Splendid Cycles

Emily ‘six kids and no car’ Finch’s cargo bike stolen

Posted by on November 4th, 2013 at 9:40 am

Emily Finch, a southeast Portland mom of six who doesn’t drive a car, has had her beloved cargo bike stolen. Finch was the subject of a BikePortland profile in June 2012. The story turned Finch into something of a media sensation, as her story traveled all around the globe, landed her a spot on a daytime TV talk show in Los Angeles, and more.

Now, the bike that transformed her life in more ways than one is gone.

Finch parked the bike in the side yard of her home in Ladd’s Addition last night. Unfortunately, she left the keys in the bike (it’s a bakfiets that has a keyed-entry rear wheel lock)… it was gone when she went outside this morning. UPDATE: Finch has just posted to Twitter that she has found the keys she thought were in her bike. She didn’t leave it unlocked after all.

The Finch Family

Keep your eyes peeled for this distinctive bike. The photo above was taken three weeks ago and is pretty much what the bike looked like when it was stolen (except for the firewood). One feature that should set it apart is the “Follow-Me Tandem” attachment on the rear rack. Oh, and Emily said it still had something in the front cargo bin: “My bike was full of squash. If you see a trail of acorn and butternut squash you’re getting close.”

If you see this bike, please contact us and we’ll connect you to Emily and the authorities.

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • dmc November 4, 2013 at 10:02 am

    *grabs pitchfork and torch*

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    • q`Tzal November 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      This is the part where you run away.
      [the villagers scarper off]
      And stay out!

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  • pdxrocket November 4, 2013 at 10:04 am

    thieves!! Will her home-owner’s insurance cover this loss? I know many do.

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    • sarah gilbert November 4, 2013 at 10:56 am

      yes, homeowner’s insurance covers such things, but this bike is adored, beloved, a family member, really.

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    • q`Tzal November 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some written guideline on maximum payout on “bicycles” in home insurance policies. Aside from the tendency of insurance companies to decide not to pay out for technicalities like “this is not a ‘normal’ bicycle”.
      Plus, it is kinda publicly documented here that her cargo bike was effectively left unlocked.

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      • CaptainKarma November 4, 2013 at 2:05 pm

        They take depreciation over 20 years, so each year it’s 5% less value, so, say a two year old $2000 bike = $1800. Minus the deductible $100, $250, or $500, whichever. Of course whenever a bike is stolen, there’s also the lights, fenders, bags, locks, bell, racks, etc to consider, which is what p’s me off when my bikes get stolen. I even have to replace my Burley trailer hitch and locking skewers. grr.

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  • Todd Hudson November 4, 2013 at 10:08 am

    >she left the keys in the bike


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    • A.K. November 4, 2013 at 10:20 am

      What sucks is that some creeper investigated her bike closely enough to figure that out.

      I’ve absent-mindedly left my keys in my front door after coming home while carrying a lot of stuff and distracted with the cat, etc… it happens, and it sucks people are victims of a crime because of it.

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    • Leigh November 4, 2013 at 10:58 am

      >mom of six

      I’m pretty sure I’d forget a lot more than keys if I was in charge of six kids. Madness.

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  • Brian November 4, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Just posted her tweet on my facebook page. Bike thieves suck.

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  • Kelly November 4, 2013 at 10:20 am

    This makes me mad! I’ve posted on twitter and my personal facebook page even though I have never met her I’m amazed by her story.

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  • jeff November 4, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Portland is ripe with people trolling neighborhoods, looking for things to steal….I watch them drive down my street once or twice a day when I’m out…typically a slow moving truck, full of crap, driven by some questionnable individual(s)…vultures.
    home owners should cover it. sorry for the loss.

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    • Todd Hudson November 4, 2013 at 10:55 am

      This is why I lock my bikes (and cable them together) even when they are parked in my locked garage.

      Finding my bicycle sitting at a staple, completely stripped of all parts, was my wake-up call.

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    • Chris I November 4, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      Gas needs to be more expensive.

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    • GlowBoy November 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      “Portland is ripe with people trolling neighborhoods, looking for things to steal.” Yep. A few years ago I was about ten seconds too late to identify the beat-up old pickup that drove off with my commuter bike in the bed.

      More recent trolling for things to steal … around 4am this Halloween night some of my neighbors (in Brooklyn) caught a young man and woman prowling in people’s backyards and on porches. Their BS response was that they were “trick-or-treating,” and then they took off on little kids’ bikes. Another reminder to keep our bikes, and stuff, and house, locked up.

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  • RW November 4, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Easy to crowd source funds for replacement. I’ll contribute soon as links up here.

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    • CaptainKarma November 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      Hardly necessary.

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  • q`Tzal November 4, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Somebody better alert the police.
    Not so much about the bike being stolen, which couldn’t hurt, but about the angry mob bent on violence that won’t be able to calm down sufficiently before they are able to find this very very unique cargo bike.

    Emily’s cargo bike will turn up very quickly and hopefully tempers will have tempered before the Portland Bike Mafia finds the perp.

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    • Adam November 4, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Good point. My first reaction was a burning desire to stomp face rather than be concerned as to how she would get around. That sucks. I wonder if I’m getting so used to thefts that my outrage at things like this is just a catalyst for other stuff, as opposed to general concern for my fellow riders who are victimized. Thanks for posting.

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  • Andrew Squirrel November 4, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Actually the photo was taken last year. Just click on the photo you posted, Flickr tracks this data.
    “Taken on June 22, 2012”

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    • Matt Youell November 4, 2013 at 11:01 am

      There are two photos. He was indicating the photo at the top, from her Tweet.

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      • El Biciclero November 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm

        Ah. I, too was asking myself, “what firewood?” Now I see.

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  • Joe November 4, 2013 at 10:44 am

    🙁 ah man we need to all keep our eyes open!

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  • TOM November 4, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Bike thieves belong in HELL . scum.

    hopefully this bike is distinctive enough to be recovered quickly. I will keep a lookout for it on my travels.

    LOCK, LOCK, LOCK …… always .. (even in your yard, heck probably even in your residence)

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    • Scott November 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      There is no such thing as “hell”.

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      • tony tapay
        tony tapay November 4, 2013 at 12:11 pm

        But there is such a thing as expressions and hyperbole.

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      • Brian November 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm

        Prove it. 😉

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  • BURR November 4, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I’m pretty sure this is the house on the NW corner of SE *** and SE ***. I see all kinds of unlocked bikes – kids and adults – sitting out in the front yard and side driveway every time I go by, I’m surprised this hasn’t happened sooner.

    ***Address deleted by moderator.

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    • JT November 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Did a post possibly listing this semi-famous/controversial person’s home location really make it past the mods here? At best bikeportland just advertised a target for thieves.

      BURR, why post the location? If you felt you simply had to victim-blame, why not simply state you were pretty sure that house had poor bike security?

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 4, 2013 at 11:37 am

        Sorry we didn’t catch that sooner. The address has been deleted.

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        • mikeybikey November 4, 2013 at 1:20 pm

          jonathan, thank you for removing the personal information that BURR posted. i don’t know what your policy is for banning someone from commenting on this site but BURR used your site to dox emily and her family. this is a pretty serious form of cyberbulling/harassment IMO. i’m curious what other people think.

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          • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm

            RE: my policy for banning someone:

            Banning someone is very very rare. Don’t think I’ve ever done that. However, I do often place people on a list that puts all of their comments into moderation until someone can read it and approve it on a case-by-case basis.

            I’ll consider that treatment for BURR. While his posting of her cross-streets is totally inappropriate, he/she is a longtime commenter with a history on this site, so I take that into consideration as well. Thanks for the feedback and I’ll continue to monitor comments from BURR.

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          • BURR November 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm

            FWIW, I was just guessing on the house/location, based on the bikes I’ve seen there.

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          • q`Tzal November 4, 2013 at 1:51 pm

            I don’t have any reason to believe what BURR did was malicious or intentional however the damage is done. Banning seems more appropriate for intentional offenders; an automated site message to the commenter’s included email address explaining that the comment was removed for X would be useful.

            Part of this mechanism already exists here because we know certain commenters and certain words are flaged while a comment is visible only to the commenter awaiting website moderation.

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          • q`Tzal November 4, 2013 at 1:52 pm

            For which my comment was marked as awaiting moderation. .. HA!

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        • q`Tzal November 4, 2013 at 1:38 pm

          Alas Bikeportland.org is getting a big and diverse enough audience that having an explicit set of rules for comments (like Consumerist does) even if it only enumerates what will get removed is perhaps A VERY GOOD IDEA.

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    • BIKELEPTIC November 4, 2013 at 11:25 am

      Regardless of who’s coordinates that is; don’t you think that posting someone’s private residential address and saying that address has unlocked bikes in front of it on the internet is rather couthless?

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      • BURR November 4, 2013 at 11:37 am

        Sorry, but it’s not victim blaming when someone who doesn’t take personal responsibility for their bike is subsequently ‘devestated’ when it’s stolen.

        But maybe since this is Portland, some other sort of Bizarro planet rules apply…

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        • Todd Hudson November 4, 2013 at 11:44 am

          It’s really difficult to not pass judgment here. She didn’t walk away from the unsecured bike for a short period – she left it unsecured overnight.

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          • tony tapay
            tony tapay November 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm

            Indeed, but posting someone’s address? Super lame.

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        • Nathan Alan November 4, 2013 at 11:50 am

          Victim blaming or not, it was rude and inconsiderate. A good neighbor would have advised the owners that maybe they should lock up their bikes.

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        • JT November 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm

          Sorry, but it certainly IS victim blaming. Would you and I have diligently secured our bikes? Certainly. I am zealous about this sort of security because I know how many unscrupulous people there are in the world.

          However, bike theft is not some force of nature that simply exists and must be accepted. Another human being took this woman’s property out of their own selfishness. That makes her a victim. Just because she was overly trusting of the people surrounding her does not make her at fault for being a victim, the person who stole the bike bears sole responsibility for the crime.

          I would never leave my unlocked bike outside, but I sure SHOULD be able to. I do not have to accept this kind of theft as normal and acceptable.

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        • Scott November 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm

          Emily was actually able to spell ‘devastated’ correctly.

          Perhaps the mods would let you post your address for as long as you had the other one up?

          It’s Bizarro planet right? What’s there to be worried about?

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        • tony tapay
          tony tapay November 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm

          But what does any of that have to do with posting someone’s home address? Unless you are falling prey to Bizarro logic yourself.

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          • Scott November 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm

            Because BURR misspelled devastated in his comment and also tried to defend posting a private address like it was no big deal.

            I pointed out his misspelling and challenged him to post his address. This is easy stuff here tony tapay.

            It never ceases to amaze me ho low the reading comprehension is on this site. Maybe it is all sites and this is the only one I follow. Maybe the majority of Americans have low reading comprehension and are not able to parse logic.

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  • Spiffy November 4, 2013 at 11:17 am

    a ride up and down the Springwater should reveal the location of her bike…

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    • spare_wheel November 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      “Liberal” portlandia loves to bash on it’s untouchables.

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      • tony tapay
        tony tapay November 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm

        As someone who has recovered 2 stolen bikes (not mine) I’m baffled how admitting an uncomfortable fact is bashing. I recovered one stolen bike right in front of the soup kitchen on SE Grand. I suppose I’m a horrible person to even think of checking there.

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        • Scott November 4, 2013 at 1:10 pm

          You are a super hero. I am assuming that you will be the one recovering Emily Finch’s cargo bike then? You have had so much success, and you know where to look, so it should be no problem for you, tony tapay?

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        • spare_wheel November 4, 2013 at 1:27 pm

          Personal anecdotes are not “facts”.

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  • Cory Poole November 4, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    What is the polite way to ask to see under the blue tarps at Springwater tent city?

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  • esther c November 4, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Yes it is victim blaming to say its her fault for leaving the bike unlocked.

    Sure, locking it might have prevented it or taking it inside or hiring an armed security guard to stand watch over it all night.

    The reason it got stolen was not because it wasn’t locked up. The reason it got stolen was because a thief stole it.

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    • JRB November 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      10 thumbs up.

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      • JRB November 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

        And here’s to hoping that Emily gets her bike back soon in its pre-theft condition. APB posted to my social network.

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    • BURR November 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Pretty naive for any cyclist in Portland not to know that the risk of bike theft is rather high in this city; sure, losing a bike to theft makes you a ‘vctim’, but leaving multiple unlocked bikes out in plain sight all the time just serves to make you a target.

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      • Todd Hudson November 4, 2013 at 12:35 pm

        The fact that it was unlocked and in an unsecured area might also affect her homeowner’s claim.

        While it’s noble and ideal that we don’t “victim blame”, we are, to a degree, responsible for securing our surroundings.

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      • Scott November 4, 2013 at 1:12 pm


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        • BURR November 4, 2013 at 1:27 pm


          Thank you, spelling police. Maybe there’d be less typos here in general if BikePortland.com provided an edit function.

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    • CaptainKarma November 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      I had the family minivan stolen once because I left the keys under the seat. I felt like an idiot , but the cops said it wasn’t my fault; the perps didn’t HAVE to steal a car.

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  • rainbike November 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I’m glad we don’t have this conversation EVERY SINGLE TIME a bike is stolen in Portland. Sheesh…Makes me think it’s less about the darned bike and more about a polarizing storyline.

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    • spare_wheel November 4, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      I think it’s very polarizing to see posters bash the homeless in a post about a $4000 bike that was carelessly discarded in the yard of a $500K home. Proudhon is smiling in his grave.

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      • wsbob November 4, 2013 at 2:24 pm

        The bashing seems to be towards people that are bike thieves, possibly hanging out at places where homeless people are known to camp out. It’s an invasive theft, whether it’s of a $4000 bike from a $500,000 house, or a $40 dollar bike from a $50,000 house.

        I actually didn’t read last weeks’ story about the tall clown bike being stolen, but by its’ appearance, it doesn’t look like that bike’s cost approached anything close to maybe more than a couple hundred bucks, but its owner may have been very bummed out about it being taken from him.

        Finch is relatively lucky, her husband her having a good income, living in a nice neighborhood. If it’s not recovered, she’ll probably be able to replace the bike, no problem, especially being the subject of some celebrity recognition, if it’s not replaced for her by fans. I don’t really see it’s justified to heap a lot of indignation on this busy mom for absentmindedly leaving the bike unlocked in the side yard, or for failing to get the kids to bring their bikes in from off the front yard.

        Shouldn’t have to point out that people commonly forget and misplace things…cell phones, purses, billfolds, clothing, sometimes cars…even when they’re single and fancy free. Considering their situation though, if it doesn’t already have one their using for the purpose of securing bikes, the family should probably have a bike garage with a security system.

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      • Pliny November 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm

        So… how poor does someone have to be before stealing from them is wrong?

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  • Ted Buehler November 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Remember, folks, if your steed isn’t linked to something sturdy with a U Lock, you’re potentially supporting the stolen bike resale market & encouraging thieves to go poking through backyards.

    And if you buy a U Lock, you’re supporting your local bike shops.

    No way around it, really.

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  • Adam November 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    My sympathies. If mybike got stolen I would be practically incapacitated – I rely on it for everything. That said, leaving your bike unlocked overnight in yr yard is really, really stupid.

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  • Matt Youell November 4, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I guess no one has ever locked themselves out of their house or left their car unlocked overnight? Wheel locks in particular are very, very easy to leave the key in and forget. At least with a car you have the advantage of dinging bells and dashlights. Just some food for thought. Sympathy seems a little short here.

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    • Todd Hudson November 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      A better analogy would be “leaving your car door open and the keys in the ignition”.

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  • Joe November 4, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I also have returned someones bike to them after finding it. had to buy it
    and yes he gave me finders fee, yes I lost money but its bike karma.
    keep your eyes open mostly at night.. we can get this back it we all help eachother. * think about when you lost your tranport I have *

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    • annefi November 4, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      He should have paid you what you paid to retrieve his bike.

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