Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Man caught on camera using hacksaw to cut bike lock

Posted by on April 19th, 2011 at 3:35 pm

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.

(Update: This image has been blurred to protect the subject’s identity (see below). β€” Jonathan Maus)

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.

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  • Chad April 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Reminds me of the “Asshole” film from Filmed By Bike this weekend.

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  • P Finn April 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Looks like that PPB number needs some attention…
    (503) 823-333?

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    • use your brain April 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm

      503-823-3333 you can also call information and get the number just like anybody else, bty way that would be 411!

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  • Art Fuldodger April 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    perhaps the poor fellow just lost the key to his bike lock? Right…..

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      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”.

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  • Julie April 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    maybe it is his own bike? so quick to judge

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    • Jackattak April 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm

      Shirley, you can’t be serious…

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      • craig April 20, 2011 at 9:22 am

        I’m dead serious. And don’t call me Shir…

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    • middle of the road guy April 20, 2011 at 2:58 pm

      Tell you what, next time you get mugged don’t be so quick to judge the guy.

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  • 9watts April 19, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    …on the other hand, it almost looks like he arrived on that light blue bike that’s leaning against the building in the background.

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  • rixtir April 19, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    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.

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  • ilikeyournewhaircut April 19, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    In broad daylight? Pretty gutsy/stupid.

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    • Nick V April 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm

      Indeed. And at first I thought he was smiling.

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    • Carl April 19, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      With a hacksaw? Unless that’s a really crappy lock, by the time he got through the thing, it wouldn’t be daylight anymore!

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      • spare_wheel April 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm
        • lyle April 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm

          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.

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  • thefuture April 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    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.

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  • stuffandstuff April 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    many motorists are also part of the bike community. πŸ˜‰
    hopefully someone busts this guy. . . .i’ve had too many bikes stolen to be merciful.

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  • Jackattak April 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    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. πŸ˜‰

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    • Mindful Cyclist April 19, 2011 at 10:10 pm

      Meth is so 2004! It’s all about the Oxycontin these days!

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  • CaptainKarma April 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    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)

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    • matt picio April 20, 2011 at 12:39 am

      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.

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      • Mark Kenseth April 20, 2011 at 7:57 am

        I agree with much of this, except the lighting of your house/yard all night long. I believe motion lights are appropriate.

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  • marshmallow April 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    If you put your fingers over the bike, it looks like a street vendor trying to sell a hacksaw.

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  • Dave April 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    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?

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    • Jackattak April 19, 2011 at 5:04 pm

      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…

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    • Someonedude April 20, 2011 at 11:14 am

      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.

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    • john April 20, 2011 at 12:08 pm

      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…

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    • Erik April 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm

      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?

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  • BURR April 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    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.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      Thanks for reminding me of that Burr. I regret that mistake, But I think this situation is quite different.

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      • John Lascurettes April 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm

        … especially since the PPB asked for assistance in identifying the guy.

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        • stuffandstuff April 19, 2011 at 10:34 pm

          and especially because the guy has a hacksaw in his hands!

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  • Todd Boulanger April 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    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…

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  • marshmallow April 19, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    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.

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    • ki April 19, 2011 at 7:30 pm

      good job leaving it there, genius. some other bike thief has it by now.

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      • marshmallow April 19, 2011 at 10:56 pm

        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

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    • Ted April 19, 2011 at 8:52 pm

      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.

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      • marshmallow April 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm

        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

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  • Al from PA April 19, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Isn’t he worried that someone might steal his bike while he’s busy stealing someone else’s? Do unto others…

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  • Johan April 19, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    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.

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    • Frank Castle April 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      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.

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      • Mack April 20, 2011 at 5:26 am

        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?

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  • elle April 19, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    That is hilarious. Maybe lil’ Joey is a downsized Pearl real estate agent.

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  • pdxgrinch April 20, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Cheeky bastard. That’s the federal immigration and naturalization building. He’s probably caught on four different high quality cameras.

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  • Tourbiker April 20, 2011 at 4:38 am

    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 .

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  • Joe April 20, 2011 at 6:30 am

    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.

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  • Dave April 20, 2011 at 7:47 am

    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!

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    • spare_wheel April 20, 2011 at 8:09 am

      A $5 carbide grit saw can cut through a u-lock in 1-3 mins.

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    • AC April 20, 2011 at 9:38 am

      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.

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    • Zak April 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm

      Bike central only sells kryptonite u-locks and keeper cables ( for use with a ulock).

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  • Morgan April 20, 2011 at 8:02 am

    It looks like Jon Bon Jovi! πŸ˜‰

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  • Jim April 20, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Looks like jon Bon jovi on a bad hair day

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  • Caroline April 20, 2011 at 8:34 am

    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.

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  • Caroline April 20, 2011 at 8:38 am

    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.

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  • esther c April 20, 2011 at 8:56 am

    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.

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  • oregonmomma April 20, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Probably a metal thief…. gonna sell it for drugs.

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  • craig April 20, 2011 at 9:29 am

    You just have to look like nothing’s up, and nobody will interfere while you steal that bike:


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  • Caroline April 20, 2011 at 9:31 am

    @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?!

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    • Jackattak April 20, 2011 at 10:23 am

      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.

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    • esther c April 20, 2011 at 11:47 am

      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.

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      • S brockway April 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm

        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”?

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  • Grant April 20, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Is that Bon Jovi?

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    • thefuture April 20, 2011 at 10:31 am

      Shot in the act…and you’re to blame…darling you give thieves…a bad name.

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  • deborah April 20, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I’ll have my eyes peeled for that *ucker and his light blue bike. Nice call 9watts!

    …on the other hand, it almost looks like he arrived on that light blue bike that’s leaning against the building in the background.

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  • danbot2001 April 20, 2011 at 9:52 am

    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.

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  • anonymous April 20, 2011 at 9:52 am

    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.

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  • Daniel April 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

    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.

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  • Grego April 20, 2011 at 11:29 am

    @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.

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  • Morgan April 20, 2011 at 11:54 am

    thefuture, Hahahah that’s a good one

    “Shot in the act…and you’re to blame…darling you give thieves…a bad name”

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  • CharonPDX April 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    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.

    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.

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  • Caroline April 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    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!

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    • middle of the road guy April 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm

      I’d rather they broke into your house as compared to stealing my bike.

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  • Anonymous April 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    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:)

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    • S brockway April 21, 2011 at 8:55 am

      What does PPB say when you call to report this “action”? How many bikes have you seen?

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  • Jackattak April 20, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    @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!

    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.

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  • white folks April 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    looks to be a dept. store mtb.
    dude is doing a public service atmo

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 20, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    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.

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    • wsbob April 21, 2011 at 1:17 am

      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.

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    • Spiffy April 21, 2011 at 9:13 am

      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…

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    • Marc April 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm

      How are we supposed to help with possibly identifying him if we can no longer see his face?

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  • Caroline April 20, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    @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.

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  • Bjorn April 20, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    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.

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  • Bjorn April 20, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    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…

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  • ADJPDX April 21, 2011 at 6:29 am

    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.

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  • Grandpa April 21, 2011 at 6:48 am

    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.

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  • Caroline April 21, 2011 at 7:08 am

    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.

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    • wsbob April 21, 2011 at 10:13 am

      “… 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.

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  • Brighton April 21, 2011 at 7:32 am

    This clearly shows that all pedestrians need to pay a registration fee and wear a license plate so they can be identified when committing a crime.

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  • Bob_M April 21, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Since the most influential opinion on this issue has determined that bike riders in Portland are comprised of a mob of vigilantes. A lone tear rolls down my cheek and my opinion of Mr. Hacksaw is changed. I am going to find him and bestow upon him some fresh baked cobbler and a fleece blanket (with arms). I think a hug might be in order also.

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  • Caroline April 21, 2011 at 7:59 am

    @Bob_M I wish that Link button was instead a Like button. Hilarious!

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  • beelnite April 21, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I would really like to look at hundreds of photos of known bike theives. I would like to study them, their habits, their motivations. I want to know more about the bike theiving “industry”. Who buys these bikes? What happens to them? Is China involved? Who buys the parts when it’s freakin obvious? Yes. I would like a 10 part miniseries on the Discovery Channel about bike theft in Portland, Orygun. I know that’s asking a lot, but the point is…

    I see a real hunger by cyclists for information on this stuff. We want to know!!! And yet we know more about the Gotti’s and Al Capone and Mexican Cartel Marijuana growing in rural Oregon then petty (or not) bike thieves.

    I admit it freely – I want a profile. I want a face. I want a picture. I want to look for commonalities and comparisons. I want more than just prevention tips – I want to see “the underside.”


    Don’t you folks? Where can we get that?

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  • Daniel April 21, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Jonathan could you outline Bike Portland’s policy in dealing with these kinds of stories? It seems to be “publish, then redact when privacy/etc concerns are raised.”
    Unfortunately bike theft is an important ongoing issue, I doubt I’m the only reader interested to know your policy. Just curious.

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  • El Biciclero April 21, 2011 at 9:45 am

    bike thief = horse thief

    “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.”

    Caroline, I know you are trying to be empathetic and compassionate–both commendable traits–but do you see how backward this statement is?

    1. Crime should put fear into potential victims. Backwards. Criminals should fear the punishment/retribution due them for committing crimes.
    2. Less-than-bomb-proof locking jobs are “irresponsible”. Backwards. Stealing things is irresponsible and dishonorable. If I can only afford a $25 lock, and the place I have to park my bike is not a hardened stainless steel bike rack, then I’m “irresponsible”? Looks like the person whose bike was being hacksawed (notwithstanding that for all we know, it belonged to the pictured person) locked their bike with a U-lock to a regulation bike rack staple. Was that “irresponsible”? Yet here is some person (allegedly) attempting to steal the bike.

    Statements like this smack of criminal-coddling and victim-blaming. Yes, there is a place for compassion and empathy, but there is also a place for justice. If you do wrong, be afraid, for the police do not bear the TASER in vain.

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  • Caroline April 21, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Why wouldn’t crime put fear into victims? To be otherwise is to be naΓ―ve. I don’t recommend living in fear, but don’t put your head in the sand and expect that all criminals are going to magically disappear because someone put up a WANTED poster. There will always be another thief. Until the end of days. Always.

    Regarding irresponsible lock jobs, I think I’ll not only ask you to re-read what I’ve written, but refer you to these photos: http://www.flickr.com/groups/how-not-to-lock-your-bike/ To be clear: I did not call the lock job in the photo irresponsible. I suggested that people take extra care, and not take chances with shoestring jobs. The photo, even without a face, is a great reminder that people are going to do desperate things to steal your bicycle.

    Bad things are always going to happen in the world. If you don’t take any measure at all to prevent them, then yes, you are a responsible party as well. If you don’t like this statement, it’s time to grow up.

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    • Alan 1.0 April 21, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Bad things are always going to happen in the world. If you don’t take any measure at all to prevent them, then yes, you are a responsible party as well. If you don’t like this statement, it’s time to grow up.

      +1 to El Biciclero’s response with particular emphasis on recognizing Caroline’s empathy and compassion, but that statement deserves recognition as a PKB.

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    • El Biciclero April 21, 2011 at 11:31 am

      Caroline– I have the same problem when I try to explain that using the “physics” argument to put the full onus of responsibility on cyclists injured by cars is to (perhaps unwittingly) espouse a bully-victim mentality. I get the same response: “well, it’s true, so if you don’t take any care for your own safety, you’ll die.”

      Let me elaborate. I make a distinction between pragmatic measures and assignment of responsibility. If I see a truck in my mirror about to make a right turn across my path, I’m not going to be so naive as to keep on going because I have the right-of-way. That’s dumb. If the truck driver actually sees me, and decides he’s going to turn anyway, because, after all, if I know what’s good for me I’ll bow to “physics” and get the heck out of the way, he’s being a bully. Two realities that are compatible with each other. And a sentence fragment. The problem comes when I think that I “should” get out of everyone’s way out of “fear” that people are going to run over me, when it is also their responsibility to know the law and drive carefully. I’m going to follow the law, ride “responsibly”, and take pragmatic self-preservation measures, but I am not going to accept that it is my “duty” to stay out of everyone’s way.

      Same goes with your statement that I was picking apart. Crime does create fear in many people, and many people lock their doors (and their bikes) out of fear of crime. Does that mean that the onus “should” be on victims to avoid being victimized? Or “should” we rather put the onus on the actual evildoer to face up to their responsibility not to do evil? I “should” be able to lean my bike against a tree and leave it there all day long and come back later and ride it home. If I do that, and someone comes along and steals my bike, I did nothing wrong! However, probability, and my knowledge of human nature suggest to me that I have a better chance of returning to find my bike if I lock it up. Whether I lock it or not, if a thief wants it, he will take it, and if a thief takes it it is his fault my bike is gone. See the difference? Pragmatism vs. “Blame”.

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  • Bob_M April 21, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Thanks for appreciating my humor, but understand that my comment was pure satire. I disagree with your “thief as victim” opinion.

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  • earthquake April 21, 2011 at 10:34 am

    i think bike thieves are the worst kind of thieves. if you steal someone’s whip, you’re potentially stealing their livelihood.

    that said… these are tough times, and a lot of peoples’ lives are getting rougher by the day.

    how about if instead of getting the police to harass more people, we get our government, and indeed ourselves, to take care of each other better… and more.

    change our culture. be more giving. be more helpful and understanding.

    unite against the root of what makes people steal in the first place.

    but while we’re doing that, stay the hell away from my ride.

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    • justin April 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm

      “how about if instead of getting the police to harass more people, we get our government, and indeed ourselves, to take care of each other better… and more.”

      the heart of the issue. i would go further and say that it rests solely on us. no matter what your stance on what the government should and shouldn’t do for its citizenry, it has proved inept at taking care of the little guys. WE have to make the difference. no one is going to do it for us.

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  • Caroline April 21, 2011 at 10:41 am

    @earthquake: AMEN.

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  • Alan 1.0 April 21, 2011 at 11:06 am

    So, the PPD AREN’T acting on an eyewitness account with photographic evidence and they DON’T want citizen involvement in identifying the perpetrator? I fail to see how that will (a) deter thieves in general, (b) help that individual if drugs are his problem, or (c) reduce the likelihood of either that individual or crooks in general facing illicit street justice.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 21, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Thanks for the feedback folks. Sorry I didn’t share more thoughts about my decision. It was late and haven’t had time until right now.

    OK. I heard Caroline concern’s and was going to email her back and say, “thanks, but I disagree and I’ll keep the story as is.” Then, I thought about it a bit more and realized that, unlike KATU, The Oregonian, etc…. I am still very personally tied to this site and I don’t want to be in the middle of a manhunt of a suspected thief. I have a family and I am a public person and don’t want that hanging over me. What if the dude is pissed and comes after me?

    Also, I think this story stands on its own w/o the guy’s identity. I think the photo itself, the act of hacksawing in broad daylight, the issue of bike theft, etc… are what are the most important parts of the story.

    Also, this guy is using a hacksaw on a u-lock… A hit and run or other, more serious crime is a much different situation.

    I’ll document the situation, but I think the matter of finding this guy is better left to the police.

    Thanks for understanding.

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  • flowb33 April 21, 2011 at 11:38 am

    For the record, the bike in question is still there as of this morning, failed hacksaw lines ground all over the cheap u-lock. Seems abandoned.

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  • elle April 21, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    While I can understand why you wanted to remove the photo, the desire to change / control / retract info in the media is usually a strong indicator of valuable information, i.e., something that will really affect someone. That’s how you know when you have some real info – when someone wants it hidden.

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  • marshmallow April 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    An unblurred photo is on the bikes for sale section of craigslist.

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  • velvetackbar April 21, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I dunno, JM.

    we faced the prospect of retribution years ago with OMI and a particularly annoying theater owner who didn’t like that we effected his business by reporting some of his misconduct.

    I think that you might have overlooked the fact that this is the web, and the information is already out there, and cannot be erased.

    In other words, you are already in for a penny. Indeed, several. I suggest going in for the pound.

    I think the only way to get this over with *is* to publish the photo, get the guy caught, and prosecuted. Otherwise it will linger.

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  • Jake April 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I disagree with the concern for this poor individual.
    Public shaming should be used far more often, it could be a better deterrent than the threat of possibly, maybe, 10 days in jail.

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  • Geoff April 22, 2011 at 8:00 am

    I do understand your concern JM.

    I use to work at the Performance Bikes downtown on SW 18th and Alder. This man use to come in. I suspected him stealing bar tape once. Although, I did not see him physically take the bar tape I am positive he stole it. Especially when I asked him what he thought about the product and he inquired “What’s that?” He was incredibly awkward, as most thieves tend to be in the act of “stealing”.

    Performance and the state of Oregon has a very strict policy on how to handle shop-lifters. Since, I was not 100% sure and did not see him physically put the bar tape in his pocket-I was required to let him go. Even if I had saw him take the bar tape from the shelf, I still would have not been able to pursue him until he had left the store. Then, all I could have done was call the authorities.

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  • Joe April 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I don’t get these cries in the comments for ‘protect the innocent! blur his face, you douche! JM you’re an asshole!’

    1. According to the police, he’s a suspected thief. Based on his fleeing the scene, that makes sense.
    2. The police can use the public’s help in identifying the thief. Cue posting the pic on bike portland.

    Analogy. Many states have laws that require sexual offenders photos be shown. What does it do? Disencentivize creepers from doing bad shit and inform you of who is a creeper.

    What does showing this guys face do?
    1. Help identify the thief.
    2. Discourage other bike thiefs.
    3. Protect other bikers if they see him walking down an alleyway with a hacksaw.

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    • Daniel April 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      Joe you should ratchet it down a little… given that the bike is still there apparently, the most we can say is this guy is a suspected attempted thief, or maybe a suspected u-lock vandaliser.

      Equating him with convicted sex offenders is a bit much.

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      • Joe April 22, 2011 at 3:41 pm

        Sure, it’s an extreme comparison. But we do the public shaming stuff for a good reason – it’s effective at curbing bad behavior.

        I’m not suggesting we should have a comparable, searchable database for petty bike theft. But I’m just insensitive to the personal impact of showing the photo of a bike thief after having bikes stolen.

        The bike is only there because he was caught in the act. Had he not been so unlucky, I doubt that he would’ve just attempted to etch his initials into the u-lock for fun. Probably looking for his meth money.

        The most compelling reason to blur his face is that Jonathan doesn’t need to get in the crossfires over the ethical debate of whether to shame some random dude’s face on a local bike blog.

        But I stand by my statement, I have zero respect for bike thiefs and lets solve this problem because cops seem ambivalent about it.

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  • marshmallow April 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Yeah, and tow truck drivers.

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  • Anonymous April 24, 2011 at 7:53 am

    The PPB are not trying to identify this man. Otherwise, I would’ve gotten a call back by now. I’ve left messages for our neighborhood response officer, the downtown precinct investigators, as well as talked to non emergency and two property crimes investigators, who had no idea what I was talking about.

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  • Chris April 27, 2011 at 10:31 am

    My friends and I used to leave a bike in his yard, that had no brakes, and a fixed gear with an adjustable stem that was loose…just so we could watch people try to ride it away and fail…

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  • Scott April 18, 2012 at 9:27 am

    That area is a hot bed for abandoned bikes. If we are going to just judge then I am going to say he is in the acquisitions department for an underground city and that bike that he has been taking was earmarked to use in their egalitarian water system and would have been rigged to a pump so that all may have water. Whoever snapped this photo frightened this disenfranchised and forgotten soul who feared for his safety and headed back underground, to his people. Now, without the bike, sector 5 (that is also known as the new arrivals section) is without water. Good job jerks. You ruined the water pumping ability of an underground utopia.

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  • gascloud October 30, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    His name is Simon and he is in prison in Washington state serving time for theft.

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