Skip to main content

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.
Image result for old west hanging pics
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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

John Biro and the Dirt Bike (Not Bike Related)

  I knew John Biro. I was lucky to meet him early in my short time in that part of the mountains. At his service lots of people told great stories about him. Lots of people knew him better and new him longer. My Biro story is just a tiny scrap in the mountain of stories that could be told about him. But I want to tell it anyway, because I feel like one day his boys might be looking for new stories, little stories, everyday stories, about  their dad. I don’t want to tell a story about myself, I want to tell a story about Biro, but I just happen to be in it.   I first met Biro on his birthday in 1998. Shane and Marvelous Marvin led me up to his cabin. I had been sledding up Kebler before, and into Robinson basin. But I had always skirted around the townsite. The town site was forbidden, unless you had a reason to be there. I was excited to finally enter this mysterious place where smoke trickled from the chimney's of odd little cabins covered in snow. I stayed all day at the party a

Working in a bike shop Part 1 The Tube Shortage

   Bikes are so hot right now! The global pandemic has brought massive popularity to a thing that many of us already knew about. Bikes are cool. Riding Bikes is fun. It's conceivable that social distancing has killed many sources of recreation that people had come to rely on and enjoy. Obviously bowling isn't a sport, but it did provide entertainment to many people, and now bowling alleys are closed.    It would have been great if bowlers had taking the sport back to it's rough and tumble roots. I'd be interested in watching some gritty, underground 'street bowling.' I picture it in an abandoned warehouse run by bowling gangs. But that didn't happen. Instead everyone in the country said, "Hey don't we have some bikes still in the garage? We should ride those." or even better, they said, " You know, I think I'd like to try mountain biking, that looks fun!"   And so the Golden Horde was unleashed on an unprepared cycling industry. B

Weld

  The process of using high voltage electricity to attach two pieces of metal together was first developed in the ancient land of Eternia by a master swordsmith named Heman. Heman would craft the blade of the sword and the hilt as two separate pieces of refined steel alloy. Then he would set the hilt onto the blade and hold it aloft during a lightning storm. His muscular build would serve as the ground point for the current flow and through this process, he would create a metal arc weld, fusing the two sections into one solid piece of sword .   Ok, some of that might not be true. But, it was more fun than writing this... Twice upon a time, all the major nations of the world engaged each other in bloody conflicts that spanned the globe. During the second one of these conflicts all production of fun things like bikes was halted and manufacturing focused solely on the assembly of weapons. In order to build bombs and torpedoes faster, new techniques for electric arc welding were invente