They’re getting smarter.
According to an email circulating in the local cycling community, the L.A. Sheriff’s Department has broken up a bike theft ring that used social media to identify what bikes to steal.
The email reported that the suspects would identify bike owners through Facebook, Craigslist and geotagged photos, and exchange emails using a fictitious name and email address. Then they would research their victims and their homes online before driving to their houses at night, breaking in and stealing their bikes.
The thieves used the names Joe Wayne and Mark Silverstein, both using Yahoo accounts. They may have negotiated with their victims about buying a bike or just about riding; victims may have emailed them a photo of their bike before it was stolen.
According to the email, most of the bikes that were recovered have been stripped of their components; however, the Sheriff’s Department has around 40 frames and 100 wheels they hope to return to their owners.
I’m not going to post the name and contact numbers of the Sheriff’s Lieutenant who sent the email online; however, if this story sounds a little too familiar to you, email me at the address on the About page and I’ll send his contact information to you.
Thanks to Eric Bruins and the staff at Geklaw for the heads-up.
Mike tips us to the story of a hit-and-run of a different sort, as a volunteer working to help clean up the L.A. River is the victim of a cyclist who failed to stop after crashing into her.
So let’s make this very clear.
If you hit someone while riding your bike, you have just as much of an obligation to stop as anyone else. No matter who’s at fault.
And while it’s called the L.A. River bike path, it’s actually a multi-use trail, like most off-road bike paths in the L.A. area. Which means pedestrians have as much right to be there as you do, whether they’re cleaning up the river or out for a late night stroll.
And whether you like it or not.
Yes, they have an obligation to use the bikeway safely and watch out for other people, whether on two wheels or two feet.
Just like you do.
And anyone who yells at pedestrians to “get off the bike path” — let alone fails to stop after hitting one — is just a jerk.
Meanwhile, the comments offer the usual distasteful back and forth that seems to occur whenever anything involving a cyclist occurs.
As a famous L.A. area resident put it 20 years ago this week, can we all get along?
You’re invited to participate in a webcast with pro cyclist Levi Leipheimer at 1:30 pm on Monday, May 7th.
The webcast is open to the public; however, you must have a Ustream profile or log-in using your Twitter account in order to join the live chat, or ask questions using your Facebook account. And if Levi likes your question, you’ll win a limited edition Levi poster from CLIF Bar.
In other upcoming events, this Saturday will see a free Tour de Palmdale Poker Run Fun Bike Ride to celebrate the city’s hosting of the 6th Stage of the Amgen Tour of California.
Riders will meet at Marie Kerr Park, 2723 Rancho Vista, and ride a 30 mile course through the city, picking up a playing card at each stop; the one with the best poker hand at the end of the ride wins. Thanks to Michele Chavez for the tip.
And everyone who rides PCH — or would like to — is invited attend a progress meeting on the design of the Pacific Coast Bike Route Improvements Project between Busch Drive and the western Malibu city limit. The meeting is scheduled for 10 am to noon in the Multi-Purpose Room at Malibu City Hall, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road.
Erik Griswald forwards a couple of stories, as a Bay Area TV station goes after those damn law breaking and non-helmet wearing cyclists.
And an 18-year old Chandler AZ cyclist can thank the deity of his choice after he was right hooked by a 69-year old driver while walking his bike across the street — apparently with the light, and most likely in a crosswalk.
Even though he ended up with a broken collarbone and tire marks across his chest — and even though the driver assumed she had just hit the curb and kept going on her way to Famous Footwear — a police spokesperson said it was just a tragic accident, and no charges were likely to be filed.
So lets get this straight.
A woman fails to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, never even looking in the direction she’s actually turning. Then continues merrily on her way, oblivious to the fact that she’d just literally run over another human being.
And the police say it’s just an oops?
Just thank God you don’t live or ride in Chandler AZ.
Santa Maria cyclists are mourning the death of a popular club leader who was run down by an 84-year old driver who failed to negotiate a turn on PCH.
I suppose that will just be an “oops,” too.
Thanks to the multiple people who have sent me links to the many, many stories about the Berkeley hit-and-run that was captured by bike cam, leading to the arrest of a typical scumbag ex-con.
There’s really not much left to say about this one.
Except that it offers dramatic evidence that every cyclist should have a bike cam of their very own. I’m starting to consider it every bit as important as lights or a helmet.
After all, while lights can help keep you from getting hit and a helmet could offer some protection if you get hit, a cam could offer proof of what happened if you do get hit. And as this case shows, help catch the driver if he or she flees the scene —as happens in a third of all L.A. collisions.
And it seems to be absolutely necessary to build a case under the city’s still-untested cyclist anti-harassment ordinance, which still hasn’t seen its first test case.
Of course, I should talk.
I don’t have one yet myself, thanks to a budget so tight it squeaks. Maybe GoPro or Contour would like to sponsor a poor, lowly bike blogger.
Hey, it could happen. Right?
LA/2B and GOOD invite you to imagine your ideal car-free day in L.A.; the winner will receive $500 to make it a reality.
Finally, Mikael Colville-Andersen, author of Copenhagenize and Copenhagen Cycle Chic — and arguably the world’s leading bike blogger — takes the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition to task for its standard liability waiver for group rides, describing it as a “massive marketing/advocacy FAIL.”
Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe Denmark is a far less litigious society that ours. Maybe he just doesn’t understand American legal culture. Or maybe his rabid campaign against bike helmets has led to a little confusion due to one too many falls.
But even so, he should have realized that the waiver form comes from the LACBC’s insurance company and was written by their lawyers, not the coalition’s. And that use of that form is a requirement to even get insurance, without which a non-profit organization such as the LACBC would be unable to host rides, since the legal fallout from a single fall or collision could be enough to wipe out the entire organization.
He’s right, though.
The form could be written a lot better. But that’s a matter to take up with the insurance companies and lawyers, not a non-profit leading the fight for safer streets and improved access for cyclists in L.A. County.
And which just wants to let local cyclists enjoy a simple bike ride.
Without getting sued.
Happy Bike Month!