look at the cache until it goes away. In the meantime J.M. I think you should reconsider…
So the Portland Police are asking for help finding this thief, yet this blog is too holier-than-thou and PC to show his face? This blurry decision and explanation is exactly why the show Portlandia exists.
Regarding the blurring of the alleged thief’s face – Obscuring information while practicing journalism??
Political Correctness is so Portland they should put a bird on it.
Just look for the guy who looks like Bon Jovi, then beat him up! Right? No? Call the police? Do you really think that’s going to work for you?
Look, people, the cops don’t know ANYTHING about this suspect except that he’s sawing away at a bike lock, has a big black coat and a blue Schwinn, and looks like Bon Jovi. Is he Oregonian? Is this his bike? Is it one of his first thefts? Is he participating in drug activity or a theft ring? Does he have a mental illness? Putting his photograph out to Jonathan to have “the mob” hunt him down, especially when nobody at the phone number the PPB provided knows anything about the case (see prior comment), is irresponsible and stupid. It does nothing to solve the problem of bike theft in Portland, and is more likely to get someone hurt. Even if BikePortland vigilantes managed to find the guy, what then? One less bike thief? Do you think he’s actually going to warn his friends not to steal bikes when he gets caught!? Will he be reformed?
The photo, even without a clear face, should just put the fear into you that any lackadaisical bike-locking jobs you’ve been doing, especially in this economy, are just plain irresponsible. Jonathan doesn’t have to pass along everything he gets from the PPB, so even if he edited the photo in Photobooth, he’s still doing a service reminding us that there are thieves out there (and here is just ONE) cutting through locks. Maybe take a look at the lock you have, look up its security rating/level, and be more careful about what you lock it to.
If you still disagree, try calling the non-emergency number and see if you can find anyone who knows what you’re talking about. Get an update for us.
“… Putting his photograph out to Jonathan to have “the mob” hunt him down, …” Caroline
What “…mob…” are you referring to? Are you suggesting that, based on the content of Maus’s story, readers will act in the way of a mob mentality in working to locate the person with the hacksaw, depicted in the police issued image?
Maus led the story with the following:
“I received an interesting photo from a source at the Portland Police Bureau today. The photo (see it below) shows a man they suspect is a thief using a hacksaw to cut through a bike lock. …” maus/bikeportland
It says the picture depicts someone the police ‘suspect is a thief’, not someone they at this point are certain ‘is a thief’. Most people reading bikeportland can probably discern the difference in meaning implied between those two sentence fragments. So it’s likely that they aren’t somehow going to revert to wild, mob behavior by seeing this person’s face introduced by maus’s story introduction.
What happens if police do locate the person depicted in the photo, and find out that he truly is a bike thief and was involved in that very activity as the picture was snapped. Will maus then remove the blurr to again clearly depict the person’s face? Will he continue to go with the blurred image, out of concern for the bike thief’s future safety?
Some people in comments to this thread have noted that there’s almost no bike lock bike thieves can’t overcome. The penalty for stealing a bike is almost nil. So what’s to dissuade a bike thief from keeping up the practice, if not…(on the rare occasion the opportunity for it to come into force happens.) social pressure?
Maus had this guy’s clearly depicted, unblurred face up on this blog for at least 12 hours. The guy’s face was then posted on craigslist (by someone else…not myself.). Many, many people very likely now have the unblurred image on their computers, cell phones, and so on. I haven’t checked…maybe the photo is even on youtube, facebook…whatever. People know what this guy looks like, and naturally, they’re on the watch for him.