Harvest Century September 22nd

Bike Theft Task Force officers host ride-along on the Springwater Corridor

Posted by on August 1st, 2016 at 2:02 pm

PPB Officers Dave Sanders (right) and Ben Labasan on the Springwater Path Saturday.
(Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

Leaders of the Portland Police Bureau’s Bike Theft Task Force did a ride-along on the Springwater Corridor path on Saturday.

The ride was a spontaneous event that founder of the Task Force, PPB Officer Dave Sanders, posted to Twitter just a few hours before he set out. He was joined by fellow Officer Ben Labasan and the two of them were joined by a handful of citizens who showed up to ride with them. It was all part of the Bike Theft Task Force’s ongoing effort to involve the community in the work they are doing to prevent bike theft and recover stolen bikes.

Why the Springwater? “I’ve been wanting to see the issues along the Springwater firsthand and have been wanting to address some of the ongoing tips and complaints that we have received regarding bike theft in this area,” Ofcr Sanders said via email this morning.

Here’s more from Sanders:

My hope was to allow the community to be involved in navigating some of their concerns/problems that present themselves along the corridor. I wanted to be able to listen to these concerns on a deeper level and to allow the community see first-hand how we follow up on these bike-theft related complaints and the challenges that we are sometimes faced with. Some folks who offer up these bike theft tips/complaints sometimes feel that these go into a black hole and are not addressed, so I wanted to encourage the public that we do take these seriously and address them as we are able. I believe that the community’s involvement in stopping bike theft is crucial and we are never going to get a handle on it if we can’t come together on this as a larger community.

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Big sale at Community Cycling Center

Recovered bike found along the Springwater path.

The officers found lots of parts, but didn’t see any high-end, complete bikes.

Beyond the community-building, the ride led to results. Within a few hours the officers recovered a nice new Public road bike. Sanders and Labasan were excited to recover that bike, but wish they could have run serial numbers on the “hundreds” of other bikes that looked suspicious. “We weren’t able to address many of the bikes we saw,” he wrote, “but tried to follow up on the ones that we thought may be reported/registered and were in decent condition.” Sanders said there was one trove of bikes in particular that he wanted to check out but was unable to due to a “very aggressive dog” that was guarding the area.

While he was dismayed at the conditions he saw along the path, Sanders was encouraged to see so many people out riding. “We received dozens of positive comments on Saturday and many expressed appreciation for being out on the trail,” he wrote. “I wish we could be out there riding every day. I can say, after riding the trail, I understand more deeply the legitimate concerns that are presented by the community around the corridor, and hope that we can continue to address those better.”

Stay tuned for future opportunities to join Sanders and other Portland Police officers on a bike ride. Learn more about the Bike Theft Task Force by following them on Twitter @PPBBikeTheft and on the web at PortlandOregon.gov.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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36 Comments
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    dan August 1, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks, Bike Theft Task Force! If there were BTTF jerseys or some other way to directly support/contribute to your work, I would be interested — are there any opportunities like that?

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    Josh Chernoff August 1, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    I want to organize a group of people to post out at the trail heads and monitor the bikes going in/out. Its way more safer then getting into the camps and can aid at triangulating stollen bikes. I have walkie talkies and a couple means of surveying bikes as they pass. If there are any takers I want to doe this pairs per group for safety concerns.

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      Beth H August 1, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      So explain how you would “monitor” the bikes. Since you would not have the authority to stop every person and inspect his/her bike, what would your criteria be for suspecting whether a bike might be stolen? And what would you do if you spotted a bicycle — or rider — who looked “suspicious”?
      I think more details would be needed here.

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        Josh Chernoff August 2, 2016 at 11:34 am

        I have surveillance tools that will help us Identify the bikes from a distance and archive them for later lookup. I will not be stopping people, since I don’t want to attract attention since it would likely spook the thief.

        The idea is simple:

        1: ID Bikes
        2: Record whos riding it and where it was last seen and when.
        3: Broadcast it (“twitter, facebook, PortlandPD ect..”) if certain stolen ASAP.
        4: Cross-reference stollen bikes on BikeIndex.org and report general locations.

        I’d reach out to Sanders to organize when we would be doing this to see if he would be available.

        If we have many people at different sections of the the trail we can approximate where the bike was last seen and notify the appropriate people. Using walkie talkies we can list off bikes to keep an eye out for and check last seen entry points on the trail to see just how far the bike went on the trail.

        At the very least just having more people on the tail makes it feel that much un welcoming to bike thieves.

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          Paul Cole August 3, 2016 at 10:35 am

          “I will not be stopping people, since I don’t want to attract attention”

          Also because you have no right to be stopping people.

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            Josh Chernoff August 3, 2016 at 3:28 pm

            And water is wet, I’m sure everyone else is happy you took the time to establish this.

            For the record there is no law stating I cant attempt to engage with people as they pass by too. If they choose to stop is there own choice.

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    BB August 1, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    The take away I get from this is that as long as there is an aggressive looking dog present, one can get away with crimes in the presence of the police.

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    still riding after all that August 1, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    “Sanders said there was one trove of bikes in particular that he wanted to check out but was unable to due to a ‘very aggressive dog’ that was guarding the area.”

    The *POLICE* are afraid to enter an area filled with likely stolen property because it’s guarded by a dog? I guess they get the same “we don’t care” attitude from Animal Control that I got when I called to report being attacked and cornered by 2 large dogs. Something is very wrong here.

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    Bjorn August 1, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Just a note that today could have been the day we saw the trail cleared of aggressive dogs as well as aggressive people if Hales had an ounce of follow through. Instead we’ve got another month of violence, garbage, pollution and chop shops operating openly along the MUP.

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      Random August 1, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      ” Instead we’ve got another month of violence, garbage, pollution and chop shops operating openly along the MUP.”

      Try another five months. You don’t seriously think that Hales is going to do something about this before he leaves office, do you?

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      Kate August 2, 2016 at 9:54 am

      I’m frustrated at the delay as well, but I’d attribute it less to a lack of “follow-through” from Hales and more from the lawsuit from homeless advocates through the Oregon Law Center.

      http://www.wweek.com/news/2016/07/27/faced-with-legal-threat-mayor-charlie-hales-delays-springwater-corridor-homeless-sweep/

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      eddie August 3, 2016 at 11:41 pm

      “Clearing out” the area isn’t going to solve the problem. These are people who have nowhere to go.

      If you’re talking about sending them away, they’ll come back. If you’re talking about sending them to jail, you’re talking about making their situation worse. And having more people come around to replace them.

      These are people with real problems and talking about them as if they are zombies isn’t going to help anyone. It’s also completely unrealistic. And impossible. Blaming the Mayor is ridiculous. The issues which underlie the problem go beyond any elected official.

      The best idea, as mentioned elsewhere, is to have the cops patrol the area as much as possible to keep down the drama and for social workers to visit the place to help folks out.

      Ultimately, one has to address the root causes here… this problem isn’t going to go away until this is done.

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    J_R August 1, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    I’d really like to see the mayor and the four city commissioners visit the corridor. Preferably alone or at least incognito without a horde of staffers and the media.

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      Beth H August 1, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      Perhaps they ought to camp out there for a couple of days, and be responsible for getting their own food without carrying a credit card or extra cash…

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    KristenT August 1, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Sounds like the PPB and associated cities that the Springwater runs through need to mount a bike patrol and ride through here as visibly as possible, as often as possible– not just once in a while, or in conjunction with a big event like Hood To Coast in a couple of weeks.

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      J_R August 1, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      My daughter will be running in the Hood to Coast. My wife will be a volunteer at one of the transfer points on the Springwater corridor at night. I’ve written to the mayor asking for increased police presense during the event but haven’t had any response.

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        Jeff J. August 2, 2016 at 9:32 am
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          J_R August 2, 2016 at 10:53 am

          I was aware of the plans by the Hood to Coast organizers, but I don’t consider hired “security officers” in radio contact with the “command center” to be equivalent to Portland Police Officers on site. Do you?

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        JeffS August 2, 2016 at 8:37 pm

        Why does this one day deserve any more or less attention than every other day on the springwater? Sorry, but you’re just feeding into the idea that city government exists primarily to service the tourism industry.

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    Todd Boulanger August 1, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Perhaps the next Policy Makers Ride will include a portion of the Springwater Path…as part of the inspection of the “good, bad and the ugly”…not for design issues but for post project operations.

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      Todd Boulanger August 1, 2016 at 5:44 pm

      Backstory for new readers:
      The Policy Makers Ride is an annual [well] organized bike ride of elected officials, bikeway design professionals, and local bike advocates visiting proposed or completed bikeways as a way of group education, building support for future regional connections and building networking. Typically such rides have not focused on facility “security/ safety” issues but when these concerns rise to where the Springwater is now [when all but the A+ riders feel safe using it 24/7] then it is similar to a high speed roadway with a subpar/ outdated design or missing network link/ barrier.

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    Todd Boulanger August 1, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Backstory for new readers:
    The Policy Makers Ride is an annual [well] organized bike ride of elected officials, bikeway design professionals, and local bike advocates visiting proposed or completed bikeways as a way of group education, building support for future regional connections and building networking. Typically such rides have not focused on facility “security/ safety” issues but when these concerns rise to where the Springwater is now [when all but the A+ riders feel safe using it 24/7] then it is similar to a high speed roadway with a subpar/ outdated design or missing network link/ barrier.

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      J_R August 1, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      I used to commute to work on the Springwater corridor, but no longer feel safe using the Springwater corridor unless I’m with a group. The design of the facility makes no difference at all now.

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    SE August 1, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    What do we consider “Springwater” ?? I regularly ride SW from 122nd to Ochocco and do not recognize the area in that lead pic (PPB Officers Dave Sanders (right) and Ben Labasan on the Springwater Path Saturday.)
    Just rode SW today. Saw NO Police presence.

    Did see the remnants of departed campers (garbage & dead grass) , lots of bike parts. shopping carts , garbage , entrenched homeless campers, garbage , poop ..oh, and did I mention GARBAGE ?

    last week saw a large Latino resident pushing a LightSpeed titanium road bike down the MUP. No way was it legally his. Oh, and a large deluxe BBQ that they’d liberated somewhere ..with a FOR SALE sign on it . 🙁

    IMHO..CH is going to keep kicking the can down the road as a gift to Wheeler.

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      Spiffy August 2, 2016 at 8:02 am

      to me it looks like where it comes from Oak’s Park and is about to cross the road by Sellwood Park and then go up into Sellwood proper… you don’t continue this far on your ride…

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    kittens August 1, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    meow meow meow meow meow

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    Ted Timmons (Contributor) August 1, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    I’m annoyed (at myself) that I didn’t see this. Would have loved to go.

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    KristenT August 2, 2016 at 9:28 am

    My brother and I are also running HTC. He volunteered to run the first Springwater leg, which should hopefully be in the daytime. Even though the HTC organizers have promised extra patrols, I’m a little leery of any of our teammates being on the trail.

    I had also heard that the HTC organizers were considering re-routing the event to stay off the Springwater because of the homeless camps and aggressive campers.

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    Lance P August 2, 2016 at 9:36 am

    On Sunday, while riding home, I saw a short woman and man steal a soma bike and ride up the burnside bridge heading east. The Soma was black. I took a video of the bike and person and was hoping to hear someone ask here on bike portland. If you recently had your Soma bike stolen downtown, let me know and I can pass on the video for whatever good it may do.

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    • bikeindex
      bikeindex August 2, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      Hey! can you send me that video and I’ll crosslist it with our stolen bike listings? bryan @ bikeindex dot org

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      Josh Chernoff August 2, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      Can I have a look at the video?

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    Paul H August 2, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    If the current situation doesn’t improve and I were faced with an election choice for a bond for a new recreational corridor in Portland, I’d probably vote against it.

    I would vote for a well conceived bond or tax specifically to deal with housing and homelessness, but not for a project that promises to be one thing (recreation, transportation) but is in reality something else (a horrible housing situation).

    And I say that as someone who commutes along Springwater 170 to 180 days every year.

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    SE August 4, 2016 at 6:41 am

    Spiffy
    to me it looks like where it comes from Oak’s Park and is about to cross the road by Sellwood Park and then go up into Sellwood proper… you don’t continue this far on your ride…
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    maybe they should ride the stretch from 82nd to 111th where the chop shops are ?

    Homeowner regrets letting campers live in backyard
    http://koin.com/2016/08/03/homeowner-regrets-letting-campers-live-in-backyard/

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    Edward August 4, 2016 at 8:53 am

    I’d like to know what the “Bike Theft Task Force” actually is. It’s a great name, and it looks like they (whoever “they” might be) are doing some cool stuff. Bike lock publicity and give away? Super cool. An outting ride-along to check out visible chop shops … also a good thing.

    But most other public / government focus projects have a clear genesis and mandate and organizing documents, principles, and opportunities for public input and participation.

    Right now it looks like this “Task Force” is basically these two officers and whatever it is they choose to do on a particular day (which is still better than nothing). But public participation can harness more power and more ideas.

    Is there a non-profit 501(C)(3) set up to accept donations and direct cash flow? The bike lock give away is so cool, but a lot of people I talked to would be willing to purchase a lock (at the give away) plus make a donation to the give away fund.

    I don’t want action to get bogged down in portland-process, but there is an advantage to harnessing public involvement (beyond announcinthg things on the Twitter).

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    SE August 5, 2016 at 7:41 am

    ‘Hood To Coast’ to avoid Springwater Corridor

    http://koin.com/2016/08/04/hood-to-coast-to-avoid-springwater-corridor/

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