The Chainlink

From Amber Crain:

Chicagoans... a few months ago my boyfriend's bike was stolen from outside his downtown office in the loop despite being locked with a kryptonite u-lock. He got a new bike, the strongest u-lock available and a chain lock.

Last week, someone attempted to steal his bike again. Below is some video footage. The thief wore a yellow "official looking" public service coat while using an angle grinder with sparks flying. You see where security began questioning him, at which point he attempted to show a security badge, but then fled.

This is a notice to all Chicago bike riders as well as pedestrians. If you see this, say something!!!! This guy is a professional. Please share this post with your Chicago friends. Even if we can't ID him by sharing the post, we can drive awareness that this scenario isn't official - it's theft.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

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Wow, great catch by security!

What building did this happen at?

I thought I recognized the building on the corner of Franklin and Washington. Looks like I'm correct. The bike racks are on the alley side of it.

Yeah, that looks like the right building. I'm glad that building security intervened.

Hoping the would be thief accidentally cuts his male membership off with that grinder. 

I hope they catch this thief 

Looks like the better u lock paid off btw, bought him that much more time until someone noticed and intervened. 

This is crazy. This city has a serious problem with bike thieves.

I can imagine the conversation between the thief and the security guard:

SECURITY:  What are you doing there?

YELLOW JACKET:  I lost my key.  Gotta cut this lock off.

SECURITY:  I think the bike belongs to someone upstairs....

YJ:  No.  It's mine.  And I have to get home.

SECURITY:  Can I see your ID?

YJ:  Sorry.  My wallet is at home.  I don't need an ID to ride a bike.

SECURITY:  Well....I guess not.  Good luck.  Have a nice day.  Good-bye.

And with that the thief continues to grind away at the lock, and the guard returns to his post.  And thus we have one good reason to license bicycles in Chicago.

Why?

Well despite the security guard's best intentions, he had no way to verify the ownership of that bike. 

And YOU don't have any way to confirm that you haven't stolen the bike you're riding today either....even if you have a receipt from the bike shop where you bought it, unless it documents the exact frame serial number.  And that's unlikely.  Unlikely that you'd still have that receipt; and unlikely that the LBS went to the trouble to carefully document the frame serial number at the time of sale.

With a bike license number, ownership can be verified easily...just like a car!

Perhaps people should just jot down the serial number of their bike. Simple. 

I do. Two of the bikes I have I bought in the same store (or the same store chain, different locations) and have the proof of it. Both registered with the police here.

The third one I bought from a guy who sells refurbished old bicycles (he even has a website for it). I can't be sure the bike I bought from him was never stolen, but I've registered it, too, and listed him as the source of my purchase. Even if it turns out the bicycle is not legit, it's on him.

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