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Let’s find these tricycles stolen from a 65-year old wheelchair user

Posted by on September 29th, 2015 at 12:54 pm


(Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

I’ve been seeing a deluge of bike theft headlines in my media streams these past few weeks and I’m really getting tired of it.

Now I just got this alert from the PPB:

On Friday September 25, 2015, a 65-year-old woman called police to report that her two custom tricycles were stolen from the back porch of her Centennial Neighborhood home in Southeast Portland.

The victim told police that her tricycles were on the back porch of her home in the 2200 block of Southeast 145th Avenue and out of sight from the street. The suspect or suspects entered her locked backyard and stole both tricycles sometime during the night between Thursday September 24 and Friday September 25.


Both tricycles were custom made and allow the victim to transition from her wheelchair to the trike.

That is not cool. Please keep an eye out for these trikes. If you see them or have any information about the theft, please contact Detective Pandra Parks at 503-823-0414 or and reference Portland Police Bureau Case #15-332712.

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  • Adam Herstein September 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    What kind of terrible human being steals a hand-powered tricycle from a 65-year-old woman with a disability?!

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    • Dan Sr. September 29, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      I can’t answer that question, but I can tell you that it’s probably worthwhile to look for them on the Esplanade.

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  • Captain Karma September 29, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Addictions are terrible things.

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    • pat lowell September 29, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      Being a selfish, thieving a-hole is a terrible thing, regardless of the root cause.

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    • longgone September 29, 2015 at 10:04 pm

      Yeah, that’s why I got a job at a brewery.

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  • Todd Boulanger September 29, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Sad news…and one would hope you did not need to lock up such a bike, but thieves are thieves and anything with wheels is “fair” game. In Vancouver there have been similar bike thefts in the past.

    This does bring up a point that may be obvious but unspoken/ missed. As this type of mobility gear is very important for the end user’s quality of life and independence, I would hope that any agency or sponsor providing such devices also assist the end user with a good lock and setting up a secure out of the weather parking place.

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  • Josh Chernoff September 29, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    I agree this is horrible, yet I fail to see how it is any more horrible compared to the over whelming issue of bike theft in our area. I don’t much care to feel like it takes a special case like this to highlight that something needs to done. Its as if bike theft cases are only looked into if there is value in the bike.

    Sorry for the rant and I get why you would be moved by this. I guess I’m just jaded by the whole neglect of the city to address this issue as a whole.

    Mayor Charlie Hales commented on a few tweets about a month ago saying that he would direct someone to clean up the esplanade. Today it is magnitudes worse than it was when he made that comment. While I get that the Portland Police are strapped and that their efforts are going after more organized bike thieves I feel they are over looking the hundreds of transient who are bike thieves. Its as if because they are poor and that they trash the bikes its not worth going after. The chop shop camps have a hall pass to do what every they want and no one is trying to stop them.

    So while this is sad, its also very hopeless cause the chances are if the bike is in one of the camps it most likely is already parted and trashed and no one is gonna look in tents and under the tarps..

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    • Josh Chernoff September 29, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      “Josh- fyi, those people are on PDC property and PDC isn’t cooperating with police efforts to move ’em…” – PPBBikeTheft

      If the police cant address the issue of the chop shop camps then who can?

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      • Mark September 30, 2015 at 7:17 am

        Josh, I looked at your tweets and want to say thank you for your efforts.

        Which one is the PDC property?

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    • Todd Hudson September 29, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      The area under I-5 has gotten pretty ridiculous.

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    • Spiffy September 29, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      I agree… when was the last time the PPB put out an alert for a stolen bicycle?

      will they start sending out an alert for every reported bike theft now? I doubt it… this is just lip service and good PR for them…

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      • Josh Chernoff September 29, 2015 at 4:28 pm

        I don’t think its about PR, its just our nature to help people who are weaker than our selfs and who depend on us. In this case its the fact they are disabled that escalates this issue. The truth is there are only two police offices who are even allowed to give bike theft their priority and they are taxed to the max as it is. Its just as much on our city leaders to step up to the plate on this as it is our police.

        My whole rant is more about the fact is takes a special cases to highlight that this issue is even a thing. Yet at the same time its the worse its ever been and not slowing down a bit. Who is speaking up for all the people who are just as much bike theft victims as the disabled in this story. I don’t just want to find the two bikes show in this post. I want to find all the bikes stolen. The sad part for the most part we all know where to look. So whos gonna do it?

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        • Todd Hudson September 29, 2015 at 4:36 pm

          “they are taxed to the max as it is”

          Didn’t the city have a $50 million dollar surplus this year? I’m scratching my head why PPB is so poorly funded that they can’t adequately address property crime.

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          • Josh Chernoff September 29, 2015 at 4:40 pm

            From what I hear it not money but staff. We need more people who want to a police officers. This time and age I can see why they are having recruiting issues. Plus logistically what can really be done about all the transients in our area that are committing petty crime?

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            • Eric Leifsdad September 30, 2015 at 12:08 am

              I thought the majority of their budget was spent on pensions. In any case, maybe they Mayor needs to figure out who is police commissioner.

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  • Jeff September 29, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    I think there needs to be a shift in perception that a bike is something that can be casually left outside at all. Its a sad that we have to think that way but people seem to have this attitude regardless of how expensive or special it is to them its always “jest a bike”

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    • Endo September 29, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Victim blaming? Really?

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      • Lester Burnham September 30, 2015 at 7:24 am

        Well we’ve come to the point where we can’t blame the perpetrators because that might hurt their feelings.

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        • Josh Chernoff September 30, 2015 at 8:24 pm

          Best thing I’d read all day. If at the end of they day your feeling are hurt well it might be a good time to reflect and realize your bike could have been stolen instead.

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      • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 10:42 am

        This is tiresome. Every time someone says what needs to be said (in this case Jeff), that locking one’s bike up solidly (with a U-lock to something stationary) is an important starting point, someone (in this case you, Endo) trot out the old ‘victim blaming’ trope.
        If someone leaves their house or car unlocked or their laptop on a cafe table unattended we would not be surprised or even I don’t think particularly outraged if someone broke in/stole it. Locks and keys have been part of how we live for eons. Let’s not pretend that this problem (bike theft) is somehow different and that instead of us having a responsibility to lock our bikes, it is more logical to have everyone else move mountains, spend time and energy, protecting UNLOCKED bikes(!) Get real.

        If we all locked our bikes well, I venture that 80% (Gerald Fittipaldi of PSU has said here that for PSU >95% of bikes stolen on campus were not secured with a U-lock) would still be ours. I of course realize that the U-lock/thief thing is an arms race and that U-locks *can* also be defeated, but in the meantime there’s very little need to go to that trouble because so many bikes aren’t locked right in the first place.

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  • Buzz September 29, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    I saw a new open-air bicycle chop shop operating in a vacant lot on the north side of SE Powell between SE 12th and SE 17th last weekend.

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  • Josh Chernoff September 29, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Instead of trying to get people to look for the bikes it would be easier to start a go fund me and buy them new ones.

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  • Buzz September 29, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    There’s also another sketchy camp that comes and goes on the north side of SE Market between SE 8th and 9th, in the CEID. It’s got tents, tarps and a few bike parts visible.

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    • Buzz October 1, 2015 at 9:58 am

      This camp was packed this morning, up to 8 or mare tents and tarps, plenty of bikes visible.

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  • Adam September 29, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    You’ll probably find them under the west side of the Burnside Bridge near the Saturday market.

    Along with the other seventy five stolen bikes. Including!! The obviously stolen brand new black and lime green Cannondale being ridden around in circles by the wino with two extra wheels hanging off its handlebars two days ago.

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  • Spiffy September 29, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    a Schwinn Meridian is not a custom trike… that one is likely gone forever…

    the hand-trike will be the one they get back… the only thing cross-compatible are the rear wheels… somebody will likely ditch it along the Springwater on their way back to the city…

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  • MaxD September 29, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I saw some sketchy types hoisting a long stick skewered with about 15 bike wheels over west railing of the MLK overpass over I-84 on the south side. It looks a pretty big camp is getting established down there. I saw this last friday around 5:30

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    • Buzz September 29, 2015 at 3:27 pm

      I saw that pile of skewered bike wheels sitting by the fence at that same location for a couple of days at the end of last week and then it was gone.

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  • Endo September 29, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    We need real penalties for bike thieves! Not any more of this slap on the wrist and send them on their way stuff! These people are scumbags and need to do some hard time. Why on earth would they stop?

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    • Mike Quiglery September 30, 2015 at 5:26 am

      What kind of penalties? Fine ’em? They don’t have any money. Lock ’em up? No money and jail overcrowding already. Accept that America has created a have/have not society, and the have nots will survive any way they can.

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      • Endo September 30, 2015 at 11:31 am

        We absolutely should throw them in jail, and for years, not days. We’ve stopped prosecuting marijuana users and so we should have some extra space. If not then by all means increase our property taxes because if we can’t lock up the piece of garbage that stole the bike of a 65-year-old handicapped woman then we’re giving these folks the green light to do whatever they want.

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        • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 11:36 am

          this is all very vengeful, your proposal, but do you know that this actually has the effect you desire, or does it just make you feel better?

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          • Endo September 30, 2015 at 2:03 pm

            Portland is a hotbed for bike crime in part because we’re not doing anything to stop it. If there are 500 bike thieves on the street and we jail 200 of them, what do you think the other 300 are going to do? Keep at it?

            You can call it vengeful if you want, but the alternative is to sit here and twiddle our thumbs and let them continue to do damage to the cycling community. I’m not down with that.

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            • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 2:04 pm

              “the alternative is to sit here and twiddle our thumbs ”

              Whoa, whoa! Says who?

              That seems awfully simplistic to me.

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  • Mossby Pomegranate September 29, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Wow…what a city.

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  • The Odd Duck September 30, 2015 at 1:38 am

    That is so cold blooded, this one of the few time I would say we need to talk to that person with a baseball bat.

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  • David Lewis September 30, 2015 at 2:12 am

    My shop is one block from the Esplanade near the Hawthorne Bridge. A couple of nights ago me and some buddies met up at my shop after having some Ramen at Boke Bowl on Water Ave, and we put our bikes on our loading dock while we went into the shop briefly. We were almost immediately greeted by our building supervisor knocking on our roll door and pointing to the homeless guy still standing there, who he had just caught loading our bikes into his trailer – SECONDS after we entered the building. This was the same dude I had HELPED fix his bike only weeks before, in the exact same spot. He acknowledged me, and thanked me, even though he was caught red-handed stealing from me moments before.

    I have been to Iraq and Afghanistan, and I have seen poverty, and I have seen what humans can do to each other. I was not prepared when I came to Portland to see what substance abuse can do, and by extension how that can destroy others’ lives. I have zero sympathy for theft, ZERO. Once substance abuse crosses the line from personal destruction into mayhem, it crosses the line from a humanitarian issue into a menace that must be addressed. But HOW to address it?

    I say this with teeth clenched, that everyone deserves a dry home, and a chance at change, but once their trajectory turns to theft to support their addiction it becomes something else entirely. We need state hospitals back to give refuge to those who need it the most, rather than piling our social problems on our city sidewalks. I was not alive when most state hospitals began to close, but my hometown is the site of the first such institution, the Inebriate Assylum in Binghamton, New York. It was a grand building, designed by a renowned architect and definitely not a slum.

    First, I have sympathy for the victims of theft, and I encourage law enforcement to investigate and solve the crime, and return the property to the victim. Next, as I said, I have ZERO sympathy for theft, and I wish the weight of the law to crush the perpetrator. I know better than for law enforcement to spend 5 minutes on a crime like this, and if caught to release the suspect back onto the street. I also expect the suspect to have already been involved in similar activity and continue to steal. Back to square one.

    I’m not sure what I would do if someone were to steal from me. After my shopmate’s bike was stolen a few months ago, FROM INSIDE OUR BUILDING, I went on a search at the homeless camp that overcrowded the area, and I had fire in my eyes. Both I, and the perpetrator, are lucky I did not catch him. Lewis out.

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    • resopmok September 30, 2015 at 6:46 am

      One major issue to keep in mind here is that the state has little resources available (or rather, allocated) to address the root causes of homelessness and addiction. And like actual tree roots, those causes spread beneath the surface of our society and start sucking away at the resources our society does offer them, until it’s all sucked dry.

      The sort of societal separation that homelessness causes leads to a lack of connection (this relates to psychology’s attachment theory), and so people seek substitutes, often in the form of drugs to fill the gap. You are probably aware of how PTSD also contributes to this problem, since those returning veterans who are still trained to fight our “war on terror” have a high level of competency in skills which have little useful civilian application.

      And so the issue spreads and ultimately creates a subculture increasing in size and complexity, and its roots take deeper and deeper hold at the very base of our society. We need to be talking about how we, as a society, are going to help these people psychologically and financially. We can’t sweep the issue under the rug, or cross out fingers and hope it goes away. While I don’t agree that reopening extremely costly asylums that function in a way no better than a prison is a good solution, we certainly can’t continue to ignore the problem.

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      • Endo September 30, 2015 at 11:34 am

        The guy who did this should find a nice, dry home in prison, where he’ll be fed and have plenty of time to contemplate what he can do to make his life better.

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        • Dick Pilz September 30, 2015 at 2:24 pm

          I recall when the Portland Police Bureau building downtown was built at the same time as the Marriott Hotel. A “room” in the city jail was costing more than a room in the hotel. Sounds like it would be cheaper use the real thing for housing instead of using prison as a surrogate. Maybe, you just don’t want to see them.

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      • Buzz September 30, 2015 at 2:31 pm

        Welcome to the decline and fall of the American Empire.

        (I am serious…it seems the only way to end the problem of either bike theft or chronic homelessness is to forget about the dysfunctional police department and justice system and take the law into your own hands, and hopefully the solution will be just and sane. I also know that not all thieves are homeless, so perhaps focusing solely on this segment of the problem is being a bit shortsighted…)

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        • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 2:33 pm

          “I also know that not all thieves are homeless”

          How magnanimous of you to concede this.

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          • Buzz September 30, 2015 at 3:26 pm

            You’re welcome. The homeless are just the most visible part of the problem.

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            • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 3:28 pm

              So if I were to say (for instance) that you are ‘just the most visible part of the problem of anti-homeless bias in the bikeportland comments,’ how does that help anything?

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              • Buzz September 30, 2015 at 3:35 pm

                Whatever. I tolerate the homeless to the point that they begin stealing from me and my friends. If you want to play the PC card because I’m down on homeless criminals, go right ahead, it won’t bother me at all.

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  • SE September 30, 2015 at 7:46 am

    I agree… when was the last time the PPB put out an alert for a stolen bicycle? 1

    Most likely when Leah Treat left hers outside City Haul and it disappeared ?

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