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Thieves hit New Seasons employee bike parking; three bikes stolen – UPDATED

Posted by on April 26th, 2012 at 9:07 am

Security camera photo of thief in action.
-More photos below-

Late Sunday night (4/22), two men broke into the employee bike parking at the New Seasons Market on SE Hawthorne Blvd and made off with three bicycles.

According to store manager Michael Wolff, one of the bikes taken was a custom “cycle truck” cargo bike made by Joseph Ahearne. New Seasons used the bike to deliver meals to seniors through the Loaves & Fishes’ Meals on Wheels program. The other missing bike is a Dawes, brushed aluminum fixed gear (Wolff didn’t have a description of the third bike taken).

As you can see in the photos accompanying this story, store security cameras have footage of the suspects. Wolff has filed a police report and the PPB is working on the case.

Keep your eyes peeled for these bikes. Here is some more info on the Ahearne cycle truck:
— Serial number S19110 (stamped into the steel under the bottom bracket)
— Had large Ortlieb panniers on it
— Bike has a large box in the front rack with a locked lid

Here are more photos from New Seasons’ security cameras:

Let’s hope the cops and/or the community have some success in tracking these bikes down.

NOTE: I’ve asked Wolff how the thieves got into the bike parking area to begin with. I’ll update this story when I hear back.

UPDATE, 11:17 am: Wolff says that all three bikes stolen were not locked inside the bike parking area. As for how the thieves got in to begin with, Wolff said they hopped a fence from a neighboring property and got into a storage area behind the employee bike parking cage that has a door that is not secured. Once inside, they left through the main bike parking area door, which is locked via a keypad. Wolff says New Seasons will install another locked keypad door in that back area as a result of this break-in.

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  • Stripes April 26, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Wow. Wonder how they got *into* the bike parking facility.

    At least it sounds like the bikes are highly customized/individual,which should help track them down, fingers crossed.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 26, 2012 at 9:57 am

      I agree Stripes. I asked the store manager that question and have been waiting for a response. I’ll update the story when I hear back.

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      • Allison (@allisons) April 26, 2012 at 11:11 am

        Does it imply that the thieves were possibly employees? Or had an employee accomplice? Law and Order teaches me that thefts are frequently inside jobs…

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        • NSemployee May 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm

          As an employee of this particular store I will say 100 percent absolutely not! BTW, If it was employee related they would have known what to hit on the key pad.

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  • Stripes April 26, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I also wonder how the bikes were locked up. With cable locks? Or U-locks? This piece of information is crucial.

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    • dsaxena April 26, 2012 at 10:00 am

      I wonder _if_ the bikes were locked up. There’s probably an air of safety in having them in an enclosed area so folks might not be locking them at all. :/

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  • Todd Boulanger April 26, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I Agee with above comment, I doubt those taken were individually locked. 🙁

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    • Stripes April 26, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Perhaps New Seasons will take this as an opportunity to gently educate its employees how to lock up their bikes.

      I agree that it is easy for the illusion of safety to take hold, when you put your bike somewhere with a fence around it. Although personally, I know what a theft magnet an enclosed area with many bikes must be, and always take even *more* care to lock my bike in areas like this.

      I remember BikePortland used to have an awesome two-sided card on how to lock up your bike correctly, and how to take notes of serial numbers etc. I would always be handed one at Breakfast on Bridges, etc. Shame we couldn’t furnish New Seasons with a stack of these to hand out to their employees.

      Finally, I do have to say though – Kudos to New Seasons for providing such great bike parking, and for moving so quickly to try and upgrade their security!

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  • thefuture April 26, 2012 at 10:10 am

    The guy in the tan shirt kind of looks like the hacksaw guy


    Just because a bike is not locked does not mean its free. Maybe they just mistook this as one of the new bike sharing kiosks?

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    • lyle April 26, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      I’ve seen that guy MULTIPLE times in the last year since that story came up. One time I almost got a fight with him sitting outside a New Seasons oddly enough (the one on 33rd, though).

      He is incredibly nuts… so steer way clear of the guy if you ever see him. It’s not worth it, trust me.

      That said, I don’t think he’s the guy in this picture.

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  • Brian E April 26, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Is this a more serious crime because the thieves broke into a secured area? As compared to stealing a bike off the street.

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    • Richard April 26, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Unlawfully entering a building to commit a crime is burglary, which is either a Class C felony or a Class A felony. In this case, because the building is not a dwelling and there is no indication they threatened anyone or used a weapon, it is a Class A felony only if they were in possession of a “burglary tool or theft device” (which is why it may matter how they got into the bike locker).
      Stealing something worth more than $100 and less than $1,000 is second degree theft, a Class A misdemeanor. But the value of the bikes is probably over $1,000, which makes it first degree theft, a Class C felony.

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  • dan April 26, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Seriously, good luck selling a custom Ahearne cargo bike without getting busted. What idiots.

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    • Chris I April 26, 2012 at 11:09 am

      And the “Dawes” brushed aluminum fixed gear very well could be this bike: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/sst_al_carb_x.htm

      Only $400 new. I would say they are worth about $150 to $200 on CL used.

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    • Allison (@allisons) April 26, 2012 at 11:12 am

      If it were some kind of special car, I’d think they’d take it out of town to sell it – but I don’t know that reselling stolen bikes are enough profit to suggest that possibility.

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      • dan April 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm

        I think it does happen with bikes too, but for a cargo bike, it’s a catch-22 – where the bike has value, people are likely to know of the theft. If you take it down to LA, where no one knows about the theft, no one will want to buy.

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    • Duncan Idaho-Stop April 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      Sad thing is, if they find it’s too unique to fence, they’ll just throw it in a ditch somewhere.

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  • A.K. April 26, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Special place in hell for someone who steals a Loaves and Fishes delivery bike. Seriously.

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    • K'Tesh April 26, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Amen… now if we can just send the bike thieves there.

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  • 9watts April 26, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Locked, covered bike storage with security cameras. Nice.
    Hats off to New Seasons (even though there was a breach of security, I have to assume the camera film would help).

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  • naomi April 26, 2012 at 11:15 am

    the curious side of me wonders: did they not notice the security camera(s)??? these are some pretty clear photos, i can’t imagine more than a couple days going by before these guys are identified.

    furthermore, why oh WHY in our technologically savvy age are we not yet at a point where we can embed a tiny microchip on/inside our bike in a discreet manner so that we can GPS stolen bikes that have said chip? Why can’t you slide one of your handle bar grips off, epoxy a gps monitoring chip inside the tubing of the handlebar, reapply grip and presto! it seems like someone could be making tons of money off this idea! come on already, these bike thefts are never ever ever going to stop. as long as bikes exist, bike thefts will exist.

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    • matt picio April 26, 2012 at 11:37 am

      GPS isn’t magic. To find a bike like that, there needs to be some form of transmitter, and the data has to be reported in a way that you can look it up online, or through a service. Such a device would need a battery, and the owner would need to ensure the battery was charged. And having a device like that opens the possibility for others to track your movements.

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      • q`Tzal April 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm

        Plus GPS signals are blocked very well by metal.
        You might be able to get away with putting the circuitry and batteries inside the frame but the antenna wires will need to be on the outside; these would be easily cut.

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        • Nat April 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm

          If they know to look for them, could easily be hidden in bar tape, under the seat or even inside a carbon-fiber component.

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          • q`Tzal April 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm

            These particular thieves were dumb in that they missed the cameras but smart enough to enter through unsecured and unalarmed doors while leaving with high value items that would draw little attention from the public outside.
            Don’t assume that all thieves are stupid.

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    • Jason April 26, 2012 at 11:44 am

      They’ve had GPS trackers for bike thefts for a couple years:
      I haven’t heard much about them in the wild though. If they’re cheap enough they’ll crop up in more and more bikes, but for now if one had a high end bike I’d guess it’d be a no brainer.

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    • Nat April 26, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      There are GPS receivers with a transmitter and associated service for dogs that would be small enough to stash somewhere especially if they were shaped specifically to fit inside a handle bar tube. They come with a monthly service fee and you have to maintain battery charge but it is feasible.

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  • Kristen April 26, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Is there any way to make these pictures bigger? Or a link to a larger size of these pictures? I can’t get a good enough look at these guys.

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  • CaptainKarma April 26, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    All bikes should have RFID tags. They don’t work at a distance, but bike parking areas could be scanned, bike shops could scan, even ride-bys could be scanned if close enough. Like the pet microchip implant, a registry of stolen bikes would be consulted. Though that all brings to mind the time I almost got busted for drivng my previously stolen, recently recovered minivan….

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    • q`Tzal April 26, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      <Obligatory “I DON’T WANT BIG BROTHER TRACKIN’ ME!” rant>

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    • Bryan Hance April 27, 2012 at 1:01 am

      You know, I’ve written and thought about RFID in bikes a lot, and I’ve sort of changed my thinking.

      Rather than RFID, we just need to move the serial number from the bottom of the frame to somewhere more viewable and make it larger, easier to read. Normalize seeing a serial somewhere really, really obvious on the frame. Easier visability = more potential to check out a serial number, and any bike with this serial covered/defaced would throw up a red flag.

      I like RFID. I like technology. But I think this one could be a little easier to solve.

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  • Todd Hudson April 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    This goes to show you you should lock up your bicycle wherever it is parked, regardless of the perceived security.

    When I park my bicycle in my lockable garage, I still lock up my bicycle, and lock the garage door.

    At work, we have bicycle racks in an access-controlled parking garage – I *still* lock my bike and double-lock my cargo bike.

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  • dwainedibbly April 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    If these guys get caught, after they get out of jail they should have to do a gazillion hours of community service with Loaves & Fishes.

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  • Gordon Inkeles April 26, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Please be on the lookout for EIGHT kids bikes stolen from a children’s bike program in Eureka, CA. These were poor kids. Now they have no bikes. Here are the details:


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  • esther c April 26, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    This would be a good reason to license bikes and cyclists. All bikes could require registration. A national database of serial numbers for frames would at least leave the thieves have to steal for parts.

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    • lyle April 27, 2012 at 10:11 am

      That’s what professional bike thieves do anyway, so not much progress on that end. If you part out a mid-tier bike or above, you’re almost always gonna make more money on ebay, etc. than you would selling the complete bike.

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  • Paul Johnson April 27, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Stealing a Meals on Wheels bike? Stay classy, Portland!

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  • matt w June 1, 2012 at 12:37 am

    UPDATE: these guys were nabbed! Saw it on the news earlier tonight (5/31) and it turns out one of the guys was a former roommate of mine. I was friends and co-workers with his sister and she offered me a room in her place with her brother. I only lived there for 2 months because of him. I didn’t trust him at all- seemed very sketchy. I am a former bike mechanic from several local shops and am lucky to have left with all my bikes and tools in tact. SO glad they were caught. Looks like at least the Ahearne was recovered, not sure about the rest.

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