Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

WBWC, getDowntown: Bike Parts Thief on the Prowl

21. August 2008 • Matt Hampel
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The getDowntown blog summarizes posts from the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition Google Group.

The recent rash of thefts are not of bikes (a risk mitigated by a nice lock) but of easily removable parts. Lights, bells, anything else you don’t have locked down:

Just an FYI. I was parked at the bike racks in the Washington Street parking structure on Sunday (across from Arbor Brewing Company) for a few hours and somebody stole my headlight, tail light, and bell.


  1. And today I was at ABC for Brewing Peace and when I got out my head lamp and helmet were stolen. I didn’t mind the head lamp heist (I wasn’t all that impressed with it), but I don’t like riding without a helmet.


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Aug. 25 '08 - 02:01AM    #
  2. I’d be willing to take a shift or two watching either the library lot or the structure if someone would organize others to do so and coordinate with the police.


       —Steve Bean    Aug. 25 '08 - 03:56AM    #
  3. There might be a lesson to learn here…


       —Ernie    Aug. 26 '08 - 05:20PM    #
  4. I still can’t figure out why someone would steal a sweaty helmet and a janky bike light. There can’t be a re-sale market for them. My conspiracy theory is some rogue bike shop worker is stealing these things to try to increase demand.


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Aug. 26 '08 - 05:42PM    #
  5. I am wondering myself, tho I appreciate the head’s up and am taking more care. Lights I can understand, esp. front lights (that is, those that burn white), but the more random stuff feels like random malice… Weird.


       —Aki    Aug. 26 '08 - 05:54PM    #
  6. The Underpants Gnomes would certainly fit that criminal profile. Better check your drawers!

    I just noticed something else weird. All the previous comments in this thread are time-stamped 8 minutes after the hour with comments 3-5 sharing the exact same time. The other recent comments in the other threads over the last several days are also timestamped 8 minutes after the hour.

    Did the (new?) year designation on the timestamp screw up the minutes part…?


       —Michael Schils    Aug. 26 '08 - 06:42PM    #
  7. Sharp eyes, yes; turns out “m” stands for “months” in the format string, not “minutes”!

    Should be fixed.


       —Bruce Fields    Aug. 26 '08 - 06:58PM    #
  8. Yep, sorry about that — I was 2 lines off in the PHP manual. Thanks Bruce. Years were added earlier today to avoid confusion in threads like this one, where replies span a long range of dates.


       —Matt Hampel    Aug. 26 '08 - 07:34PM    #
  9. Oh my gosh, Chuck (and everyone else)! I am so, so sorry! Knock wood, the worst thing that I’ve had happen was when someone emptied my water bottle while I was in the Broken Egg this summer(not sure if they drank it or dumped it out or what). Needless to say, I replaced the bottle. If they drank it, that person must have been REALLY thirsty cuz I’m sure it had my sweaty backwash in it. Ick.


       —TeacherPatti    Aug. 27 '08 - 08:36AM    #
  10. whoa, this is good to know. i was parked on campus near the MLB a couple weeks back for about two hours on a Monday evening. I came out and someone had removed my seatpost and seat. what a pain! not the end of the world: i smoked a bowl and then rode home standing on my pedals. but as i lock my new seat to the bike frame it seems only a matter of time before my front tire gets taken.


       —sustierras    Aug. 28 '08 - 04:40PM    #
  11. Got hit by this, too: In early August someone stole my bike-bag — Christ only knows why, as it had zero resale value: the elastic was blown out and skanky from years in the sun, and the only contents were a 99-cent tire-gauge, a red blinky light (for night visibility), and an old plastic Whole Foods bag. Just my luck, it rained hard that day, and I ended up riding home with a soggy butt.


       —dave-o    Sep. 3 '08 - 05:48PM    #
  12. I noticed 2 trends about the thefts I’ve heard of. They were all from the 4th and Washington structure and all on Sundays or Holidays when there is nobody in the booths with the cars.


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Sep. 4 '08 - 06:17PM    #
  13. I have noticed no new posts on this topic for a month. Am I correct in assuming that this “crime wave” of bicycle-related thefts has subsided?


       —Kerry D.    Oct. 4 '08 - 09:06PM    #
  14. “Am I correct in assuming that this “crime wave” of bicycle-related thefts has subsided?”

    Another similar theft at the downtown library on 12 September. This one was reported to AAPD.


       —HD    Oct. 4 '08 - 09:30PM    #
  15. Has anyone heard of any resumption of any bicycle larcenies now that spring is upon us and bike riding is again the norm?


       —John Dory    May. 10 '09 - 05:00PM    #