July 20, 2015

Scary S#!+

Bike thefts in D.C.'s low(er)-crime NW quadrant have been getting violent lately. DCist reported that, on July 9 at 11 p.m. on the 1200 block of R Street NW, a would-be thief approached a cyclist and demanded his bike. When the cyclist wouldn't surrender it, the foiled thief began stabbing him. No word on what happened to the attacker or the bike, but the cyclist was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Another incident occurred on July 11 at 10:30 p.m. on the 1100 block of R Street NW. Cell phone footage shows multiple aggressors trying to separate a BMX bike from its owner. WUSA9 reports:

July 10, 2015

"It's people like you who should be ill"

First there was Olgi Freyre, who let the profanity fly when a thief relieved her of the $700 KHS Flite 223 she'd locked outside the art supply store where she was working 40 hours a week while going to DePaul University part-time:

Then Portland's Roxy Thompson, age six, invoked maternal disappointment in an attempt to shame thieves into returning her father's fleet of custom road bikes:

Shortly thereafter, 23-year-old Briton Aaron Rush laid it out for the "douchebag" who nabbed his grey Giant:

And now there's yet another note-to-a-bike-thief in the news. This one was left at the scene of the theft by a British oncology nurse:

Harsh words, for sure—some commenters have even questioned whether a nurse would really pen such vitriol—but, like many a victim of bike theft, I know where that anger is coming from.

July 7, 2015

кражи велосипедов = угон машины

(If the title doesn't read "bicycle theft = car theft," I blame Google translate.)

The Moscow Times is reporting that Vladimir Petrov, a deputy in the Leningrad region legislative assembly, is attempting to amend the Russian Criminal Code to put bicycle theft on par with car theft. If Petrov gets his way, one convicted of either crime could pay up to 120,000 rubles (~2100 USD) or spend up to five years in prison.

Petrov proposes explicitly adding the word "bicycle" to the legal language specifying punishment for stealing "automobiles and other means of transportation." This because—as explained in a note accompanying the bill—Russian law does not currently recognize bicycle transportation as such.

Petrov's amendment would make Russia more, dare I say, progressive on this matter than the United States. As I learned when digging up dirt for "You F***ing Felon" back in October 2013, cars enjoy special status in many states. In much of the country, theft of a motor vehicle qualifies as a felony regardless of the vehicle's monetary value. In no state (to my knowledge, anyway) is bike theft recognized as a serious crime in a similarly automatic fashion.