Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Portland Police nab ‘prolific bicycle thief’

Posted by on October 17th, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Robert Charles Dady.

Portland Police have arrested a man they’ve connected to several bicycle thefts in downtown Portland. 56-year-old Robert Charles Dady was booked into jail by Central Precinct on Tuesday after an extensive investigation by officers with the PPB’s Neighborhood Response Team.

Here’s more from the police statement:

This investigation began on September 4, 2013, when a victim of a bike theft called the Portland Police after having seen a suspect riding his stolen bicycle, which had been taken from the 24 Hour Fitness located in the Pearl District.

Over the past few weeks, NRT officers worked with employees at the 24 Hour Fitness Pearl District location, Powell’s Books on West Burnside Street, and the World Trade Center in Downtown Portland. Each location had seen an unusual rise in bike thefts.

By reviewing surveillance footage, officers were able to identify Dady as the suspect. Officers reviewed additional reports where Dady was found to be in possession of bicycles. These reports were provided by patrol officers and security officers from the Downtown Clean and Safe District. Officers were able to identify some of these bicycles as being listed as stolen on the Stolen Bicycle Registry.

The PPB says Dady’s preferred method was to cut cable locks with wire cutters. To prevent your bike from getting stolen, police say U-locks are a must. They also encourage folks to post stolen bikes to our Stolen Bike Listings. You can learn more about how to prevent bike theft, and increase your changes of recovery, via this helpful video released by the PPB back in July.

Here at BikePortland, we’ve been impressed for many years at how much of a priority the PPB puts on bike theft prevention and recovery. Meanwhile a recent article in an English-language newspaper in Copenhagen pointed out that, unlike Portland cops, police in that bike utopia don’t seem to make bike theft a priority at all.

We are lucky to have a police force that cares about this issue. Thanks PPB!

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  • bhance October 17, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Made my whole day 🙂

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    • Kevin October 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      Here is my story about this case, it’s a copy of an email I sent to detectives. Below is a Youtube video link where I caught the guy red handed. I had a good friend tell me to share this on the website. Maybe this will make another whole day once again.

      Me To Hughes, Brian Aug 8 Officer Hughes:

      Below are details of what happened (07/25/2013, at 22:48) the night my bicycle was stolen and how I found both of the thieves and got my bike back a week later. Please call Katy the manager at 24HR Fitness in the Pearl and she should have video for you of the criminals stealing my bike. One of the thieves told me before I started shooting video of him that he just left the gym and that is why he was sweating so hard. IF he’s a member then you have his records on file at the gym and he should be easy to catch.

      I had my bike stolen from the Pearl 24 HR Fitness on July 25th where it was locked up in the bike parking area close to the front door. I filed an online Portland Police Bureau report, a 24 Hour Fitness incident report, and I started checking Craig’s List the next day. I also began analyzing biking patterns of every rider that I saw, taking in information, and eye-balling if my bike was on the streets.

      The night I caught the thieves I was riding in the neighborhood after getting some pizza for my girlfriend and saw a suspicious looking rider. He was traveling the wrong direction on a one way street pedaling against traffic. He was hiding from streetlights by riding on the sidewalk underneath the canopy of trees blocked out the light. He purposely put himself in the dead of night. While he was riding underneath a blanket of darkness while going the wrong way, and on the sidewalk, he was also going uphill with no lights on the bike. He looked like he was riding the hard way in order to avoid anyone being able to follow him in a car. Since he was less than 10 block from where mine was stolen I simply had to track him.

      I didn’t want to spook the rider or drive the wrong way on one way street. So I had to start off heading the wrong direction to turn around and track him from the next block over headed his direction. I accelerated quickly one parallel block over to catch him. I finally caught up and saw him in an intersection after five blocks and then I lost him. The next street was Burnside so I decided to take a left and headed his direction where I though he might be. I decided to circle the block behind Burnside and didn’t see anything. That is until I took a right back onto Burnside and saw my bike looking awesome like when it was stolen.

      I walked right up to him and snatched my bike out of his hands and told him “give me my bike back thief!” He was startled from the confrontation and immediately stepped back. He saw there was not going to be a discussion and that I was intent on immediately taking the bike. He said he bought it off Craig’s List and he believed that it was my bike. I didn’t say anything but I couldn’t believe him because I’ve been checking Craig’s List everyday and it was not on there. I told him I’m calling the cops as I was putting it into my car trunk and he said he would stick around to talk.

      Now as I’m on Burnside in the street with my car running, bike in hand, grabbing for bungee cords, keeping the man from walking off, and calling the cops, I asked him when he bought it and he said a week ago. My bike was stolen on Sunday. I asked again what day and he said he wasn’t sure. Red flag! I then noticed he was sweating really hard and asked him “if you didn’t steal my bike why are you sweating so damn hard!” He responded and said he just came back from the gym and pointed to his back pack. No he didn’t! I laughed inside because that was where my bike was stolen from. Simultaneously, I was talking over the phone to the Portland Police Bureau and they inferred that they were not coming anytime soon so I pulled out my phone to shoot video.

      What you see in the video is him saying this is getting weird and walking off. He never came back and I couldn’t follow him because it took too long to put my bike in my trunk to follow him and I was still in the middle of Burnside so I didn’t want to leave my car. The cops called me back 25 minutes later and came to talk. I told him the story and emailed him the video which clearly shows his face. Later that night I was riding my bike because I was happy to have it back and relaxing myself before I went to bed. I was riding on 19th and Johnson and saw an old man in a blue shirt who had a big white beard hold a really nice bike while he was walking it down the street. He definitely looked suspicious so I took photos of him him.

      I called Katy at 24 hour fitness the next day and she said a guy in a striped shirt and a old guy who looked like Santa Claus both stole my bike working as a team. I’ve since found Santa Claus is notorious for stealing bikes. I snapped pictures of him the same night I got my bike back but I didn’t know that Santa and the guy in the striped shirt were partners until I called Katy at 24 hour fitness the next morning. She said a guy in a striped shirt and a old guy who looked like Santa Claus stole my bike together.


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  • Kris October 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    As someone who had their bike lifted in that same area, this made my whole week.

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    • Kyle October 18, 2013 at 9:02 am

      Agreed! But, who do we contact to see if one of the bikes found is ours?

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  • Todd Hudson October 17, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    According to Multnomah County, the guy’s been arrested nearly a dozen times this year. He’s a man of integrity.

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    • BURR October 18, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Apparently, he’s on the ‘Catch-and-Release’ program….

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      • Alan 1.0 October 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm

        ODFW uses that to grow bigger trophy fish. Hope that’s not ODOC’s goal.

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  • Jeff bernards October 17, 2013 at 6:36 pm


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    • BIKELEPTIC October 17, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      He actually has quite a laundry list of theft charges on his record. Burglary tools, etc. While drugs may be an element, it also looks like this is not an isolated incident and he has quite a history of this kind of repeat behavior.

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  • q`Tzal October 17, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    The O must be sad; think of all the page views from bigots they’ve lost because this perp is white.

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  • Alan 1.0 October 17, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    I have this idea about how one U-lock could prevent a whole lot of stolen bikes…

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    • Mike Quigley October 18, 2013 at 7:49 am

      I wonder. A few years ago I did an experiment. I locked my bike with and old U lock, then spent the next half hour with a hacksaw grinding away on it before it gave. Despite a busy downtown street at lunch hour, all I attracted were a few side glances, even from bike riders. No questions from anyone. A cop drove by an didn’t even look at me. I think this whole bike theft thing is more of a matter of luck than anything, although U locks are better than cable locks by a long shot simply because they take longer to break. BTW, if I had been questioned I had plenty of ID and my story.

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      • Chris I October 18, 2013 at 8:36 am

        Did you dress up like a poor person before you started sawing at it? I think that would make a difference in the reactions…

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  • oliver October 18, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Last week I came out of the 24 hr fitness @ S.W. 4th and Columbia and saw a severed cable lock on the ground by the next staple to where my bike was locked. I felt bad for the owner.

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  • John Landolfe October 18, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Nice work PPB! Just a thought: Portland banned the plastic bag; why not say that cables need to come with a posted warning?

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    • q`Tzal October 18, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      It isn’t a ban, it is a cost savings measure to reduce PPD Stolen Property dept workload.
      I mean, it’s still illegal to break into a house that has no door locks; the police justifiably aren’t going to take that homeowner seriously.

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  • q`Tzal October 18, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Part of this cable lock insecurity ignorance problem is the insular nature of “The Bicycling Community’s” propaganda stream.
    The people using cable locks are those new to cycling as a way transportation; long years of MTB riding do not a day of city experience equal.
    If “WE” want to reduce this negative aspect for new bike commuters then we need to address bike security to to CAR drivers.
    Perhaps a message like: “You wouldn’t lock your car doors with duct tape? Don’t rely on cable locks!” When the last part is screamed at the viewers show the a weak frail looking old gramma stereotype sniping near effortlessly through a cable lock with a simple hand tool while smiling innocently with just the faintest hint of judgment/malice.

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    • Todd Hudson October 18, 2013 at 9:31 am

      I have experimented with passive-aggressive notes.

      A while back I was at the Multnomah County Courthouse, and locked up out front was Surly Big Dummy (with high-end components, must’ve been a $2500 bike)….with a cable lock.

      I left a polite note to its owner letting them know that his cable lock could be cut in less than a minute with a pocket-sized tool. Unfortunately, the next day, the same bike was cable-locked at the same spot.

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      • buny October 18, 2013 at 10:30 am

        is that really passive aggressive?

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        • Dan Morrison October 18, 2013 at 2:03 pm

          In Portland, land of beta (fe)males, that’s about as aggressive as it gets.

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        • q`Tzal October 18, 2013 at 9:28 pm

          In Communist Portland you are aggressive passively.

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    • JV October 18, 2013 at 10:19 am

      I think there is an opportunity here for a bike shop.

      Step 1 : Create a coupon for $5 off the price of a new U-lock
      Step 2 : Attach these coupons to bikes that are using cable locks, with an explanation of how easy it is to cut through. Maybe the coupon could even be in the shape of wire cutter, and attached to the lock.
      Step 3: Profit!

      If nothing else, it would provide good, visible education. It does make me sad when I see a thin cable lock coiled up at the bottom of a staple rack 🙁
      Glad this guy was caught.

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      • q`Tzal October 18, 2013 at 6:22 pm

        With links to non-corporate videos of cable locks being cut like butter.

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  • josh October 18, 2013 at 9:15 am

    hell probably be out by the weekend

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  • Eric October 18, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Has your bike been stolen? I suggest looking around NW 18th and 19th between Raleigh and Savior. That area is a rotating hobo camp that I ride by regularly. There are usually quite a few nice and shinny looking bikes parked there.

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    • Todd Hudson October 18, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Or the homeless camp at SE Pine and 11th. Or the one under I-5 at SE Salmon. There are always an inordinate number of bikes and piles of parts at these locations. Just last week I passed the 11th/Pine homeless camp where someone had a nice Gary Fisher MTB that wa sloppily rattle-canned.

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  • Editz October 18, 2013 at 9:48 am

    I was thinking a Wildling from beyond the Wall?

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  • robin banks October 18, 2013 at 10:11 am

    If hobos or meth addicts ever try to sell you a bike at a ridiculously low price that is clearly stolen – buy it. I have bought 4-5 bikes from people this way and reconnected with the real owner via craigslist in all but one case

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    • Dan Morrison October 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Or mug them for the bike. Return the favor and leave them with a black eye.

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    • tonyt
      tonyt October 19, 2013 at 8:42 am

      And encourage more thefts?

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      • Skid October 22, 2013 at 2:23 pm

        The prospect of a possible beatdown would deter theft.

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  • Spiffy October 18, 2013 at 11:55 am

    both my roommate and her brother use cable locks… I tell them to get real locks… they just say “I only ever leave it for a few minutes”…

    hope I don’t have an “I told you so” moment…

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  • Chris October 18, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    I used to have a roommate that was a complete moron and “accidentally” stole a bike:

    He was in Eugene, OR and some guy on the sidewalk asked, as he was walking by, if he wanted to buy this Gary Fisher MTB for $40. He gave the guy $40, and the guy was gone before he realized that the bike was still locked to a bike rack. So, he went home to get some bolt cutters and returned to remove the lock and take his new bike home. It wasn’t until he got home that he had to be told by friends and family that he was swindled and just stole someones bike… I didn’t know him when he did this, but he still held onto a lot of guilt from this experience…doesn’t make him any less of an idiot, though.

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  • q`Tzal October 18, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    The anti-cable lock tv ads I was thinking of would be modeled after, and be as cheesy and personally insulting, as the anti movie piracy adverts that the MPAA put out.

    Like a cable lock version of the Bender’s Anti Piracy Video.

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  • Al Martinez October 21, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    This piece of garbage was sniffing around our bikes when we were working as course marshals for Tour de Lab on 9th and Lovejoy, luckily we were in sight of our bikes. He rode up started working our lock, by the time I got across the street, there was no doubt he was trying to get our bikes. Once he realized it was my bike and I was ready to beat him down with the course marshal flag, he jumped back on the bike he was on and rode off, a homeless guy chasing behind said that guy just stold that bike.

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  • Zaphod October 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    i hate bike thieves. I hope not to run into one in the act. I’m unsure how i’d react.

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  • Val January 5, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Robert C. Dady stole my bike from the 24 Hr Fitness in the Pearl District on Sunday, Dec.29 at 8:55pm. It was caught on surveillance, he admitted it to the officer handling my report, and now I get to follow up with the D.A. tomorrow. Bike has not been recovered yet. He cut my cable lock while the bike was parked at the staple nearest the front door in a well-lit area. Please, fellow bikers, lock your bikes up properly and make sure you’ve registered with something like The Bike Index. AND make sure you have your serial number!

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  • Alastair Morley Jaques October 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Please note:
    This individual, Robert Dady, is once more at large and has been seen in and around northwest Portland. He is an incorrigible thief and brigand, responsible not only for the pilfering of bicycles and assorted velocipedes, but of any and all movable property which he can make off with.

    His preferred sobriquet is Sunny. He should be viewed with all conceivable suspicion and not be allowed to linger near any home or business.

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