Ballard Bike Thiefs

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    Molly Torres

    If anyone is missing a very nice, white bike, this morning about 8:30 I saw a grizzled looking older guy, no helmet, smoking a cigarette, riding down 9th NW and making a right on Market Street.

    I also saw another similar looking guy walking down the alley between Market & 56th and 9th NW and 8th NW, pushing bikes in each hand. This was a few weeks ago.

    I would SO love to catch one of this asshats in the act of trying to steal my bike again – they would definitely regret it.



    Molly – bike theft in Ballard and the rest of Seattle has risen dramatically in the last year, however that might not be the reason for the folks you saw with bikes. There are a lot of lower end bikes that are dumped, given away and just sold for very little so many homeless and low income folks get bikes that way. Having said that, I will tell you that I talk to a lot of bike owners and this last year I have talked to more than 10 that have had a bike stolen, many of them in Ballard. I would also love to catch one of these thieves in the act and get a photo of them. Be careful if you confront one of these people as they might be armed with some weapon and they it would not be worth it.
    I wish there was some really inexpensive device that could be installed on a bike and then activated if the bike was stolen. I know there are GPS devises that can be installed a bike but they are not cheap and require a monthly service to keep active.


    Bean Dogger

    A .45 Cal pistol pressed to the back of the head will curtail further activity of this nature.



    Bean Dogger, Perhaps it is a bit soon to joke about bullets to the brain since yet one more victim of the Marysville Pilchuck shootings died last night. Actually, it will always be too soon, so please refrain from NRA inspired diatribes on this web site.



    +1 collingswood.


    Bean Dogger

    It was a joke…get a sense of humor.



    I have a sense of humor but did not find your comment the least bit funny. And telling people to “get a sense of humor” when they object to the use of violent motifs is insulting and condescending on your part.



    The Seattle Bike Blog has teamed up with BikeIndex to “battle bike theft”.

    Seattle Bike Blog and BikeIndex partner to provide Seattle stolen bike listings

    Seattle Bike Blog is a wonderful resource for the bike community in Seattle!



    Notice how the Seattle Police are completely absent from this KIRO news piece on bike theft and trying to stem it:

    Heck, when I lived in Berkeley in the ’70s, the cops were using bait bikes and catching thieves. They were most always wanted on a string of other warrants and I’ll bet it would be no different here in the Emerald City.



    This is not surprising. SPD is dropping the ball across the board on Property Crime.

    There is a scheduled meeting at the Loyal Heights Community Center on 11/18 at 1:30 pm with at least one City Councilperson and representatives of SPD to discuss not just the skyrocketing crime rate, but most importantly the near-total lack of response / investigation from SPD.

    I’ve been doing a lot of data crunching of police reports in advance of this meeting, and while I’m still working on polishing up the data and analysis, some of the conclusions that I am forced to draw are simply disturbing, and that is underselling it quite a bit.

    If you have a personal story of this type (not limited to bikes – it really extends to almost all property crimes), we’d love to see you there. If you can’t come, as it is in the middle of the day (the suspicious amongst us suspect that the time of day was chosen specifically so that fewer people would be able to attend), please post your anecdote here or on the forum and I’ll make sure that it gets in front of our representatives (I’ve already copied/pasted stories from recent posts as my part of the presentation.



    Chris, you got me thinking here about bike theft statistics, so I looked up on the map here ( the stats one month at a time for the last 4 months in NW Seattle. I expected to see many more on the map. Missing were ones I knew of in my own neighborhood of Crown Hill. Something doesn’t add up here. I can’t believe that even people who did file reports don’t show on the map.

    Any way here goes:
    Area covered Ballard East to Phinney/Greenwood Aves, North to Carkeek Park (110th).

    July: 14
    August: 11
    September: 12
    October: 11

    So I guess my question(s) is(are):
    1. When people file a bike theft report online does it even make it to this map?
    2. Where are the other reports?
    3. Are people so disillusioned with the SPD they don’t file reports of crime?
    4. How does the SPD follow up on these crime reports? It looks like from the actual reports that no followup was done on any of them beyond the initial report.

    PS if folk can’t make the meeting at Loyal Heights (like me, with businesses to tend to), there is a meeting that same night at Broadview Community Council with North Precinct personnel in attendance:



    SPD Crime stats map known to be wrong on so many fronts, it’s wise than worthless, it’s misleading. Bike theft. Car prowl. Home break in. Swat raids. Many witnessed and reported events (including by me), are not there. Data driven policing… yeah… troubling.

    Many don’t report, and/or are told by SPD to not bother reporting, just file an insurance claim.

    Filed reports with case numbers don’t show up.



    This looks interesting to prevent thefts. Building the lock into the bike. I saw this example at the PI site:

    But the inventors of the Yerka have made a twist in that approach. The bike’s lower frame opens up into two arms that are then connected to the seat post and locked to a post, so thieves would have to destroy a Yerka to get it unlocked, leaving it valueless.

    “That’s why our motto is ‘a bike that gets stolen is no longer a bike.’ What we have here is truly an unstealable bike,” said Cristobal Cabello, who came up with the design during a college engineering class with childhood friends Andres Roi Eggers and Juan Jose Monsalve.



    I don’t know how the SPD prioritizes their responses, but I’d guess bicycle theft is lower on the list of things to do. Lots of crazy stuff/crime going on all around us.

    Police Arrest Burglars In The Act In Two Separate North Seattle Calls



    Shopping cart theft is another issue that seems to be plaguing Ballard.



    Two resources for people looking for stolen bikes:

    The SPD inventory of recovered bikes:

    And an independently run stolen bike index:

    (read about it here:

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