Stolen bikes on eBay are plentiful. And that is a major problem. The Bike GPS is committed to the fight against bike theft in America. And so we read with great interest a piece entitled “Piecing Together Clues to a Theft Drives Home How Tough It Is to Police the Online Marketplace” written by Reed Albergotti in “The Wall Street Journal” recently. Thieves apparently broke into Albergotti’s home and made off with some fancy bicycles of his. An avid cyclist, this left him quite upset and so he couldn’t help but search online to see if any of his favorite bikes were being resold. He had nearly given up when he suddenly found his 2008 Ridley Noah, which retails for thousands of dollars.
As Albergotti describes it, “In the early morning hours of March 13, thieves broke into my apartment building. They broke into a locked bike room and walked out with several expensive rides. Among them: my old racing bike, a 2008 Ridley Noah that retails for thousands of dollars. It has a custom paint job, with my last name clearly printed on the top tube. A couple of months later, someone sold the bike on eBay to a guy named Douglas who lives in Dallas. The search for my bike highlights the underside of e-commerce: The same technology that lets us efficiently buy and sell used goods is also an efficient way to unload stolen property. Policing the online marketplace for stolen goods can be a Sisyphean task.”
And while Albergotti was able to find his bike online, he ran into a whole lot of red tape when he tried to get the bike back. eBay requires that there be a documented police report and even then, since eBay doesn’t store the merchandise and is only a means by which folks can buy and sell items, they don’t really have much say in the matter. Albergotti would get in touch with the police and eBay’s anti-fraud division but, ultimately, he still hasn’t gotten his bicycle back. Bureaucracy.
In 2005, our friend Stephen Dubner posed this question on the “Freakonomics” blog: “It’s hard to imagine Lojack for bikes — the cost of a car is what makes Lojack worthwhile — but it’s also hard to imagine that there aren’t some creative solutions to the problem. Feel free to post them below.” Enter the SpyLamp2. Hidden inside a red, rear reflector is GPS/GSM technology to track down your stolen bicycle. In many way, it’s similar to the Lojack for cars.
Sometimes folks ask us, “Aren’t you worried that bike thieves will catch on to the fact that hidden inside the reflector is a tracking device?” No, we’re not. Because by the time these bike thieves catch on, many of them will have already been caught. They’ll be more reluctant to steal bikes. They’ll worry about tracking devices hidden inside other parts of the bicycle. And hopefully by then, we’ll have already saturated the market and curbed rising bike theft!
Bike theft is a major problem around the world and particularly in America. For every bike that is purchased, a bike is stolen. To reiterate, that statistic is 1:1. 1:1! Do you want to be the victim of a bike theft or would you rather purchase the Spylamp2 to catch the thief who tried to get away with your valuable personal property? We have a feeling we know the answer to this one. So buy a Spylamp2 today! Is it worth purchasing if your bike only costs $80? No, because the Spylamp2 costs more than that. Some salesmen we are, huh? Is it worth purchasing if your bike costs more than $300? You bet!
Have a question about the Spylamp2? Ask us a question by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you. And, on a personal note, check out the NBC TV show the Founder of The Bike GPS, Brian, did with the “Freakonomics” guys a couple years ago. We think you’ll find it pretty cool!
There’s a great story coming out of Seattle about a stolen bike recovery that we wanted to share with our loyal readers. According to “Seattle Bike Blog,” when Beth Gunn returned home from vacation to discover that her bicycle — her sole method of transportation to and from work — was missing in action, she was rather upset. She didn’t have money to buy a new one and so the theft hit her particularly hard. But then, as fate would have it, she saw her bike…on the front of a bus!
When Beth saw her bicycle, she stopped the bus and stood in front of it. She wasn’t going to let the bus get by with her bicycle. The driver of the bus happened to be a respected bike blogger, Matt Leber, and so she had a big supporter in him. When nobody on the bus claimed the bicycle (shocking that the thief wouldn’t claim it when things were about to hit the fan), a King County Metro supervisor came along and let Beth take her bike home with her.
We love to hear stories about stolen bike recoveries. We hate it when bike thieves get away with their crimes. While this may have been an incidence of serendipity, we happen to sell a GPS tracking device so you don’t have to rely on serendipity to find your stolen bike. With our bike GPS tracker, you can get revenge on bike thieves and recover your stolen bicycle.
Thinking about stealing a bike and posting it for sale on Craigslist? Think twice! As you may know from reading our blog and perusing our bicycle accessories, we are big advocates of fighting bike theft. We sell a GPS tracker that is inside a red reflector for the back of your bike so that should a thief make off with your bike, you can track it down and justice can rule the day. That’s right — justice. In fact, just the other day, Madison, Wisconsin police arrested a 27 year-old by the name of Gregory Pitts Jr. for attempting to sell a stolen bicycle. While the GPS tracker that we sell may not have been involved in his being brought to justice, we thought sharing his story would be a good reminder to bike thieves that we cyclists will fight back.
According to the NBC Madison, Wisconsin affiliate “WMTV” on the subject of the stolen bike on Craigslist, “Madison Police partnered with parents to get their son’s stolen bike back, and arrest the suspect. The mountain bike was taken Friday from a N. Thompson Dr. underground parking garage. By Sunday, the victim’s parents spotted the bike for sale on Craigslist. Police arranged to meet the seller Sunday afternoon at the Walmart on Nakoosa Trail. Police arrested 27-year-old Gregory Pitts Jr. for receiving stolen property. He told police he had found the bike.”
Take that, Gregory Pitts Jr. Steal a bike and you’ll face time behind bars. The young man whose bike you stole didn’t deserve this anguish. Shame on you for stealing a kid’s bike. Shame on you for being a bad apple who deserves time behind bars.
Chicago bike theft is in the news. Indeed, a video of a bike thief making off with an unlocked bicycle in Chicago is going viral. May it teach cyclists a lesson: Don’t ever leave your bike unlocked while unattended. Not even for a minute. That’s all the time that a seasoned (or even unseasoned) bike thief needs to make off with your favorite ride. Think that quick coffee at Starbucks is worth taking the risk of leaving your bike leaning against Starbucks’ front window? It isn’t. Think you’ll be paying attention to it the whole time? Maybe not when you pay for your coffee. All it takes is a second or two and your bike is gone.
It’s a good thing that we sell a bike GPS/GSM tracking device here at The Bike GPS. Registering your bicycle on, say, the Chicago Stolen Bike Registry, is always a wise idea. As is locking up your bicycle (we also sell a bike lock so it’s impossible to ever forget your bike lock at home)! But in the event that your bike is stolen nonetheless, wouldn’t you want the chance to track it down? You shouldn’t have to depend on others to help you find it. You shouldn’t have to worry about where it is and if you’ll ever see it again.
Take back the power from the bike thief. Buy a bike GPS tracker today. With this device, you can pinpoint the location of your bike, call the authorities, and recover your stolen bicycle. It’s that simple. So why not do it? It’s time to stop being a victim and start fighting back. Bike thieves won’t know what hit them.
As you may know from reading our cycling blog, we write quite a bit about bike theft. Sure, we have something to gain from it. We sell SpyLamp2, a red reflector that attaches to the back of your bike with hidden GPS/GSM technology inside of it. If your bike is stolen, you can track it down with this technology and the bike thief who thought he got away with the crime will be ever so surprised. Anyhow, we recently read about a school bike theft that made us red with anger and we endeavor to spread the word about it.
According to an article in “The Modesto Bee” entitled “Specialty bicycles stolen from special education class at Sherwood Elementary,” 11 of 13 bicycles belonging to special education teacher Darlene Pierson’s class have been stolen, discovered early Monday morning by a janitor at the school. Of these stolen 11 bicycles, according to the article in “The Modesto Bee,” this includeded “nine three-wheel bicycles worth about $400 a piece and two specialty bicycles for the severally handicapped that cost as much as $2,500. Two of the latter remained. Pierson estimates the total value of the 11 stolen bicycles is $8,500.”
We at The Bike GPS hope that folks will come together to donate some bikes to Ms. Pierson’s class. When we hear stories like these, we so often hear about amazing citizens of this country who come forward after and give their bicycles away because they don’t think it’s right what happened to this teacher and her students. Shame on this bike thief not only for stealing bicycles but for stealing bicycles from a special education class. You’re a real winner.
Stopping bike theft has a lot to do with new technologies like SpyLamp2 which can help you track down your stolen bike (and ultimately give pause to criminals hoping to steal your bike in the future), but it also, perhaps surprisingly, has a lot to do with social psychology. Have you ever seen the Friday night series on ABC called “What Would You Do?” starring John Quinones? It’s the show that goes on after “Shark Tank” that showcases what ordinary people do in very interesting scenarios. As an example, they’ll have actors playing the role of teenage bullies verbally and physically abusing a fellow teenager. The show is about the ordinary people who walk by the scenario playing out. Will they intervene? Will they keep walking? Will they do something extraordinary? In most cases, people mind their own business and don’t intervene. They either assume that somebody else in the crowd will fix the problem or they just don’t want to get involved. It’s all rooted in the tenets of social psychology and, more specifically, the infamous bystander effect.
So what does this have to do with biking, you ask? Well, on one episode of “What Would You Do?”, a young Caucasian man (an actor) was blatantly cutting off a bike lock to steal a bike. Most people walking by spotted the young man but of course did nothing to stop him in his tracks. Even fewer people chose to intervene when a female bike thief was at work. When an African American young man, however, tried to steal a bike, more people took action.
Have you ever walked by a bike theft in action? With bike theft so common in this country, chances are that you probably have. Maybe you realized someone was stealing a bike and you just didn’t care. Maybe you thought what business was it of yours. Or maybe you did say something. Maybe you were one to intervene, to be a “helper” as Mr. Rogers’ mother likes to call people who step up to do good when bad things happen. If you have never seen a bike theft in action, what do you think you’d do in such a scenario? We’re curious to hear your answers!
There’s an article on “WTKR” by Marissa Jasek entitled “Beach bike theft victims take action on Facebook to get back wheels” that we wanted to bring to the attention of our readers. Apparently, there have been a number of bike thefts in Virginia Beach, Virginia. And those residents whose bikes have been stolen are getting frustrated and taking action. So what’d they do? They’ve started a Facebook page in which they post photos of their stolen bikes in the hope that folks will help them track these bikes down. Hey, it’s better than doing nothing when folks are stealing bikes, right?
According to the piece, “Jordan Bovee had his old Schwinn stolen last month at the lifeguard shack, and posted a picture. ‘I’m just glad that there are other people that have had the same problem because I know it sucks and they know it sucks, so we’re just all watching out for each other I guess,’ Bovee says. And it’s worked. Bovee says a few people have had luck getting their bikes back through the Facebook page. Though it’s a long shot, he’s hoping he’ll get lucky. ‘Maybe somebody will see and be like, ‘Man that kid’s not a bad guy, why did I steal his bike?’ And they’ll give it back,’ Bovee says. ‘That would be cool.’” Uh huh. Like that’s ever going to happen. Sorry Jordan.
What residents of Virginia Beach can do instead of posting photos of their stolen bikes is be proactive before their bikes are stolen. They should purchase SpyLamp2 from us — it’s a reflector that has hidden GPS/GSM technology inside it. So when a thief makes off with your bike, you can track it down. It’s as simple as that. So buy one from us today and let’s catch the people who are stealing bikes.
How bad is Philadelphia bike theft? Pretty bad, based on an article on “Philly.com” in which fifteen — yes, fifteen — bikes were recently stolen outside of an Irish pub in Center City. Fifteen bikes! Can you imagine how thieves got away with stealing fifteen bikes at once? The bike theft apparently happened at around 4:30 AM on Walnut Street near 20th Street. For bike thieves, the early morning hours is often the best time to lift some bicycles. Nobody’s worried about bike theft at 4:30 in the morning, right? Apparently so.
According to the piece on “Philly.com” entitled “Cops: 15 bikes stolen from Irish Pub after benefit,” “The bicycles were being stored at the pub following the Tour de Shore bicycle race Sunday. The pub organizes the 65-mile race from its Center City address to its original location in Atlantic City to raise money for children’s charities, with most of the proceeds going to the families of fallen police officers in the region. After a postrace celebration, many participants rode a bus back to the Philly pub, an organizer said. Because of flooding in South Jersey, the bus ride took six hours, prompting some to leave their bikes at the pub that night.” The poor people had to leave their bikes there because of flooding in Jersey and because of this, they chose to leave their bikes at the pub…only to have them all get stolen. It was a charity event, bike thieves! Have a heart!
The fact is that bike thieves don’t care if you just recently raced your bike in a charity event. They see fifteen bikes on the sidewalk and they think pay day. With the Spylamp2, a red reflector that goes on the back of your bike with hidden GPS/GSM technology inside of it, you’d be able to track down your bike with your phone. You can catch the bike thief. If these bike owners in Philadelphia had the Spylamp2 on their bikes, they would likely get justice. If only!
A Southern California man, Bill Fournell, who serves on the school board of the Manhattan Beach School District was recently attacked for fighting bike theft. When thieves slammed another bike into Fournell’s on the Ballona Creek Bike Path this month, Fournell was rather surprised. He was rightly angry and so his initial instinct was to fight back by not letting them get off with his bicycle. Said Fournell as quoted in an “NBC” piece on the man who fought bike theft, “”I was pissed off, so I think that’s why my initial reaction was to not let them take the bike. Then I started to get scared, because it’s a little isolated.”
The bike thieves didn’t in fact make off with Fournell’s bicycle as he was able to successfully hold them off. However, Fournell did indeed suffer injuries during the attack and he was hospitalized for five long days with broken ribs, a broken collarbone, and a punctured lung. While we at The Bike GPS are sure glad that the bike thieves didn’t make off with Fournell’s bike, this was not a good idea. Standing up to bike thieves on an isolated California bike path sounds dangerous. We’re sure lucky that Fournell sounds like he’s going to be ok and that they only hurt his collarbone, ribs, and lungs (isn’t that enough?), but it’s just not worth it!
We suggest Fournell buy the bike GPS tracker, SpyLamp2, that we sell here at The Bike GPS because then he wouldn’t have to worry about fighting bike theft. He can fight bike theft in a less dangerous way — by tracking down his bicycle and alerting the authorities to its exact whereabouts. Confrontations with bike thieves just aren’t worth it and we do not recommend choosing your bike over your life. As much as you may like your bike.
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