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Photos: Is One of These Recovered Stolen Bikes Yours?

| May 30, 2012
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Last Friday police put up photos of 114 recovered stolen bikes recovered by SFPD spokesperson Officer Carlos Manfredi says the bikes were recovered through an Ingleside Station investigation on May 17 from two locations, a residence on Charter Oak Avenue in Silver Terrace, and lockers in a self-storage unit on Coliseum Way near the Nimitz Freeway in Oakland. An 18-year-old suspect was taken into custody.

“A lot of these bikes are custom-made,” says Officer Manfredi. “That’s what makes them so expensive. A lot of people put a lot of time and effort into making their own bikes. Components can range into the thousands of dollars.”

The original posting of the photos by police was problematic in that the resolutions of enlarged versions weren’t good enough to identify the individual bikes. Yesterday, police re-posted the photos on Photobucket; photos of the bikes are below. Click on the “View All” tab to see rows of smaller images.

From police: If you believe one of the bikes may be yours, please contact Sgt. Kumli at 415-404-4048 or joshua.kumli@sfgov.org (email is preferred).

Officer Manfredi says you can claim your stolen bike if you bring your case number from a filed police report. If you didn’t file a report, you’ll have to provide some proof that the bike belongs to you — something like a receipt, personal photographs of the bike, records from the store where you purchased it, or a serial number.

Apropos of this subject, I asked Andy Reed, operations manager at the worker-owned Box Dog Bikes in San Francisco, for some recommendations as to how to avoid becoming a statistic in the stolen bike database. Some tips:

  • Use a brand name U-lock, as cable locks are easy to cut through.
  • Lock your bike to something permanently attached to the ground like a parking meter or a bike rack. Locking it to scaffolding, small trees, or bannisters — no good.
  • Lock it in a visible place where a lot of people pass by. For example, in front of the Metreon as opposed to behind it in the alley.
  • Consider securing the wheels and seat, which are usually removable, to the bike frame. You can attach wheels with permanent locking bolts and seats with a locking skewer. Short of that, cable locks wrapped around wheels and seats will deter some thieves. (Andy says seats and wheels are stolen much more than the bikes themselves, and that people come into his shop “all day every day” with tales of these stolen components.)
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