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Rash of Bike Thefts in Bloomfield area?

This topic contains 26 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  jonawebb 2 mos.

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Swalfoort

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Jul 8 2014 at 1:50pm #

There have been several postings in recent days of bikes stolen from the East End, and more specifically the Shadyside/Bloomfield/Friendship/Garfield area.

I jumped on Craigslist, and found two more reported in the past couple of days: A Giant and an adult Tricycle. One from Shadyside, one from Friendship.

I recommended that the owner of the missing Giant post a message with details here.

For the rest of you, a) be careful, b) lock well, and c) be observant. I find it hard to believe that this is not a coordinated effort.


bicycle heaven

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Jul 8 2014 at 11:59pm #

Bicycle Heaven buys and sells many used bikes and sells new bikes as well. I get many used bikes from Flee Markets yard sales and people coming in the shop with trade in’s and such.I have been buying more bikes this year from a few Pawn Shops here in the Bergh and they have many high end bikes,though I cant buy them all since they have so many at this time of the year and i think that may be a good place to look,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Bicycle Heaven bike shop Museum will have an event this Sat July 12- starts at 6 pm till 9 pm its a indoor and outdoor event…TAKE GOOD CARE celebration of self care and a fundraiser for the Northside Community Sponsored by Northside Ministries an affiliate of goodwill,,,a great event party with good food Music Art and Bicycles,,,come see the Burgh Man and all the fun for us big kids and younger kids,,,,


Drewbacca

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Jul 9 2014 at 9:46am #

Really, you are highjacking a thread about bike theft and turning it into an advertisement??? Not in good taste.


Mick

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Jul 9 2014 at 10:32am #

Maybe this would be a good time to do that thing someone suggested, where you put “lock your bike right” fliers on vulnerable bikes.


StuInMcCandless

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Jul 9 2014 at 11:23am #

Something is amiss in town. Seven of the top 20 threads on this board (including this one) concern stolen bikes. That has never happened before.


andyc

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Jul 9 2014 at 12:08pm #

I was just thinking the same thing.


Pierce

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Jul 9 2014 at 12:21pm #

Eh, bike thefts in that area have always been a frequent occurrence. The question is, why are bike shops still selling stupid cable locks to people?


bicycle heaven

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Jul 9 2014 at 1:46pm #

Sorry drewwbacca but I thought I gave some good info that Pawn Shops are a good place to look,,and about my little ad I thought since it was for a Good Will fund raiser it was no big deal.Bicycle Heaven found 6 stolen bikes last year for people by me posting on this site and others,,,anyways have a great bike ride


bicycle heaven

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Jul 9 2014 at 1:53pm #

I sell cable locks and I sell good quality u locks and others.When I sell cheap cable locks I let them know they are easy to cut and though I give that info they still buy them,,maybe they cant afford the good locks like others and we give them a choice ,,,,so I think we do a good deed to sell cheap locks as they can only afford it and not all bikes go missing,,


Drewbacca

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Jul 9 2014 at 1:57pm #

^it is good info… just not sure why you added the second part here instead of starting a new thread. *shrugs*


Drewbacca

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Jul 9 2014 at 1:59pm #

I’m with Stu… something is amiss. Perhaps bike theft is not abnormal but more people are reporting it this Summer… definitely a spike in reported stolen bikes this week including another one I saw on FB that hasn’t been posted here.


bicycle heaven

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Jul 9 2014 at 2:37pm #

Last year was a big spike on stolen bikes I think around this same time of year and the main reason I even come to this thread is for looking info on stolen bikes since we buy used bikes.I get about one person every two weeks buying a bike from us because someone stole the there bike and many are taken out of garages and cut locks.I think next year even more will be missing since Pittsburgh is a more friendly bike city more people buying riding bikes.


tetris_draftsman

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Jul 10 2014 at 7:25am #

Isn’t this just a correlation to more people riding bikes? I would guess the percentage of bike rides and percentage of stolen bikes are rising together. *Shrugs* it’s unfortunate but the way things generally work I would think. Hope people realize how to lock up their bikes to deter theft.


WillB

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Jul 10 2014 at 9:32am #

Or it’s just more people being aware of the BikePGH message board as a good place to post notices of their stolen bikes.


StuInMcCandless

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Jul 10 2014 at 9:44am #

^I would like to think so, but traffic on the board is down a lot from a year ago.

What I would like to see is a mechanism that rotates among various photos of stolen bikes, that can be updated with a new post. Maybe 3 seconds per picture, click if you want more info. I’m not a web dude, so I don’t know exactly how that might be made into “a thing”.


jonawebb

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Jul 10 2014 at 9:50am #

FWIW the Project 529 app I posted about before is now available on the web and for iOS. Not Android, yet.

https://project529.com/garage/

People can register their stolen bike there, right now:

https://project529.com/garage/users/sign_in


jonawebb

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Jul 10 2014 at 11:14am #

One other thing, the Project 529 site has a petition to get Ebay and Craigslist to require including serial numbers in the post when selling a bike. That would make it easier to catch thieves.


Benzo

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Jul 10 2014 at 3:30pm #

Anything to make stolen bikes harder to fence is a positive in my opinion. However, I could see nice bikes just being parted out more often than being sold complete. This would be a good start though.

I wonder what the unintended consequences of this could be though?

I guess the trick to making project 529 work is to get a ‘critical mass’ of users checking it frequently. It would be nice if there was a website widget that could list bikes recently stolen within a given geographic area or distance from zip code that you could put on people’s blogs and sites like bike-pgh.


jonawebb

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Jul 10 2014 at 3:50pm #

@benzo, that’s the idea of the phone app, I think. When a bike is reported stolen, it sends out an alert to anyone running the app. So people start looking for it immediately. I think there are options to take a photo and report where you saw somebody riding it.


Pierce

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Jul 10 2014 at 6:16pm #

Thieves could also just change a digit on the serial number to avoid detection or make the whole thing up


Drewbacca

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Jul 10 2014 at 10:21pm #

I’ll give 529 a try… if it doesn’t suite the need, perhaps I’ll work on another Pgh-centric app.


Benzo

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Jul 11 2014 at 7:57am #

@jonawebb – Ok, makes sense now. I guess it still does work best when lots of people are using it.

I hope it’s not like the tiramisu transit app, it never has enough active users to make it worthwhile in some places. At least tiramisu is a good reference for the official port authority schedule, I just never had any luck with it even attempting to estimate arrival times for the routes I used.


Benzo

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Jul 11 2014 at 7:58am #

@Pierce – Yeah, that’s a possibility, easy to fake, typo, or change, especially considering that VIN is standardized and bicycle serial number likely are not (I could be wrong here).

Requiring a photo of the serial could help, maybe?


jonawebb

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Jul 11 2014 at 8:02am #

@Pierce, changing the serial number at least alerts the buyer that they might be buying a stolen bike, if they care and check. And lots of times the seller on Ebay may not know they are selling a stolen bike; they might have gotten it from somebody else. So in that case, the seller would provide a legitimate serial number.
Plus, changing a single digit in the serial number wouldn’t defeat a modern search engine, in any case.


bicycle heaven

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Jul 11 2014 at 6:47pm #

Yeasterday I get a guy who came in with a Bicycle that he wanted to sell [ its a Stratus Pacific ] and he had no ID and is from the Rehab center or halfway house i was told and is only a mile or so away up the road at or by the jail house.I dident want to buy it so he locked the bike up on our bike rack and he said he would come back for it later ,so far he never did.Later that day another guy came to our shop lit up or on drugs and is from the same halfway house.He came in with a bike called a [ Bounty Quasar ] he wanted to trade it for another bike but I asked him to leave ,This dude was so off the wall he took our can of spray paint and sprayed it in his mouth and said he would kill himself if I did not give him a bike.I was lucky to get him out the door and i locked it and called 911 / Police. When they came he ran to the bike trail but the Police got him .The bike he left is here for someone to claim as I think he stole the bike . After spraying paint in his mouth saying he was going to kill himself and with a bike that I bet he did not buy I don’t think he went to jail,,,,,,i don’t like to post Neg feedback about problem’s we have but to deal with people in the bike world is not always easy but with the rash of stolen bikes and all I thought we would call the Police on this one.I don’t want people to think its unsafe here at Bicycle Heaven and we do have a Guard by us here at the Park.I am certain many have seen our name in the News Paper last week about Bicycle Heaven with us in the works for a Reality Show right here in Pittsburgh and its a real possibility and I want it to be a family type show but it was more like Hard Core Pawn Stars the other day,,,,,,,,,


ErinK

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Jul 16 2014 at 9:06am #

@jonawebb, is there an option with that 529 software to create a feed that rotates photos of the bikes that we could post on a website or Facebook pages? Just to put the bikes in people’s faces more.


jonawebb

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Jul 16 2014 at 9:09am #

I do not know — but someone could maybe do something like that with the Wiki?
I think 529 is still getting off the ground; there’s no Android client yet and there are only a few bikes listed nationally on the website. Maybe we can get by with our local hacking skillz for now.

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