Stolen bike pt. 2

On Wednesday our awesome employee Vanessa spotted a shady character walking away clumsily with a bike twice his size. After confronting the man, it became clear that the bike had just been stolen. Vanessa reached for her phone and upon threatening to call police the thief reluctantly walked away from the ride.

We reached out to the San Francisco Police department bike theft handle @SFPDbiketheft and provided the officer with information on the bike.

Two days later, we received a Tweet. The victim had filed a police report and was looking for his ride.

Within an hour, officer Friedman arrived to recover the stolen bike. We discussed bike theft in San Francisco and the efforts that are being taken to curb the issue. We’re very grateful for the program that officer Friedman has kicked off and happy to know that it is having an impact and bringing the cycling community together. We hope that this initiative will find support and transition into full fledged anti-bike theft task force.

Those smiles don’t lie:

Another one for the good guys!


  1. Zilong says:

    Dear Vanessa, TimBuk2, I am Zilong, the owner of the recovered Long Haul Trucker. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

    This bike is my college graduation gift, and I rode it for 3,400 miles across the US over the summer. ( records the journey) So, you can imagine how thankful and happy I was when Officer Friedman from SFPD told me about the heroic story of the bike recovery! You guys are my hero!

    Will visit the store in person soon, and hope to see you guys there!

    With deep gratitude, and utmost happiness,


  2. Nic Rich says:

    While I applaud your efforts, I think just confronting random people that look ‘shady’ is a slippery slope to just being racist/classist. I have a mexican friend who constantly gets strange looks from 20/30something white commuters on market for commuting on a nicer road bike.
    How to be a good bike thief: shower and be white.

  3. wat says:

    Nic Rich: Could also be the fact that, as the article says, the bike was “twice his size” — i.e., clearly not sized to fit him — which roused her suspicion. But please, continue casually claiming racism and racial profiling at the drop of the hat — when in doubt, raise the alarm, right?

  4. Zilong says:

    @Nic Rich: point well taken. We should all strive to be more conscious of our internal biases. But let me assure you, in this case, it is not at all the type of racial/class profiling you are referring to. That thief is not a “random people.”

    I am the owner of the stolen-and-returned bike. I have obtained video footage from the security camera that captured the theft scene. See if for yourself, and you would understand.

    The thief is half-drunk, half limping, very dirty, wearing oversized winter slipper, too short for the bike. While the bike is fully outfitted for long-distance touring.

    The thief is identified by a few store owners and workers near the theft scene. The thief is a homeless, “crazy” person, begging for money from store to store, stealing stuff from shops, and have stolen bikes before.

    As one can see from the video, at least two persons saw the theft right in front of their eyes, within 5 feet, and did absolutely nothing. In comparison, the courage and sense of responsibility/citizenship of Vanessa at TimKub2 are more than admirable, and much needed in the city of San Francisco.

    So, in addition to being conscious of our inner-prejudices, we might also want to understand the situation better before falling back to knee-jerk, self-righteous name calling, Mr. Rich. Glad you have a Mexican friend.

Speak Your Mind