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Heroic bike shop employee wrestles back stolen track bike

Posted by on July 27th, 2015 at 4:39 pm

Alleged thief on stolen bike.
(Photo: Nate Gibson)

Thanks to the quick thinking and brave action of a bike shop employee in southwest Portland, one of three track racing bikes stolen from Alpenrose Velodrome last week has been recovered.

Nate Gibson, an undergrad at Portland State University and employee at Southwest Bicycle, contacted us today with the good news.

Here’s Gibson’s version of events:

“So here goes, I’m finally calm enough to sit down and type.

So, I’m walking back to my shop from the coffee shop when I see a guy (young male with his shirt unbuttoned) on a track bike. I instantly knew something was wrong and followed him around the corner. My brain said “that’s the bike stolen from alpenrose!” So, I grabbed him and asked “where the fuck did you get that bike?” He claimed he “bought it in north Portland for $300” I said “bullshit you did” and grabbed the saddle and refused to let go, while asking a guy walking buy to call 911.

He tried to take off but I wouldn’t let go and managed to try and snap pictures at he same time so at least I’d have his photo in case he did break free.


Safe and sound.
(Photo @ElroyArt on Twitter)

Me and the bystander had to hold him for about 15 minutes before the cops did show up. He kept screaming obscenities at me and tried to wrestle away many times. I let the air out of the rear tire so in case he did get away he wouldn’t be able to ride it. But being a track bike with no brakes, track pedals and tall gearing, it would have been extremely difficult to actually ride anyway.

The officers that showed up knew exactly which bike it was, as they just personally filed the report. They were very helpful and the one officer was taking about how stoked he was that we recovered it and that “bike thieves make him sick”.

Very nicely done Nick! I think Stephen McLaughry owes you a debt of gratitude for getting his bike back to him safe and sound.

This reminds me of many other recoveries we’ve had over the years thanks to bike shop employees. There’s something about a trained eye that can spot odd bike/biker situations. Now, hopefully the other two bikes turn up.

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  • NC July 27, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Rock on!

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  • Esther July 27, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    I applaud stolen property being returned to its owner, but I am leery of applauding vigilante behavior including physically restraining individuals based on accusation of a crime. (And yes, I understand he did not legal right to possession of the bike, even if no one can prove he’s the person who stole it.)

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    • SilkySlim July 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      Just applause from me.

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    • Mossby Pomegranate July 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      And this is why bike theft thrives here.

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      • Esther July 27, 2015 at 5:14 pm

        Yawn. If I saw my friend’s stolen bike, I would of course grab it/u-lock it/do whatever I had to do to prevent the bike itself from leaving (and be on the phone with my friend and the police). Grabbing strangers and detaining them? That is not OK.

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        • Tony T
          Tony T July 27, 2015 at 5:32 pm

          “That is not OK.”

          Actually it is depending on the crime involved.

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          • DoctaJ July 27, 2015 at 10:18 pm

            Stealing bikes sure as hell isn’t one of those crimes! Lol

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          • q`Tzal July 28, 2015 at 2:17 pm

            In Oregon it is legal for felonies but not misdemeanors.
            The easy way to remember this is if it is a crime against a person you can detain them but not crimes against property.

            Only when unlawful detention is committed in protection of public safety is it legal for civilians to do so.

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            • Paul July 29, 2015 at 6:05 pm

              That’s good info for homeowners who hold burglars at gunpoint.

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            • HJ July 31, 2015 at 9:02 am

              Considering the bike is worth well over $1000 its theft is a felony.

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        • eddiearni July 27, 2015 at 5:48 pm


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        • Tim July 27, 2015 at 5:53 pm

          Keeping a thief from leaving with someone’s else’s bike is being a good citizen not a vigilante. A little U-lock justice would be vigilante, but understandable.

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        • George H. July 28, 2015 at 10:01 am

          Yes, grabbing strangers suspected of crimin activity is okay and100% legal. What you are doing is enabling theft. Please stop.

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        • A.H. July 28, 2015 at 10:14 am

          The author claims to have grabbed the bike’s saddle, not the alleged thief.

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          • Middle of the Road guy July 28, 2015 at 12:14 pm

            Not so.
            “So, I grabbed him and asked “where the fuck did you get that bike?”

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        • Middle of the Road guy July 28, 2015 at 12:06 pm

          But in this case it sounds like it was a correct action.

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        • was carless July 28, 2015 at 5:47 pm

          Look up “citizens arrest.”

          Actually, here I’ll do it for you:

          ORS 133.225: Arrest by private person

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          • Paul July 29, 2015 at 6:12 pm

            Exactly what crime being committed was being observed in this case?

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        • wsbob July 30, 2015 at 7:14 pm

          Esther, link to Cam’s account of the incident as a one of the people involved in keeping the bike from rolling off:

          For a person having come by the bike honestly, their response to a claim from someone saying the bike was stolen, would be simple: quietly wait for the police to show up and hear his story.

          The two guys held onto the bike, and initially the kid as well, but then let the kid go. He may have been able to run off, but he didn’t. That was showing some good sense there. With a lot of luck, he’s not the thief, is able to help track down the actual culprits, and get his money back.

          I agree though, that just because someone has a bike suspected of being stolen, does not prove the person in possession of the bike is a thief, or the thief. So someone jumping to the conclusion they are, with no more evidence than the person and the bike together, and deciding on that basis alone to detain the person on an accusation of theft, is taking a risk.

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      • Glenn July 28, 2015 at 11:51 am

        “Bike theft thrives here” because bikes thrive here, and because noobs keep arriving here who don’t know how to lock a bike competently.

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        • jeff July 28, 2015 at 1:07 pm

          except this bike was stolen out of a storage facility at Alpenrose.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 27, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      I hear you Esther.

      I’m not sure about Oregon law but I recall in California it was legal to restrain someone in the act of committing a crime as long as you didn’t rough them up. I know this because my brother used to work at a supermarket and he would delight in running down shoplifters and holding them until the police came.

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      • Charley Gee July 28, 2015 at 10:13 am

        In Oregon the standard for citizen arrest is that the crime itself has to be committed in the presence of the private person and the private person must have probable cause to believe the person they are arresting committed the crime. ORS 133.225.

        Physical force is allowed in making the arrest if the person making the arrest believes it to be reasonably necessary to prevent escape. ORS 161.255.

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    • Al Dimond July 27, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      In this particular case the vigilante was a bike mechanic that was probably knowledgeable enough to identify this particular, notable stolen bike at a glance, especially given particular features (pedals, gearing) that you would only see on a track bike.

      Most people, most of the time, should not be making this judgment at a glance.

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    • wsbob July 27, 2015 at 8:46 pm

      Innocent strangers in possession of a suspected stolen bike would happily stick around for questioning by the police.

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      • wsbob July 27, 2015 at 11:07 pm

        I should revise, a bit, what I wrote:

        Innocent strangers informed by an apparently reliable person, that a bike they’re in possession of is a suspected stolen bike, would happily stick around for questioning by the police.

        This guy’s behavior upon realizing how the encounter was playing out (he and the bike being retained, the call to 911, his repeated attempts to get away, swearing…), all make him look very guilty of something.

        Many innocent people, approached by someone they don’t know and then being aggressively accused having stolen something, and physically restrained, might be scared; though if the accuser isn’t preparing to beat them up, which bike spotter Nate Gibson didn’t, then it seems most people would just relax and say ‘Fine, I’ll wait for the police and explain to them what I know.’.

        Since the guy with the bike wasn’t able to walk away, it seems likely the police would at least be able to hold him for questioning. Maybe by that means, he’ll be persuaded to come forth with some info that will lead to the recovery of the other bikes.

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        • 9watts July 29, 2015 at 8:16 am

          unless you’re black, of course.

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          • soren August 12, 2015 at 1:18 pm

            or you forgot to shave and have some old clothes on…

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    • George H. July 28, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Oregon law (ORS 161.229) permits the use of non-lethal force to prevent the commission of a theft. ORS 133.225 also says a private citizen can forcibly detain a person until police arrive.

      What Nate Gibson did was not “vigilante behavior” – he had every right under the law to do what he did, and people need to be doing this more to send the message that bike theft will not be tolerated.

      Even with the task force, bike theft is not a high enough priority for PPB, and the mayor and other commissioners are too paralyzed by the specter of politically correctness to actually deal with the problem.

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    • rain waters July 28, 2015 at 10:18 am

      Still no thumbs down option?

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    • Glenn July 28, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      Once while fixing MY BIKE on a public street in Portland, someone accused me of being in the process of stealing it. He seemed pretty sure of himself. Maybe he “instantly knew something was wrong.” Oh something was wrong all right, or rather someone was.

      Should he have taken it all the way to physical assault of a citizen like this “hero” did? Let’s imagine maybe I have alternative grooming habits, shabby clothes, or am a racial minority. Or worse, there’s just something about me that doesn’t fit with young people’s simplistic-ass model of the world, like this guy. So when the cops got there would they make me prove my own stuff was mine? Or just arrest me then and there? I can tell you once said proof was obtained through whatever hassle were required, you can be 100% sure that if he had managed to escape being charged with a crime he would be sued by me for whatever I could get.

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      • JP July 28, 2015 at 4:18 pm

        Did you see the part about how Nate is a bike mechanic? He’s also an OBRA racer, which means he probably knows the guy whose bike it was. This wasn’t a case of “that guy doesn’t look fast/rich/white enough for that bike.” It was a case of a trained professional spotting a particular bike, that he knew to be stolen, being ridden by a person who he knew not to be the owner.

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        • longgone July 29, 2015 at 2:07 am

          Thank you.
          May we close this comment thread now?
          P.S. Esther, you were once my friend. Now I wonder why.

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          • Glenn July 29, 2015 at 11:51 am

            Some friend.

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        • Glenn July 29, 2015 at 11:50 am

          Bike mechanicry is no big mystery and is quite irrelevant to a policeman’s job for example. But no you’re right, if someone mugs me I’ll forgive him — but only if he’s a bike mechanic. Or if he “probably” knows a guy whose bike looks like mine.

          If I can get you to put the details of this one case within a larger collection of similar cases and call it “Citizens With No Police Training Detaining Other Citizens for Suspected Crimes And BTW They’re Real Sure About It” that’d be great.

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    • Justin Gast July 28, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Screw that. If my bike was stolen and I saw the thief with it, I’m knocking his ass out. Make it easy for the cops to take him into custody when he’s passed out on the ground.

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      • 9watts July 29, 2015 at 8:20 am

        “If my bike was stolen and I saw the thief with it, I’m knocking his ass out.”

        The problem with that approach as I see it is that the person you might see with your just stolen bike (or your wife’s just stolen bike) could very well not be the thief but someone who bought the bike. We all know that purchasing stolen goods is proscribed too, but now we’re much deeper in the weeds than before. Maybe the person riding your just stolen bike is the girlfriend of the person who bought it from the thief? You going to ‘knock her ass out’ too?

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    • Dan M. July 29, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      That wasn’t vigilantism, that was good citizenship. Vigilantes dole out justice, this guy phone the police.

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    • Phoenix Bueller July 31, 2015 at 12:49 am

      Read about “Citizens’ Arrest”. As long as he didn’t hurt the guy (who’s up for either Grand Theft or Receiving Stolen Property) in detaining him (long enough to turn him over to the popo) he’s probably OK. If Gibson had beat the piss out of the thief, that would be not so cool.

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  • Bella Bici July 27, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Did they actually arrest the person in “possession” of the stolen track bike? Or was the excuse, “I bought it from somebody else/I found it under a bridge/etc.” enough for him to walk free.

    Again, what the heck are the penalties for possession of stolen goods in Portland? I remain confused.

    And, of course, RIGHT ON Nate!!! Great to have a brave person, in a sea of cowards and “not my business” citizens, stand up and make a difference.

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    • Bella Bici July 27, 2015 at 5:06 pm

      Oh, and I forgot, the legal schmegal excuse makers who use that ticket to purchase their personal justification to do nothing. Blechhhh

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    • Spiffy July 28, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      they can’t arrest you unless they have evidence that you stole it… it’s not illegal to possess stolen property if you don’t know that it’s stolen…

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  • J_R July 27, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    I applaud Gibson for doing what it took to get the bike back and hold the criminal for the cops! Good job!

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    • Dave July 27, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      One of the most satisfying experiences you can have working in a bike shop! Bravo!

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  • mike July 27, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    way to go, Nate !

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  • steve p July 27, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    That just made my day. Thanks for posting this article. Any chance you can report his mugshot so we can spot him in the future. Great job Nate

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    • jeff July 28, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      he’s a minor. 17. posting his face could be problematic down the road.
      from other accounts, he was also crying like a baby when the police cuffed him.

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  • esther2 July 27, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Possession of stolen property is a crime.

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    • Spiffy July 28, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      only if you know that it was stolen…

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  • eddiearni July 27, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    IMHO it wasn’t a terribly good idea to hold onto the person who stole the bike. Hold on to the bike by all means, but unless you’re trained to do so, physically detaining someone can be quite dangerous. The guy could’ve been on tweak or had a knife. Nate’s lucky in this regard…

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    • Nate gibson July 27, 2015 at 11:26 pm

      He wouldn’t let go of the bike and tried to leave several times. Even when the cops showed up he still wouldn’t let go of it until they actually handcuffed him. He was a 17 year old kid with no pockets to hide weapons in. I assessed him as being no danger before I put him in an arm bar while the other guy helped me. Would I physically detain someone who actually looked dangerous? Absolutely, otherwise he’d be gone and so would the bike.

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  • are July 27, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    arrest by private citizen for crime “committed in the presence of”
    which here would have to be possession of stolen property
    but only if the arresting citizen has “probable cause to believe” the detainee committed the crime, which requires
    that you pretty much know his state of mind

    while restraining someone where you find him does not fall within the literal definition of second degree “kidnapping”
    a false arrest is an actionable civil tort

    legal schmeagle

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    • Bella Bici July 27, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      Yes, there is a sub-population debilitated by a JD. Thankfully, blessedly, I will never be such a person.

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      • Al Dimond July 27, 2015 at 6:55 pm

        If you ever come under the suspicion of a police officer you might be damn glad that a bunch of old dead people debilitated by JDs sat around and worked out standards for probable cause and false arrest. It’s hard to read the news these days and think it’s a good idea to be more cavalier with these things.

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      • are July 28, 2015 at 10:02 am

        in the particular case, bella, it turned out the guy was in possession of stolen goods. we still do not know how he came into possession, whether he knew, etc. in some other case it might be a mistake.

        let’s say it is you, bella, being detained on some sidewalk somewhere through the exercise of some physical force — in my crippled JD analysis above i left out assault, which is criminal — and let’s say the responding cop is not so gentle. is this what you really want?

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    • Phoenix Bueller July 31, 2015 at 12:58 am

      False, shmalse. He was in possession of property known to be stolen. He’s got some ‘splainin’ to do at the very least.

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  • Josh Chernoff July 27, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    It should not come to this. We need more resources to combat this issue. The petty theft issue is out of control in portland and it takes random people to do anything about it.

    Its great but still hard to be happy when its just a drop in the bucket.

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    • Phoenix Bueller July 31, 2015 at 1:56 am

      $4000 track artillery is hardly ‘petty’. IMU three of these machines were stolen. This is serious burglary/theft. Riding off on an unlocked bicycle is ‘petty’. This is not that. These are criminals who need to experience the full force of the Criminal Injustice System. Especial Kudos go to the officer who was jazzed to recover a stolen bike.

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  • Scott Kocher July 27, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Ok Stephen M has his bike back but I still want to steal his quads.

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  • Mike Gilliland
    Mike Gilliland July 28, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Bravo Nate! It’s pretty obvious to sense wrong situations if you are knowledgeable of the conditions. I also don’t think letting the air out of the tire was extreme force, but you would have to take care in these conditions and your own safety assessment is part of the situation if you are detaining someone.

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  • Scott H July 28, 2015 at 10:29 am

    It’s time to legalize cruel and unusual punishment for bike thieves.

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    • Steve B July 28, 2015 at 4:38 pm

      No, it’s not.

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  • caesar July 28, 2015 at 10:29 am

    As gratifying as this story and its happy ending is, it will not change anything. I’m in friggin’ central Wisconsin now, for a week of work, and even here the natives have heard about the PDX bike theft culture and snicker about it. More enforcement and stiffer penalties – that’s what the city needs. Nothing else will make a difference.

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    • TJ July 28, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      Long established PPD has many issues, but I’ll add a real lack of enforcement and proactive presence on livability and community issues like bike theft and traffic enforcement. These are simple crimes that need police leadership to curb.

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  • Redhippie July 28, 2015 at 11:50 am

    I applaud stolen property being returned to its owner, but I am leery of applauding vigilante behavior including physically restraining individuals based on accusation of a crime. (And yes, I understand he did not legal right to possession of the bike, even if no one can prove he’s the person who stole it.)Recommended 9

    People with a permissive mindset such as yours is a big part of the reason we have such a problem to begin with. If more people went out of their way to prevent a theft or recover their property we would have a much more lawful and considerate society. As it is now, we have created a grey economy of stolen bikes to fuel anti-social behavior such as drug abuse, homelessness and joblessness.

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    • George H. July 28, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      Portland has inherited a large contingent of social justice warriors who prefer to be permissive and turn a blind eye to things like the chopshops, because admitting a problem causes them a lot of cognitive dissonance. They also happen to be very anti-police.

      While they suggest that noble ideas like comprehensive mental health care and free homes for all homeless, they are merely noble ideas and a generation away from being reality. It almost seems like the SJWs prefer things like rampant bike theft because those hardest hit are those of which they perceive as having too much privilege.

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      • are July 28, 2015 at 5:55 pm

        so let’s do nothing at all to make the world a better place, but by god hold onto our material possessions.

        my twenty-plus year-old road bike, which might garage sale for a hundred only because of the work i have put into it over the years, is possibly the single most valuable thing i own, and i rely on it as my sole means of transportation. nonetheless, i am not eager to build a police state to keep it in my possession.

        what are you personally doing to disrupt the sharp trend toward income and wealth inequality and to provide opportunities for disaffected people to feel they are part of a community from which they do not want to steal.

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        • 9watts July 29, 2015 at 8:23 am

          my favorite comment in this thread. Thanks ‘are’.

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          • longgone July 31, 2015 at 2:03 am

            Vapid hyperbole and mental drivel abound!!
            Is no one willing to understand that in this case, a bicycle of unique and specific detail was found in the area close to its disappearance, and an industry employee was aware enough to take action to impede it’s shadowy loss?
            Quite frankly I find most of you to be superbly naive.
            This bicycle did not make it’s way to NoPo and back to the S.W. side for 300 dollars.
            While I would most generally be opposed to violent vigilant behavior, this situation warrants absolutely none of this emotional conjecture.
            Good god. You people are nuts.

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            • longgone July 31, 2015 at 2:06 am

              ….and how this boiled down to a conversation on mental health, social programs and entitlement is so laughable!

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  • Aixe Djelal July 28, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Well done, Nate! It’s great to read about someone observing, thinking quickly and acting selflessly to do the right thing. Last week I was excited about Megan Holcomb recovering her stolen bike, but the story soured for me when I realized she paid a ransom for it and presumably didn’t involve the police who might have been able to do put a dent in a bike theft ring and maybe recover some other people’s bikes too. But this story of Nate’s altruism makes me very happy. I hope that the bike theft culture rep that Portland is getting beyond our city helps light a fire under the authorities to allocate more resources to not only combat but deter bike theft.

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  • pixelgate July 28, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    I guess there is a smalllll chance the guy really did innocently buy the bike for $300 in north portland, but every molecule of common sense in my knows that’s a lie and I’m glad this guy intervened and rescued the bike.

    That alpenrose store should take this guy out to a fancy dinner somewhere or something. He really put his neck on the line for them. Glad everything seems to be resolved save and happily.

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  • pixelgate July 28, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    And sorry for my ignorance if Alpenrose isn’t a bike shop but instead a race track. Hopefully the owner of said bike rewards the guy in some way.

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  • Eric July 28, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Who would steal a track bike? Of all the bikes out there, that is probably the most worthless kind in regards to street riding and keeping a low profile.

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    • jeff July 28, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      bored, idiotic 17 year old kids.

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    • George H. July 28, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      It’s meth logic. Stealing a $4k track bike seems like a great idea while under the influence. I imagine that meth logic has a lot to do with the massive graveyard of presumably stolen bike parts at I-5 and SE Salmon (that camp is getting huge again by the way).

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    • davemess July 28, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      “Track” bikes (most people think anything with a single gear) are hip right now (and have been for 5+ years).
      Not that surprising.
      The dumb thing is riding it around SW (not that far from the track).

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    • Phoenix Bueller July 31, 2015 at 1:13 am

      Have you been under ground for the last twenty years? “Fixies” are a perennial urban rage. Among class B & C cyclists, which are the great majority.

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  • sbushnel July 28, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    dont get assaulted over a bike, its not worth it.

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  • Captain Karma July 28, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I have an acquaintance who was literally going to shoot a bike thief. I understand the sentiment, but a bike can be replaced. When the guns and knives come out, stuff can go way south, way fast.

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    • Spiffy July 28, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      I’d be ok with that if the thief was still on their property…

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      • are July 28, 2015 at 7:58 pm

        just f*ckin wow

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  • Cam July 28, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    My name is Cam. I am the bystander that called 911 and helped detain the teen in possession of the stolen bike. I was just walking by when Nate confronted the kid, who clearly didn’t match such an exotic, specialized bike. I fully believe the young man (17) was duped into buying it by the real thief, for $300, as he claimed. As Nate pointed out to me, the Dolan was purpose-built for velodrome racing alone -completely impractical for street riding.

    I stepped in to help prevent the kid from riding off on the bike, which he didn’t really attempt to do. Nate held the saddle, while I straddled the front wheel and held the handlebars. So, in effect, the kid was kinda pinned where he stood. I think he was more scared than anything.

    He did a lot of shouting as a crowd of onlookers gathered, taking photos and video. He didn’t kick or punch or even threaten violence. Nate and the kid both had a lot of adrenaline. I tried to de-escalate the situation by asking them to stay calm and wait for the cops.

    I saw Nate try and pin the kid’s arm back, while stating he was making a citizen’s arrest. I held the young man’s wrist for a minute and then let go. By this time, the kid was tired and just wanted to sit down, which we allowed him to do.

    When the police arrived they arrested the young man w/o incident. One of the cops was very excited because earlier that day he had sent a bulletin to Central Precinct to be on the lookout for the very bike we recovered. So, there is at least one PPD officer who cares about catching bike thieves. I didn’t get his name though.

    Hopefully, the kid they arrested will help the PPD identify the actual thieves.

    I am a PDX native who has seen property crime rise here, as in other cities, and hate that is impacting the livability of my hometown. I feel it is appropriate and beneficial for citizens to assist law enforcement by speaking up. reporting crime info, and, in certain situations, by physically detaining an individual suspected of a crime until police arrive.

    Thanks for reading,

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    • wsbob July 30, 2015 at 12:51 am

      Cam, as someone involved firsthand, thanks for your description of the recovery.

      “…I fully believe the young man (17) was duped into buying it by the real thief, for $300, as he claimed. …”

      Hopefully, he’ll have contact info for people he says sold him the bike, that are possible to reach, and some kind of receipt for the purchase. The seller should also have given him a believable story about how they came by the bike. Got to be especially careful if the deal looks too good to be true.

      Estimating from craig’s ads, $300 these days, not exactly small change, buys a decent quality name brand used bike, but not a high end bike. Even from the snapshots accompanying this story, the bike with its aero tubing and unconventional rear stay design, hints that it definitely is purpose built, and not a fixie conversion. The price the kid claimed he paid, seems too low for that bike.

      Even if the kid thought he bought the bike honestly, and really did pay 300, he’s likely out that money, at the least. There’s a learning experience for you.

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      • HJ July 31, 2015 at 9:18 am

        Also it strikes me as unlikely that a bike thief would try to unload a bike that hot like that. Usually they just stash them somewhere for a while until things cool down then sell them. That or they just chop them for parts.

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  • paul g. July 28, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Nate didn’t break the kid’s arm–but he could have. If he had, would you feel the same way?

    Nate didn’t pull out a gun to detain the kid, but in some states, he could have. Would that be OK?

    Cam says the kid “clearly didn’t match such an exotic, specialized bike.” If the kid had been black and the bike an expensive model road bike, would you feel the same way making this judgment?

    You held the stolen bike. Fine. Using physical force on a “suspect” whom is not committing a crime (that happened when the theft occurred) and whom you THINK might be in possession of stolen property is pretty risky.

    Lucky for Nate he appears to have actually detained someone who actually had a stolen bike. But he took a big risk. I think most of us would have just held onto the bike. If the kid ran off, so what. You’ve recovered the property.

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    • Dan M. July 29, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      If he broke his arm it would be even better.

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    • jered July 30, 2015 at 9:29 am

      My house could have burned down randomly, I could have been hit by a car, an object from space could have hit me in the head, lightning could strike me – none of that happened. There is no speculation here – It worked out well for Nate and Cam (good job sirs!). That is what happened, what could happened is… well it is NOT WHAT HAPPENED.

      Speculate on things that can still happen ” what is the kid leads them to the bike theif”, the kid was the bike thief and when they searched his house they found all the stolen bikes in Portland”, “the kid was actually the leader if ISIS”.

      Nice job guys.

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    • esther2 August 1, 2015 at 10:56 am

      Lot of could haves there that didn’t happen.

      And once again possession of stolen goods is a crime. Nate recognized the bike as stolen. Nate observed a crime in progress, the young man possessing the stolen property.

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  • daisy July 28, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    I’m glad this bike was recovered and I also share Esther’s concerns. I too get concerned hearing about people who don’t “match” their bikes — we need to be careful with our assumptions about how people look and our judgment of what kind of possessions they have based on their appearances.

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    • esther2 August 1, 2015 at 11:03 am

      this mismatch is what made him look at the bike closely and recognize the bike. Its not what made him stop the guy.

      Its nice to be open minded but you don’t want to be so open minded your brains fall out. If you see someone who appears to not have a lot of economic resources riding an extremely expensive bike it might make you question what is going on. Doesn’t mean you should give them the stink eye, just pay attention and see if you for example,recognize the bike. Does it have fancy pedals they’re trying to ride with tennis shoes? Is the frame the right size for them? Most people who buy $5000 bikes from legit sources try to get them fitted properly. Maybe snap a picture with your cellphone to see if it matches any reports of stolen bikes later.

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  • paulh July 28, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Nate Gibson deserves praise for his actions here, but he should learn to not start every other sentence with the word “so”.

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  • HJ July 31, 2015 at 9:37 am

    In the good news category I heard through the grapevine that Tigard PD managed to recover the other 2 bikes.

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  • KristenT July 31, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I saw a tweet from TigardPD’s bike officers that they’ve recovered the other two bikes in Tigard. Thought you’d want to know.

    And yes! Tigard does have bike cops now! Looks like we’re moving up in the world!

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  • Eric July 31, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Both of the Ti Cycles BigAssTrack bikes have also been recovered. The kid caught with the Dolan started ratting out his friends, they dumped the bikes in a Tigard park. One of them will race tonight! Thanks Nate Gibson!!

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    • longgone July 31, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      Flippin’ fantastic! I am goin back to never reading for a long while again. The comments are too much.

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    • Bjorn August 2, 2015 at 5:26 pm

      Thankfully not everyone believes in coddling bike theives! Not surprising at all that the kid on the stolen bike knew how to find the other 2 bikes. I’d sure like to see an update with a name and some mugshots.

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  • Mike Murray August 7, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    I am not a lawyer but I think that Nate could justify a citizen’s arrest. Possession of the bike, even if claiming it was purchased, could be argued to be a felony as below. Nate knew the bike was stolen and knew that the kid had possession. It would be incumbent on the prosecutor to demonstrate that defendant knew or had good reason to know that the bike had been stolen but Nate only needed probable cause.

    FWIW, as other people have reported, all 3 bikes have been recovered. There was damage to the bikes which will actually total in hundreds of dollars (missing expensive laminated double toe straps, paint damage, flatted tires) but it was fairly minimal.

    § 164.095¹
    Theft by receiving
    (1) A person commits theft by receiving if the person receives, retains, conceals or disposes of property of another knowing or having good reason to know that the property was the subject of theft.

    § 164.055¹
    Theft in the first degree
    (1) A person commits the crime of theft in the first degree if, by means other than extortion, the person commits theft as defined in ORS 164.015 (Theft described) and:
    (a) The total value of the property in a single or aggregate transaction is $1,000 or more;

    (c) The theft is theft by receiving committed by buying, selling, borrowing or lending on the security of the property;

    § 133.225¹
    Arrest by private person
    (1) A private person may arrest another person for any crime committed in the presence of the private person if the private person has probable cause to believe the arrested person committed the crime. A private person making such an arrest shall, without unnecessary delay, take the arrested person before a magistrate or deliver the arrested person to a peace officer.
    (2) In order to make the arrest a private person may use physical force as is justifiable under ORS 161.255 (Use of physical force by private person making citizens arrest). [1973 c.836 §74]

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  • Skid August 10, 2015 at 3:44 am

    Good thing the kid didn’t roll up at Bike Central….Dean doesn’t like bike thieves….nope not one bit.

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  • wsbob August 10, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Different bike theft, thief arrest, but maybe of some interest:

    Just this weekend, sometime during bridgepedal near Naito and Ash, apparently some guy tried to walk off with another guy’s bike. Lots of people around. Guy calls out ‘Hey! that guy is stealing my bike!’ A couple bystanders heard the call, got a fix on the alleged thief, pursued, took him down and held him.

    Cops were called, came, handcuffed and hauled him away. Not before he was obliged, hands cuffed behind his back, to sit on the street awhile, trying to hide his face between his knees.

    My mom, throws baton for one of the bands performing, was nearby, saw the incident transpire first hand. She was excited to tell me about it, having heard from me about bike theft stories reported on bikeportland.

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    • are August 11, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      a situation in which the citizen clearly has probable cause

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