Sunday, September 27, 2009


This is too weird. My bike was stolen this morning!

I rode over to the church for meetings, like I've done week after week, year after year. I parked it in a hallway, just like always. (Unlocked... but inside the building!) When I got out of the first meeting, at 10:15am or so, there sat my helmet, on the floor right where I had left it next to my bike. But the bike was gone.

I assumed some rascal had moved it as a "practical joke." (Some joke! If that had been the case, I would definitely have explained that I didn't see the humor.) So I looked in the cloakroom, out back, in a few nearby classrooms. No sign.

I went outside, where a couple friends park their bikes (also unlocked... I guess we incorrectly assumed that God would watch over and protect our bikes). There was an unfamiliar fellow with Brent's mountain bike. I asked him what he was doing with it; he said, "Oh, I was just looking at it. I like bikes." I told him my bike was missing; he said, "Why would I steal a bike? I go to church here." I followed 20 or 30 feet behind as he walked around the corner, hopped in a dark red 4-door midsize sedan without a plate on the back, and went zooming away. I'm pretty sure I spoke with my thief. (I never saw my bike... but that's not a coincidence, is it?)

I've filed a police report; not optimistic, but maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.

Thief: 35-45 years old, white, short brown hair (or "salt and pepper"), receding hairline. He was probably 5'10", 180lbs. He was dressed in a light brown long-sleeve shirt, buttoned all the way up. Dark brown slacks. (Looked to be "posing" as somebody going to church, I figure, so as to not arouse undue suspicion.) I'd love to see him again, in a police lineup.

The car: Dark read 4-door midsize sedan. I can't be sure, but I'd guess early 2000s General Motors. No license plate.

The location: 3200 Cassia Street, in Boise. (Across from South Jr. High.) Car was parked on Michael Street, just around the corner from Cassia.

My bike: 2000 Cannondale T2000. 58.4cm (I believe). Drop bars with yellow and black "leopard spot" tape, bar-end shifters. Planet bike fenders. (I'm pretty confident if you lined up every bike on the planet, I could pick mine out of the bunch, based just on appearance. I can tell you the make/model of pretty much every component on the bike.) Serial number 1C50197S2267T5U23. (Or that's how I'm guessing it reads... photo of the s/n below.) The rear tire has a slow leak; I pumped it up before leaving this morning, and figured I'd fix it this afternoon.

Could I be Christlike and forgive the guy? Probably. But I'd still like to have my bike back, and to see the criminal justice system run its course. And I'd like the guy to have "Bike Thief" tattooed on his forehead in great big letters... know what I mean?


Apertome said...

Oh man, I am really sorry to hear about your bike! I hope they catch the thief, and recover your bicycle. Hopefully, with the thieves being so brazen, someone will catch them.

Marrock said...

Sorry to hear about your loss, I hope your friends are locking their rides up now to prevent this from happening to them.

db said...

Ugh, that's awful. I'm going home tonight to make sure I have all of my serial numbers recorded.

I really hope they can catch this guy and recover your bike. The fact that he entered the building to take your bike should add to the gravity of the crime and possible charges, shouldn't it?

Bikeboy said...

db, my bishop (who's also a fellow cyclist AND attorney) says that by entering a building and stealing, the crime is escalated from bicycle theft to burglary. In either case, I s'pose, since the value of the stolen property is >$1000, it's probably a felony-level crime.

My detailed police report has been received and recorded, and I also posted a heads-up on the Craigslist. (And already got back a SPAM form-letter from some moron: "I was doing the same thing until my friend told me about this money-making opportunity.... blah-blah." Thieves and spammers really bring the overall quality of humanity down a few notches.)

Clancy said...

That sucks. Stealing a bike at a church is on the same level as stealing a bike from an elementary school.

I will keep my eyes posted on CL. I peruse it too often. I will also email out to couple of bike related contacts in town.

Do you have a bike besides your beater to bring back into duty?

Anonymous said...

Egads. I do hope you see her again, and soon.

Bikeboy said...

I'm on the beater, Clancy. (Just posted...)

I'm going to call my homeowners' insurance agent today; bikes should be covered. (I've got $500 deductible which hurts. But I've also got "replacement cost" coverage, so we'll see what they say.) There may be a waiting period, to see if the stolen bike is recovered.

Jamie said...

Bike theft should be a hanging offense. Sorry to hear about your loss.

Your Bishop said...

Definitely a hanging offense. Idaho Code § 18-1401 defines burglary as follows:

Every person who enters any house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse, or other building, tent, vessel, vehicle, trailer, airplane or railroad car, with intent to commit any theft or any felony, is guilty of burglary.

Pursuant to Idaho Code § 18-1403, burglary is punishable by "imprisonment in the state prison for not less than one (1) nor more than ten (10) years."

So, if someone comes into your house, church, office or the like and takes your bike, do not let the police dismiss it as petty theft. It needs to be treated as burglary and prosecuted as such.

bob t said...

"I like bikes" indeed!

I've heard that some thieves target venues such as churches with set schedules as this helps them to know how much time they have to work.

Hope that your bike turns up and that this individual is caught.