Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Citizens chase down thief to recover stolen cargo trike

Posted by on October 18th, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Stolen, then re-united with its owner.
(Photo: Tanya Barham)

A distinctive trike that was stolen on Tuesday is now back in hands of its owner.

Buckman neighborhood resident Tanya Barham imported the Christiania trike from Denmark in 2006. When it was stolen from outside of a building at East Burnside and 8th, thieves not only got an expensive and rare cargo bike, they also took her only form of transportation. Tanya doesn’t own a car and she uses the bike to get to work and to take her daughter to school. Hoping to get it back, she quickly posted the information to Craigslist and listed it on BikePortland. Her many friends in Portland also spread the word through social networks.

Just before noon today, Tanya shared that the bike had been recovered. “Several people who saw my postings on Craigslist, saw a man riding the bike down 39th near Woodstock. Two men chased the perp and others phoned in the sighting. The police apprehended the man and the bike is back.”

Tanya says the trike was, “vandalized and pretty significantly damaged”; but fortunately it’s fixable.

Tanya’s story underscores the ongoing problem of bike theft in Portland. So far this month, 104 bikes have been listed as stolen on our listings alone. On Tuesday, Tanya was one of eight people who had a bike stolen. That same day, thieves hit the racks at Beverly Cleary school in Northeast Portland.

Remember a few tips to keep your bike safe: Never use a cable lock and try to always lock up in a high-visibility, well-lit location.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • borgbike October 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    If have the sense that this was kind of where the titanium folding bike lived when it was stolen a few years ago.

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    • CaptainKarma October 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      Reed College?

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      • Matt October 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm

        Reed College what? If you’ve got something to say, say it.

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      • SejSEPDX October 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm

        No. It wasn’t anywhere close to the Reed College area. It was apprehended on Chavez (39th) and Brooklyn.

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        • CaptainKarma October 19, 2012 at 11:38 am

          Thank you sir, that’s what I was wondering.

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  • bhance October 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    So awesome. I <3 that it was just random PDX citizens that got this back 🙂

    Don't forget: lock them when they're in your garage/shed/car/backyard, etc. Lots of bikes going missing due to prowlers/attached structure breakins as well.

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    • Jessica Roberts October 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      I remember hearing Mia Birk tell an audience years ago that if you regularly leave your bicycle unlocked on your porch or in your backyard in Portland, it will get stolen – it’s just a question of when, not if. That made an impression on me!

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  • ed October 18, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Have fought off the temptation to write this long enough. Might be self serving as I sell them (straight up) but whenever I learn of these tragedies I long to shout to the world “get a bike like a Brompton and throw away (or give away) your bike lock to someone unfortunate enough to need one” Yep, under the table in the restaurant, under the desk at work, under the screen in the theater, under the counter at the bar, under the bed, in the broom closet, in the cloakroom and so on. A bike ready in less time than it takes to lock one. Plus you can have nice bits like a Brooks saddle or nice lighting w/o worrying if it will be stripped off the bike. (which you are also not leaving in the weather) Arguably not the bike for everything or everyone of course, but I see so often these tales of theft/damage that I just have to point out the obvious and easy alternative and the true in every sense “city bike” solution that is out there. Ok I feel better now 😉

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    • Shetha October 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      That might be fine if you are alone, or have maybe 1 child and no cargo in tow, but for the rest of us, we have a lot of things to move around. I appreciate the mobility of folding bikes but there are certain functions it just can’t fill. I’m glad you got your bike back, Tanya! I know Jeremy will make it whole again 🙂

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    • Rol October 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm

      Every day I used to get into 1 or 2 (usually unwelcome) conversations with people on the MAX about my Dahon folder. And there were always another few watching & audibly commenting to their companions as I unfolded it. And who knows how many others silently watching with great interest. It was a little like being on stage. What I concluded was that nobody told America about folding bikes. I suppose many of them still get their info about the world from TV (a.k.a. “car, drug, and food commercials with some occasional programming in between”) hence they can all probably distinguish minute differences between nearly identical cars, but seeing me unfold a bike and ride away absolutely blew their minds. So, you’ve got a PR opportunity on your hands.

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      • Al from PA October 19, 2012 at 1:42 am

        “car, drug, and food commercials with some occasional programming in between”

        In America, cars and food are drugs…

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  • Todd Boulanger October 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Jonathan…the post content might be even more relevant to a larger audience if you could add how many motor vehicles were stolen in the same time period. (Thanks).

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    • q`Tzal October 18, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      Days, hours or minutes?

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  • Chris Sanderson October 18, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Why on God’s green earth would someone steal a quirky-looking bike like that? It’s a great bike, but duh! That’s one of a kind, and you will get busted for taking it.

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    • 9watts October 18, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      much less ill-treat it…
      Tanya says the trike was, “vandalized and pretty significantly damaged”
      Obviously those who stole this have different ideas about bikes than we do.

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  • mark kenseth October 18, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    I live at 19 and Burnside, and a couple months ago a couple bikes were stolen. The parking sign remains to be fixed. I wonder if someone is continually casing the area for bikes left out overnight.

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  • Adam October 18, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I can’t believe cable locks are even manufactured these days, let alone sold in bike shops. They are utterly, utterly worthless. You might as well stick a sign on your bike saying “PLEASE STEAL ME NOW”.

    I could cut through a cable lock and steal a bike with a pair of garden shears. If you are reading this, and lock your bike up with a cable lock, then you seriously need to wake up and get with the program.

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    • Editz October 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Next thing you know, they’ll be using homemade Thermite to melt through U locks.

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  • Ian October 19, 2012 at 4:27 am

    Bike theft is a serious and persistent problem in American cities, and decreases the carefree-feeling that is one of the attractions of riding. It will be a thorn in the side of any city that wants to significantly increase its bike mode share. Services like Kiel Johnson’s Go By Bike valet down at OHSU are going to become more and more popular as people tire of worrying about outsmarting petty thieves every time they want to go somewhere.

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  • Dan October 19, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I’m a big fan of frame (cafe) locks, especially for hard to carry bikes like this one. Harder to be covert when it’s two people carrying a big bike down the street…

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    • Eric in Seattle October 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Yeah, when the bike is no longer its own get away vehicle it makes the thief’s job much harder.

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  • Beth October 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    The best way to keep your bike safe is to bring the bike inside with you at work and at home. Lock it up inside your home and also at work. If your landlord won’t let you bring your bike inside it’s time for a new housing situation. That seems harsh but if your bike is your only mode of transportation you will need to figure out how to make your life work with that reality at some point.

    If your boss won’t let you bring your bike inside take the time to educate your boss about how bicycling lowers healthcare costs and increases worker productivity. That’s what I did at a job many years ago and it persuaded my boss to let me hang my bike from ceiling hooks I installed above my desk.

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    • Chucklehead October 22, 2012 at 8:43 am

      Then your boss gets to lecture you about how skiers and smokers all drive up his healthcare costs.

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  • spokesy October 21, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I work in at a place where I regularly cut luggage locks, often padlocks off of bins and cases. It has opened my eyes to how easy it is to cut through locks. With garden shears, wire cutters and stepping on it, bending the lock, etc. All things smaller than bolt cutters and quieter than grinders. Invest in a u-lock. Your bike is only as safe as the weakest link or the thing you lock it to.

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  • La November 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Another stolen cargo bike (from Tucson, AZ). This one is probably not in Portland, but you never know.



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  • Tanya Barham August 1, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Folks this bike has been stolen AGAIN on Saturday 7/27/13 at 8:30-9 pm. The rear wheel lock was engaged and the seat removed. I have video of two thieves working on breaking the lock for nearly 40 minutes in broad daylight with people even walking by. If someone wants to steal your bike they are going to do it and pretty much no one is going to stop them. I have had this bike in Portland since 2006 and never had a problem and now it has been stolen twice in 6 months. The bike has been seen twice this week (7/29/13). The rider is a young mother (late twenties to early thirties) with brown hair and a 2-3 year old child. She might still be using my car seat (a black car seat with red trim). I am not sure if this woman knows the bike is stolen.

    Please be on the lookout and repost my Craigslist ad which has links to the stolen bike case number, video footage of the perps are here:


    Please repost and help me find this bike.

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