Reader Reports “Brazen Bike Theft” Arrest Made on U Street Friday Night

Photo by PoPville flickr user

“Dear PoPville,

Wanted to alert you and PoPville to an incredibly brazen attempted bike theft that took place last night [Friday] on U Street. As I was walking from 13th to 12th on the north side of U at about 9:15pm, a guy was crouched down in a shadowed spot next to Tropicalia with enormous bolt cutters working on a u-lock. After walking by him (and realizing what he was doing), I was able to grab the police officers posted in 7-11 at 12th and U and they were able to apprehend the thief as he was about to ride away (leaving the u-lock he had just cut dangling on the metal rail next to Tropicalia).

As a follower of PoPville, I know how often bike thefts get reported. But this struck me in two ways: first, I was impressed by the sheer audacity of this thief to attempt to steal a bike right off of U Street on a Friday night with so many cops on patrol and so many pedestrians passing by in close proximity; second, I was really surprised that it did not seem there was anyone else who did anything to thwart the theft (I was the only “witness”), especially given how much foot traffic there was and how long the perpetrator must have been working on the u-lock with his bolt cutters.

Another reminder to get a good bike lock and to keep an eye out for bike thieves, even when/where you might not expect them.”

9 Comment

  • Cut a U-lock with bolt cutters? That’s pretty skilled!
    Should be able to apply those skills to something useful…

    • I had the same thought. bolt cutter is the wrong tool for a u bar lock . . . unless it was made of licorice or something. Heavy duty bolt cutters are also big and unweildy and a liability for a theif who gets caught in the act. Most thieves prefer leverage attacks because they don’t require specialized hardware.

  • So what happened to the unlocked bike?

    • @Anonymous 12:37 – The one time I actually saw a bike theft arrest being made, they loaded the bike up into a squad car and drove it away. I just assumed they “impounded” it to keep someone else from taking a now-unsecured bike, and that they expected the owner would call the police station and could come claim it. I am, however, curious how they could verify that it was the actual owner!

  • “I was able to grab the police officers posted in 7-11 at 12th and U ”

    Bwahaha PLEASE please give me warning next time you write something that funny.

    Although to be honest, if I ever need to get a police officer quickly, it’s nice to know where they are.

    @Anonymous – unfortunately it’s fairly easy to cut a u-lock with bolt cutters. There’s Youtube videos. My advice is to get a thicker u-lock

  • I salute anyone who stops a bike theft in this town. Good work.

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