Have You Seen My Stolen Bike? Vol. 3, 4 and 5

Ed. Note: If your bike has been stolen send an email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail with Stolen Bike in the subject line. Please include a photo, the location where it was stolen, if there is anything distinctive about the bike, what type of lock you used and let me know if you’d like me to include your email address with the post. If you think you may have seen the bike please share your tip in the comments.

“While I was out of town for my grandfather’s funeral, my front door was kicked in by a particularly brazen burglar. This happened in broad daylight around noon right off busy Florida Avenue in the U Street area. Luckily, one of my neighbors happened to return home shortly after the break in and called the police for me. The timing could not have been worse as I received the call from the responding officer with the bad news as I was leaving the funeral service. The burglar stole my bright orange, diamond frame Public bike, a laptop, my brand new bike lights, and a backpack. I know the chance that I’ll see any of my stuff again is pretty much zero, but I’m holding out hope that because my bike is so distinctive, maybe someone out there in PoPville has seen it? I’ve seen a couple orange step-through and mixte frame Public bikes riding around dc, but I haven’t seen any other diamond frames like mine, so it really might be the only one. Any help would be appreciated!”


“As I noted a few weeks ago, my house was burglarized and they took my bike, among other things. It is a brand new white Giant Avail with red trim – you’ll know it’s mine when you see 2 red cup holders attached to the frame and a small bike repair kit bag behind the seat. Please grab it! I’ll pay you back if you have to buy it, just email me at [email protected]


“My bike was stolen from the NY Ave Metro. It’s a green Surley Pacer, now with silver rain guards.

sure, include this email address: [email protected]

35 Comment

  • Given the ridiculous number of bike thefts, I don’t understand why someone hasn’t invented some sort of tracking chip to be placed in a bike’s frame. It seems absurd in this day and age that phones, computers and bikes get stolen and we can’t locate them.

  • I don’t know about the bikes, but reading the door kick in one made me remember…

    People should invest in the “door armor” or its equivalent. It costs anywhere from 50-100 bucks and prevents door kick ins. They are metal plates that reinforce the door jam. It is DIY and you don’t need any special tools to install.

    I had two kick in’s within a 6 month period and then got it. I’ve had one attempt since then and while the door took a beating, it remained locked and the guy gave up.

    • Can you post a link to what kind of door armor you have?

      • I bought this at Lowes


        There are others out there who make the same thing

        • Thanks a lot for posting this, I just bought the EZ Armor door jam online. Looks easy to install, isn’t expensive, and they guarantee the door will not be broken into again.

          From their website it says 85% of burglaries start with a door being kicked in. It also says once you’ve been burglarized you are 4x more likely to be burglarized again. Yikes.

          • Yes, thanks for posting! I think I’m going to get the EZ Armor one too. I didn’t even know something like this existed.

  • The thugs are particularly reckless and brazen these days.

  • get bars for your doors.

  • This is the reason I keep my bars.

    • I don’t have bars, but I do have a steel front door. Unkick-in-able, and looks a little better than the bars. The windows are unbarred, of course, but I also have ADT. So far so good… (knock on wood)

      • Security systems are the only things, in my experience, that are effective. My parents had their steel door kicked in, and I’ve had window bars bent to gain entry.

        • Well, the door frame has to be steel too, but I suppose a determined thief can get through any door. The security system is nice though, even if ADT did wake me on vacation at 4am once because my housesitter armed the motion sensors while inside…

  • I think I may have seen that orange bike on my way to work going down 17th street near the white house this morning… does it have white straps on the pedals/toe clips? the person on it looked similar to the picture (hair/backpack) and i noticed his feet for some reason because i looked to see if his pant leg was rolled

    • No toe clips on my bike, at least not at the time it was stolen. Can you let me know around what time (and approx. intersection) you may have seen the bike? I may have to start stalking that area to see if he rides by again!

      • i dont know if it had toe clips necessarily, but i believe white straps over his sneakers – do the pedals have straps? (it could have also just been white sneakers since I wasn’t looking out for anything) he also was riding in the opposite direction while my boyfriend and I were driving, but we both noticed him and made a comment about how ridiculous he looked (dreads flying around, backpack, bright orange bike) which is why I remembered when i saw it.

        It was probably 10am today we were going north on 17th taking a left on pennsylvania (by white house) and he was going south on 17th. will keep my eyes open around the K street area. i didn’t think anything of it because there are so many wild looking couriers in the area with nice bikes.

        • Thanks! I really love my bike and am keeping my fingers crossed that the color will help get it spotted and returned to me.

  • The problem with the gps tags is the cost. Try the Pulse ID tags that use QR Codes from http://www.bikeshepherd.org. Register the bike, and tag it. Report it stolen – and they broadcast it over all the social media channels so the people can keep an eye out for it. Not only do the tags deter thieves by making your bike identifiable, but anyone who recovers your bike can scan them, see it’s stolen, and contact you. All that for c.15$

    • claire

      Wow, that’s a nifty idea – I don’t own a bike myself (yay for Capital Bikeshare!), but I’m sending that site along to the bicyclists that I know, thanks!

  • I thought I saw the orange public frame the other day…I believe it was Tuesday. I was on the 62 bus at the intersection of Kansas and Georgia Ave, and it stood out to me 1) b/c the man riding it was really ill fitted for the frame (the seat was way out of whack, etc) and 2) there was duct tape all over the down tube and the cross bar. This was around 9:30 AM.

    I hope this helps I would be pissed if someone got my bike. Someone got my front tire (still don’t understand this) the other week…

    • I distinctly remember the chain guard, which not too many bikes have.

    • I don’t want to get my hopes up just yet, but I’m definitely encouraged to hear that my orange bike might really be out there somewhere just waiting for me to find it. The duct tape part sucks, but nothing a little goo gone can’t fix, right?

  • So sorry to hear this. I have an orange Public step-through and love it. I’ve seen one or two other step-throughs, but no diamond frames–will keep my eyes open for this one.

  • As far as people locking up at the Metro…don’t. You’re just giving thieves hours and hours to stake out your bike and take it. If you absolutely must lock up at a Metro, invest the $100 in the Kryptonite New York Chain. It’s heavy, and annoying to carry, but your bike and wheels won’t get stolen, assuming you lock up your wheels too! Also, avoid quick release seatpost clamps too. It breaks my heart to walk past a nice bike with a missing wheel or missing seat and seatpost.

  • With all due respect, asking someone to “please grab” your bike, or assuming that we’ll pay for your property to get it back, is a little inappropriate. I fully support neighbors looking out for one another (and their property), but I’m not going to put myself in a potentially sketchy — if not outright dangerous — situation for a bicycle, and I don’t think it’s fair to ask the same of anyone. I have always loved the sense of community here, I don’t mean to sound insensitive here, but let’s be realistic about expectations.

    • OP here…I hear what you’re saying and wanted to explain. I offered a reward for my bike because I heard that a neighbor sometimes buys stolen bikes from the guys on his block then posts them to find the owners. This is a total long shot, but if one guy is doing it, maybe others are too.

      By no means do I expect someone to go out of their way or put themselves in danger, I just wanted to be clear that I’m offering a reward in case someone sees it and decides on their own accord to take action.

      In terms of tracking, I spoke to someone at WABA about the National Bike Registry – http://www.nationalbikeregistry.com/. For $15 you affix a “tamper-resistant” label to the bike and register it in a national database. In theory the police will see this and check it in if they find it. Has this worked for anyone?

      Lastly, the police have a huge warehouse full of recovered bikes. Not sure how you access it, but I sure would love to. Anyone know how to get in there?

  • I have to say, I think that posting these lost bike items is kind of a waste of time and adds to the clutter on the site. I can’t imagine many people have recovered lost bikes via PoP.

    More importantly, as a reader, it’s very unclear what I’m supposed to with this information. Do I print out the photos, keep them with me at all times, and constantly check them against bikes I see parked on the street? Or am I supposed to make a mental note of every green, white, or orange bicycle I see in the near future, and then continually check in with the owners about them?

    I’m all for the community stuff, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with the knowledge that some stranger lost a green bike in D.C. at some point.

    Love ya, PoP, but I really wish you would reconsider whether you need the post this stuff. Unfortunately, so many bikes get stolen, that this could end up overwhelming the site. Or if you do feel obligated to post it, maybe give us more clear instructions on how to act on it.

    • Prince Of Petworth


      I also believe there is a therapeutic value for those who get their bikes stolen to post. I’m sorry if you consider it clutter.

      Though I only plan on posting on Mondays and Fridays.

    • I’d also like to add that it’s helpful to know the location where a bike may have been spotted so that I (not other readers) can head over to that area to see if the bike reappears. I’m just one person and can’t cover that much ground on my own (and keep my job!), but PoPville has a lot of eyes on the street, so you never know what someone may have seen on their daily commute until you ask.

    • I think it is pretty clear there is a decent size bike community that reads PoP. If somebody is into bikes, as I am, one look at those images and thats all I need. I look at almost every bike I pass on the street not because I think its stolen, but because I like bikes. So please keep these posts coming.

      Don’t like bikes or care, don’t read the thread.

      As someone whose bike was stolen and I got it back, I feel for others who have lost their bike. If this makes them feel better than great. If it helps someone get their bike back, as it already has done, even better. Thanks Pop

  • Just a head’s up to anyone else in the area (re: the orange bike at Florida and U) – I also had an attempted burglarly that I reported to the police with a simliar MO-tried to get in through the front door, lights and TV were on inside so seemingly pretty brazen. I too live in the Florida Ave & U st NW area.

    When the burglar realized I was home he ran away…but dropped a rather large knife in making his getaway. Police filed as evidence, but just a reminder to everyone to be careful as this person may be armed (if same robber).

    The responding officer told me it was good my gate was locked, but that a surprising number of people don’t lock their gates and that someone may be going around looking for easy targets in the neighborhood. So neighbors, please be careful and make sure to lock up!

  • i think i may have just seen the public bike (saturday, nov 19, about 3:30pm). i was about to enter the giant at 14th and park when a man passed by me on a bike. the bike was a public bike (the logo was on the chain guard), it was orange, but there was duct tape wrapped around the bar running from the seat to the peddles and blue painters tape wrapped around the cross bar (running from the handle bars to the seat). the rider stopped briefly to talk to someone on the street and i noticed that the bike seat has purple diamond shaped stickers on it. i can’t remember for sure, but i’m fairly certain the fenders have been removed.

    i would have stopped they guy and asked him about it, but by the time i realized it might be the bike in question, the guy was already half way down the street and i couldn’t catch up on foot.

    the man riding the bike: black, looked to be in his 40s, maybe about 5’8, and he seemed to really like ringing the bell as he was ringing it non-stop. he was heading east on park road.

    i’ll definitely keep my eyes peeled for you!

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