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Bike Thieves

Sadly, I've had the opportunity to speak with three different bike shop owners after they have been robbed. None of Longmont's bike shops are large chain stores, each of them is a small independent. A large robbery can be devastating for these business's already running on tight margins. The merchandise is insured, but sometimes insurance companies can argue over values, or just delay payment for a long time.
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Old time bike thief

  On Saturday I was in the little shop in my neighborhood talking with the owner and getting some parts. Later that night his place was hit.
  Sometimes the operation seems simple. One owner told me how thieves broke his plate glass window, and grabbed the first five bikes they could. The next day after the police had left, he was sweeping up broken glass outside and noticed a dude walking down the street. This shop is next to a vacant lot over grown with weeds. The owner looked up in time to watch the dude take a few steps into the tall weeds and pull out a bike. I think the owner might have yelled, but the dude was across the lot and jumping onto a stolen bike. He was going to literally ride it like he stole it.
  The other heists I heard about seemed much more sophisticated. There was a shop I used to go in all the time and I got to know the owner and the mechanic pretty well. One night thieves broke in through his back door and gained access to his storage area. They started loading up bikes that were still in their shipping boxes. And they only took high end bikes. Think about that, if two complete bikes were sitting side by side. One was high end and the other low end, most people, maybe even non-cyclists could make a good guess at which one is more expensive. But what if you were only looking at the label on a cardboard bike box?... with a flash light... before the cops come.
Try to pick the more expensive bike:
Madone  or Domane
Dolce or Diverge
Aria or Oltre
Slash or Roscoe

 To be a good bike thief you actually need to have some knowledge of bikes. This just makes me sick. Is he coming into the shop, chatting up the sales staff? Or does he just scroll through the website memorizing models and price tags? Or is he actually a cyclist?
In this most recent heist four shops were hit in the same night with four stolen vans. They broke window glass because the door has the alarm,  and they unplugged the security cameras.
Me and my cycling friends will text each other in preparation for a big day of riding. We work out things, which of us has a bike pump, who is bringing beer, and what time we want to be at the trailhead.
 Somewhere there is a group also texting each other in preparation for their next big night out. They are working out who will drive a van, who's bringing cable cutters, and which shop they will hit first.
I imagine someone from each group could bump into each other in a shop and have a legitimate discussion over the value of an SB140 compared to a Mach 5.5

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