Do you ever wonder what happens when a bicycle is stolen? Was the lock cut with a big pair of bull cutters? Did someone freeze it or have some electric saw in their pocket? I’ve heard lots of theft stories: people being tackled in justice, people stealing the bike back, even destroying the bicycle so no one “wins.”

It is hard to imagine what types of motivations bring someone to stealing a bicycle. I am sure you agree that a bicycle is something that is very near and dear to a rider’s heart. At least, all of us who ride know this.

During our Sunset Celebration Bike Parking event, we were fortunate enough to actually return a bicycle to its rightful owner. Earlier that day, a young gentleman (or not so gentlemanly) turned in a bicycle to our corral. He seemed a bit out of breath for a Sunday spin, but I didn’t think much of it. Little did I know; he had just stolen this bicycle and was ditching it after his joy-ride!

At the end of the day, we were almost all packed up with a few bikes left. In an effort to return them, we went into the festivals with the bicycles and got in touch with Sunset staff to see if they could store the bikes until claimed.

Suddenly, a young man came sprinting from behind yelling, “That is my bicycle!” However, he did not look like the individual that I knew turned this bicycle into us. As much as I believed this young man in front of me, I let him know that someone else gave this to us. After some discussion, it turned out we had been housing a stolen bicycle all day.

Thankfully, the rightful owner had submitted a police report for his stolen bicycle that morning. He also had his bicycle decorated in stickers that he could identify from miles away.

By the end of the day, the bike was returned all in one piece.

We all have locks and cables, and the majority of us use them. Unfortunately, used bikes are commonly sold, and there are people out there willing to go to great lengths to steal them. It’s up to us all to look out for each other and report any suspicious activity and refrain from supporting the sale or exchange of any stolen bicycles.

Stay safe!