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Thieves steal tandem from Vancouver couple that can’t drive – UPDATED

Posted by on January 8th, 2013 at 9:45 am

White Peugeot tandem stolen in Vancouver.
(Photo: Kimberlee Turner)

Several readers have shared a bike theft story from just over the river that deserves wider attention.

According to The Columbian, a young married couple that live in Vancouver have had their tandem stolen. The reason I’m putting this on the Front Page is because the couple, Harly and Courtney Forbes (22 and 21 years of age) are “developmentally delayed” says the paper, and are unable to drive a car. Not only that, but Mr. Forbes just recently traded in his Schwinn Varsity to buy the $900 tandem so he and Courtney could get around together.

Here’s more from The Columbian:

“9 a.m. Monday, the family awoke to find the bike lock had been cut and the tandem bike stolen from the porch of their central Vancouver home.

“I can’t believe they would do something like that,” Harly Forbes said. “I just want them to bring it back. Hopefully we can get it back.”

The thieves even propped a rocking chair that was on the porch under the front doorknob, apparently so that the homeowners wouldn’t be able to chase them if the theft was discovered.

Turner said that the white bike, which cost about $900, is worth more than the family can afford to replace.”

Besides photos of the bike (it’s a Peugeot), the only other evidence to go on is this security camera video that captures images of the thieves making off with the bike (their faces are not recognizable):

We have a lot of readers in Vancouver and there’s a good chance this bike will end up on Craigslist and/or on the streets of Portland. Let’s see if the eyes of the community can help track this bike down and hopefully return it to Harly and Courtney. If you see the bike and/or think you have information about the thieves or the bike’s whereabouts, call 911 or call the Vancouver Police Department at (360) 487-7355.

— Read The Columbian story for photos and the full story.

UPDATE, 5:00pm: A fundraising site has been set up to help them buy a new bike. http://www.gofundme.com/1szmtw

UPDATE, 1/8: The Forbes’ have been given a new tandem! Read the full story in The Columbian.

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  • dmc January 8, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Sad story. Gotta store the bike inside if you don’t have a U-Lock.

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    • K'Tesh January 8, 2013 at 11:55 am

      If you’re parking it overnight? You gotta store the bike inside, even if you do have a U-Lock.

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      • Lee Hoffman January 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm

        for real you ,bike ,wife ,in bed!

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      • dmc January 9, 2013 at 11:48 am

        Not everyone has this luxury

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      • q`Tzal January 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm

        Motion detector alarm attached to bike that triggers:
        1) 140db high frequency piercing siren (less about drawing attention than being painful)
        2) rapid release of artificial skunk spray.

        Just make it an uninviting target.

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  • Craig January 8, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Yeah. Pretty upsetting. Keep an eye out for a tandem mixtie style frame. It’s probably not white at this point. Also, front doors open in. Can’t help but think of that Lebowski moment.

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    • chucklehead January 8, 2013 at 11:55 am

      if there is an exterior door, it opens out.

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    • Dick Pilz January 8, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      My inner front door opens inward. My outer (storm) door opens outward. The chair trick might work on my set of front doors.

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  • David Feldman January 8, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Have a serial #? Let me know; I have a bike repair business in Vancouver., ph is 503-998-7249. My wife and I ride a tandem so they always catch my attention.
    Tandem geeks ought to keep an eye out–I have been a working bike mechanic in the Portland area for @35 years and this is only the second Peugeot tandem I have ever heard of.

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    • wsbob January 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      True…that mixte style tandem seems to be especially unusual. Thieves that stole it are probably the dumb jerk type, that just wanted something to horse around on for a couple hours, or less…only to dump it in a ravine or some other similarly stupid thing.

      Nice if they could get it back in good shape, in one piece. They need it, and it’s such a beautiful bike, it’d be a shame if it couldn’t be back on the road, ridden by those to whom it rightfully belongs.

      Takes up space, but bikes stored indoors definitely makes the bikes happier.

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  • Don J January 8, 2013 at 10:30 am

    If you link to the Columbian article, there’s a fundraiser in the comment section. Folks are pitching in what they can to raise $$ in the event the original tandem isn’t found.

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  • Spiffy January 8, 2013 at 10:33 am

    start checking Seattle and Eugene craigslist… it’s too unique to sell locally…

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  • cohomesteader January 8, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Is there a site setup yet to help them with getting the bike replaced?

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  • Lee Hoffman January 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    wife ,bike, you in the bed!

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  • Todd Boulanger January 8, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    And let the solid waste/ dump folks know what to look for in case it is dumped and then hauled off.

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  • Sunny January 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    That seems kind of expensive for an older tandem.

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    • Ben January 8, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      I was thinking it seemed really inexpensive for an older tandem.

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  • Schrauf January 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    KATU is reporting someone is giving the couple a very nice used tandem. Is there a contact for the couple? I’d like to buy them a u-lock if they do not have one – otherwise this new tandem will not last long, especially with all the media coverage. Maybe the fund set up for them can be used for the lock, hopefully?

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    • K'Tesh January 8, 2013 at 10:46 pm

      I’d hope that they’d keep the bike inside. One frustrated thief bent the wheels of my uncle’s bike when he couldn’t get past the lock when it was locked up outside overnight.

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  • Sunny January 8, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Looks like they’re receiving a custom Santana that was bought new for $4000. They better park that inside this time — and wrapped up with several U-locks. A KATU story reveals they’ve had another bike stolen this winter.

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    • wsbob January 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      Wondering what the reasons might be they’ve been stolen from twice, recently. Maybe someone, knowing about their disabilities, is targeting them specifically. Multiple U-locks sounds like an excellent idea. It’s a big bike, but ‘in the house’ would be my parking plan, even if I had to throw some other stuff out.

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  • bc January 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    That’s awesome about the new bike. Worries me though that this one will be stolen as well. They said they don’t have room inside for it. Maybe someone could install some ceiling hooks indoors for them?

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  • Sunny January 9, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    It’s been returned. “Keep it, I’ve got a Pit Bull now.”

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  • kevin January 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    It seems to me that it would be harder to ride a tandem than it would be to drive a car. Not that I want another piece of infernal combustion on the road.

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  • jyl
    jyl January 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm


    Story about the bike’s return by the anonymous thief, with a contrite note.

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