Quick thinking leads shop to two stolen bikes

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Roger Averbeck snapped this photo after recognizing the bike as one stolen from Southwest Bicycle in Multnomah Village last week.
(Photo by Roger Averbeck)

Quick thinking by a southwest Portland resident has resulted in a local shop being able to recover two bikes that were stolen from them last week.

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Guest article: A stolen bike that took nine months to recover

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Kyle Gunsul’s stolen Kuota.

This article was submitted by Bryan Hance of Bike Index. It originally appeared on his blog at BikeIndex.org.

The theft

Just over nine months ago, someone broke into Kyle Gunsul’s house and stole his bike.

They did a good job, too. Portland locals might remember Kyle’s post to the local racing listserv detailing his burglary:

“… (the burglar) removed the porch light, broke a locked gate, came through a window, busted down two security cameras and busted through another gate. They ONLY took the bike. They were feet away from my living room with computer and stereos but they knew what they were coming for. Was definitely cased.”

In addition to registering with Bike Index, Kyle got the word out. Photos of his stolen Kuota Kharma made the rounds on Nextdoor, Twitter, Facebook, and the usual local bike email lists. After that, though, Kyle’s bike did what most stolen bikes do – it disappeared.

Until July.

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Community helps recover stolen cargo bike used in homeless youth outreach program

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These images of a discarded bike sparked some sleuthing and action that led to a successful recovery.
(Photos by Mary C.)

It started with an email from a concerned Portlander and it ended with a bike being reunited with its owner — who in this case happened to be a non-profit organization that works with young people experiencing homelessness. There were no police involved, only people in our community who care about each other and who have an eye for bikes.

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Heroic bike shop employee wrestles back stolen track bike

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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.

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Portland Police, community team up to recover stolen bike

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Sherrie Austin and her bike, happily reunited!
(Photo courtesy Sherrie Austin)

When it comes to recovering your stolen bike, there’s simply nothing more powerful than a caring community and social media. Add in the cooperation of police and you’re nearly guaranteed to get your bike back.

On Monday, the Portland Police made an arrest and recovered a stolen bike that was taken from Oak Grove resident Sherrie Austin nearly two months ago. We caught up with Austin last night to hear her side of the story.

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If only every stolen bike story ended this well

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Joel Brown, happy with his bright green Kona.
(Photos courtesy of Joel Brown)

We’ve shared dozens of stolen bike recovery stories here on BikePortland over the years. From an editorial standpoint, I usually don’t like to repeat similar stories; but in these cases I make exceptions. Why? Because I know the despair people feel when their bike gets stolen, and I want to give victims hope. I also feel that given what a huge problem bike theft is in Portland (much larger than you might think), I jump at any excuse to cover the topic.

On that note, here’s the story of reader Joel Brown, who emailed his recovery story to us this morning:

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Portland Parks Rangers help man recover stolen bike

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(L-R) Park Ranger Ray Turner, Seth Burke, and
Park Ranger Karras Kalivas, post-recovery.
(Photos courtesy PP&R)

Portland Parks & Recreation have some good news to share: They’ve helped a Portland man recover his stolen Surly Puglsey fat bike.

Here’s how it went down…

Seth Burke got his Pugsley stolen on from in front of a business in downtown Portland on Monday, February 10th. According to PP&R, who emailed us details about the theft and recovery, Burke worked hard to spread the word about his bike. We tell people all the time that the best way to get your bike back is to pound the pavement and tell anyone who will listen about your bike. Even so, after filing a police report and several days of looking and showing folks photos of his bike, Burke had lost hope.

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Two stolen bike recovery stories (because we can’t get enough of them)

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Because we can never get enough of hearing about how people get their stolen bikes back, we present you two more stories of stolen bike recovery success.

But before getting into some good news, we have some not-so-good news about our Stolen Bike Listings. Due to a software issue that’s causing duplicate postings, I’ve decided to disable the listings until we can get it fixed. Sorry about that. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Our first story comes from Vancouver resident Branden Shelby. You might recall that Branden was the subject of one of our Ride Alongs back in April. A few months after our story, the same bike he rode with me that morning, a LeMond Poprad, was stolen from his side yard. Branden had put a lot of love into his bike, upgrading it over the years with a green Brooks saddle, green BMX pedals, and other nice touches. Unfortunately, he posted it to our Stolen Bike Listings on July 23rd with a $100 reward.

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Reader takes action, gets stolen bike back

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Whoever got this silver Specialized stolen yesterday, we have some good news.

This just in from reader Chris K.:

I was riding a block from the office yesterday when I saw the bike and recognized it as my coworkers. Followed to dude to a stop light and told him it was my friends and that I was going to get it back. He argued for a while while I was on the phone with the cops but eventually threw it down and walked away when he realized I was serious. The look on her face was priceless, when I carried the bike back into the office. That’s two recovered bikes for me this summer!

Bike shop heroes recover two stolen bikes

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Audrey and Neil Burkhardt, happily reunited with their bikes.
(Photo courtesy Audrey Burkhardt)

Late Tuesday night someone broke into Audrey and Neil Burkhardt’s garage and stole three of their bikes. Less than 24 hours later, thanks to the bravery and quick thinking of two bike shop employees, they got two of them back.

Audrey shared with us that the thieves smashed through a padlocked door just six feet from where she was sleeping in their home in the Piedmont neighborhood (near Lombard and Vancouver). “The emotional turmoil and the loss of my transportation, stress relief, exercise, etc., was hard,” she shared.

Audrey acted fast. She filed a police report and listed all three bikes on our Stolen Bike Listings. She spent the day dealing with the theft, then later that evening she got an email from Eric Swain, an employee at Revolver Bikes on N Interstate and Rosa Parks Way. They had recovered two of the three bikes.

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