The Chainlink

From an Uptown Update submission:

Another case I thought your readers might be interested in. You posted about a burglary from a building on Agatite last November where someone had gotten inside and stolen two bikes.  The cops were on top of it and found the guy a couple blocks away with the bikes.

Well, that turned out to be someone you've posted about before, Michael Greenstreet.  He'd just gotten out of prison a couple months earlier from another residential burglary in Uptown when he stole the bikes on Agatite.  So now he's back behind bars, sentenced to six years.  This was his tenth conviction of burglary.  He used to give his address as the REST Shelter, but his address is The Illinois Penal System for the next few years."

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Builders often don't steal stuff.  Construction workers tend to be much more honest than the average person by and large when it comes to theft.  And because of the tools of the trade they need to own, they are much more cognizant of how much stuff is worth and how expensive it is to replace stuff.  We get stuff stolen ALL the time off of job sites by the same sorts of people who steal bikes when they see that an area is unsecured.

The problem is that not all construction workers are very bright.  Yeah, the skilled-trades tends to have people who are handy and brighter than the average homo sapien but the unskilled trades and laborers can be a bit dense -and often don't think about stuff like closing and locking a door behind them when they go for more material or are done cleaning out an area.  That's the problem with construction sites.  People are fairly honest and don't even think about theft or how to avoid it until it is too late.

i have a feeling that someone who was working on your building left the garage door wide open while they went out for lunch, or were working on the other end of the building and someone took the opportunity to scope out the area and saw your bikes.  After that it was a simple matter to sneak in and snatch them.  A bike locked with a cable might as well NOT be locked AT ALL -especially with construction tools laying around (probably out in the open too) for a thief to use.  Most bike cables (even the really thick ones) can be cut very easily with simple cutting pliers. 

Don't use a cable -use a heavy bike-specific chain or a good-quality bike/motorcycle U-lock.  Anything less and you might as well gift-wrap the bike for them. 

I concur. I have spent a good deal of time around highly-trained and skilled workers in the construciton trades. They are hard-working, honest and straightforward men and women who will not jeopardize their well-paying livelihood and reputation for small moolah by lifting a bicycle.

More than likely, this was a crime of opportunity by a slime-bag who was looking for a quick buck.

James BlackHeron said:

Builders often don't steal stuff.  Construction workers tend to be much more honest than the average person by and large when it comes to theft.  And because of the tools of the trade they need to own, they are much more cognizant of how much stuff is worth and how expensive it is to replace stuff.  We get stuff stolen ALL the time off of job sites by the same sorts of people who steal bikes when they see that an area is unsecured.

The problem is that not all construction workers are very bright.  Yeah, the skilled-trades tends to have people who are handy and brighter than the average homo sapien but the unskilled trades and laborers can be a bit dense -and often don't think about stuff like closing and locking a door behind them when they go for more material or are done cleaning out an area.  That's the problem with construction sites.  People are fairly honest and don't even think about theft or how to avoid it until it is too late.

i have a feeling that someone who was working on your building left the garage door wide open while they went out for lunch, or were working on the other end of the building and someone took the opportunity to scope out the area and saw your bikes.  After that it was a simple matter to sneak in and snatch them.  A bike locked with a cable might as well NOT be locked AT ALL -especially with construction tools laying around (probably out in the open too) for a thief to use.  Most bike cables (even the really thick ones) can be cut very easily with simple cutting pliers. 

Don't use a cable -use a heavy bike-specific chain or a good-quality bike/motorcycle U-lock.  Anything less and you might as well gift-wrap the bike for them. 

Big +1 to James and Gene's replies...

 

Okay then,

your bike was left atop the rack for "a couple of hours" in a car park. Could've been anyone - e.g. a neighbour or a friend of one. Lord knows they had plenty of time...

As a onetime member of the construction fraternity, i resent that you tar with such a broad brush an entire community of contractors based on a suspicion -unproved,BTW- that the last guys you saw were the thieves.

 

Sorry you lost your bike. That stinks. Better luck in future.

 

End of rant. Peace. Out.

 

 Dereck Woodward said:

...End of bothering about this. It's as futile as expecting to get my bike back.

 

D

the guy is a small time crook. have some pity. calling for blood over a couple of bikes is over the top. there are grand crooks out there that are getting little to no attention. bikes are only materialistic things, there are more important matter in life than bicycles. i don't have a problem with drugs, it is a personal choice that neither undervalue or overvalue.

I totally disagree with this.

When someone steals "a material thing" from  you they are not just stealing the THING but they are stealing your LIFE and EFFORT you spent in creating the wealth that it took to purchase it. 

Money doesn't grow on trees, or come out of our bungholios.  We don't get money from our daddies and mommies but we have to get up every morning and go to work and slave away for it.

$500-1000 might not be a lot to you but for some people that is a week or more of hard labor.  The thief is stealing your very time and your life and is making you a SLAVE for that week (or more) of labor that it took to earn the cash to purchase that THING he (or she) stole from you.

IMHO it is no different than if a person held a gun to your head and forced you to do hard labor for him for a week.  The product of your time, sweat, and effort are yours, and yours alone to decide to do with -not some criminal to take from you.  

Just saying that a bike is a thing and not important is doing a disservice to the people who work hard and sacrifice their time and effort to create the buying power to purchase that thing.   THINGS are nothing more than an extension of the sacrifices that people made to create them.  

Saying that it is not a big deal because this piece of human trash merely is stealing things does a great disservice to people and society as a whole.  When people steal things it hurts other people and steals from their very lives. 

Theft is slavery. 


thang van ung said:

the guy is a small time crook. have some pity. calling for blood over a couple of bikes is over the top. there are grand crooks out there that are getting little to no attention. bikes are only materialistic things, there are more important matter in life than bicycles. i don't have a problem with drugs, it is a personal choice that neither undervalue or overvalue.

Calling for blood is over the top. And it is good to keep some perspective - things can be replaced. But bike theft does far more harm than just costing someone some money. Among other things it discourages people from riding just when we need more people to ride. It is not a small time theft, it is a crime against the planet and should be treated accordingly.

thang van ung said:

the guy is a small time crook. have some pity. calling for blood over a couple of bikes is over the top. there are grand crooks out there that are getting little to no attention. bikes are only materialistic things, there are more important matter in life than bicycles. i don't have a problem with drugs, it is a personal choice that neither undervalue or overvalue.

How in the world will this guy ever get a legitimate job with 10 burglary conviction? I would imagine retail stores wouldn't be interested in this gentleman? That REST shelter in Uptown is a haven for these types of characters.

People gotta live somewhere... 6yrs of 3 hots & a cot will have to do for now, i suppose.

El Dorado said:

How in the world will this guy ever get a legitimate job with 10 burglary conviction? I would imagine retail stores wouldn't be interested in this gentleman? That REST shelter in Uptown is a haven for these types of characters.

someone should just give the poor guy a bike, so he won't have to steal from yuppies in uptown.

Absolutely right, James!

What the average Joe - or cop - doesn't realize is that unlike a car, a regular cyclist's bike is sized just right for him/her. There are also many other personalized tweaks, too. We don't so much as ride our bikes - it's almost like 'wearing' our bikes. If you don't believe me, try renting a bike. A regular cyclist will hate it! It takes a while to replace something as personal as your trusty two-wheel steed.

One other thing I noticed when my bike got pinched was that the fittings on the bike to take the front mudguard and the lights were gone with the bike, leaving a useless mudguard and lights.

James BlackHeron said:

I totally disagree with this.

When someone steals "a material thing" from  you they are not just stealing the THING but they are stealing your LIFE and EFFORT you spent in creating the wealth that it took to purchase it. 

Money doesn't grow on trees, or come out of our bungholios.  We don't get money from our daddies and mommies but we have to get up every morning and go to work and slave away for it.

$500-1000 might not be a lot to you but for some people that is a week or more of hard labor.  The thief is stealing your very time and your life and is making you a SLAVE for that week (or more) of labor that it took to earn the cash to purchase that THING he (or she) stole from you.

IMHO it is no different than if a person held a gun to your head and forced you to do hard labor for him for a week.  The product of your time, sweat, and effort are yours, and yours alone to decide to do with -not some criminal to take from you.  

Just saying that a bike is a thing and not important is doing a disservice to the people who work hard and sacrifice their time and effort to create the buying power to purchase that thing.   THINGS are nothing more than an extension of the sacrifices that people made to create them.  

Saying that it is not a big deal because this piece of human trash merely is stealing things does a great disservice to people and society as a whole.  When people steal things it hurts other people and steals from their very lives. 

Theft is slavery. 


thang van ung said:

the guy is a small time crook. have some pity. calling for blood over a couple of bikes is over the top. there are grand crooks out there that are getting little to no attention. bikes are only materialistic things, there are more important matter in life than bicycles. i don't have a problem with drugs, it is a personal choice that neither undervalue or overvalue.

James it's absurd to say that s*it about guns to your head.  You have a choice to work for money and to buy a bike.  Having a gun put to your head and forced to do something is not a choice. 

And to bike bloke: bikes are replaceble.  sure you may have one that fits you just right but it seems ridiculous to think that one bike you have that fits you just right is the only one in existence or that's able to be built into existence.  It sucks having a bike stolen, but c'mon really, so much worse shit happens.

Needed that small cash for the next fix it appears...

Love the last 60+ years of low lives keeping crime HIGH in Uptown vs other spots esp. those 5 miles in any direction from Wilson & Broadway.

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