The Chainlink

Dubbed "the lumberjack bandit" by the victim:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-redeye-wicker...

Brandon Holmes says he has no idea who stole his bike early Tuesday morning, but it must have been a lumberjack.

When Holmes, 25, exited Nick’s Beer Garden in Wicker Park around 3 a.m., his bike--his only means of transportation outside the CTA--was gone. On the ground was the tree he locked it to, sawed in three pieces.

“The lumberjack bandit, man, just cutting trees in half,” he told RedEye in a phone interview. “It just looked like it was violently tampered with.”


Holmes, of Humboldt Park, said he bought the bike a few months ago and paid about $450 for the brown SE-Lager 14 racer. After spending the evening watching a DJ perform in the area, he walked out of a bar and was surprised to find the bike gone and the tree cut down, Holmes said. Stressing that he was being sarcastic, Holmes said he “respected” the thief for the effort that went into taking it

He said he locked the bike to the tree--planted in a carved-out portion of a city sidewalk--because bicycle racks in the area were full.


“It makes me want to tell the city to make more bike racks,” he said. “They are kind of stingy about it.”

According to Ted Villaire, Communications Director for the Active Transportation Alliance, it is legal to lock a bike to a tree as long as it is on public property. However, the alliance discourages the practice because thefts like Holmes experienced can occur, and also because it could damage the tree.

Chicago Police News Affairs spokesman Jose Estrada confirmed the details of the theft, and said that currently there are no suspects. He also he’s never heard of this sort of bike theft before.

“To be honest, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of such a case,” he said, adding he’s never seen anyone lock their bike to a tree. “It’s an organic material, it’s easily defeated by anyone with the will and the means.”

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“To be honest, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of such a case,” he said, adding he’s never seen anyone lock their bike to a tree.

Does this guy telecommute from a place where there are no trees?

I'll typically choose locking to a tree over a street sign. I always figured it would be more difficult and time consuming to cut a tree if it's thick enough over unbolting a street sign. Plus you'd have to carry around a saw rather than a wrench. 

I guess as always ... if they want your bike bad enough.  

There's kind of an odd rhythm to the way the local media's interest in bike theft ebbs and flows.... it seems Redeye is hard at work on a piece right now as well...

I want to see the sensationalistic news piece (or many news pieces) alerting the public to the big threat of locking with cable locks.

We need a catchy name for it though.... "sucker lock?

gift bike delivery cable?

Nice yaj!  "A secure cable is just a fable"

yaj 7.4 said:

gift bike delivery cable?

"Fable Cable?"

The tree looks like it was pushed or pulled till it splintered in a few pieces. Someone wrestled this poor sapling to the ground and yanked the bike out. Why would you lock your 'baby' to a poor thin street sapling ! ! Now a tree killing/evil bike stealing felon is roaming our city streets !
If you are going to lock up to a poor sapling, at least use a trusty cable bike lock ! Save a tree ! !

Holy cow, you are right-- there is a good use for a cable lock.

Tom A.K. said:

The tree looks like it was pushed or pulled till it splintered in a few pieces. Someone wrestled this poor sapling to the ground and yanked the bike out. Why would you lock your 'baby' to a poor thin street sapling ! ! Now a tree killing/evil bike stealing felon is roaming our city streets !
If you are going to lock up to a poor sapling, at least use a trusty cable bike lock ! Save a tree ! !

I like cable fable.  I hope it catches on. 

I'm just amazed that no one noticed a guy bending and snapping a tree to get to a bike. there is generally still a decent amount of people out and about even at 3am on Milwaukee.

I thought the same thing, but they either ignored them, were too scared to approach them or were just too drunk. 

H2 said:

I'm just amazed that no one noticed a guy bending and snapping a tree to get to a bike. there is generally still a decent amount of people out and about even at 3am on Milwaukee.

Oh, they noticed him! But they sure didn't want to deal with a crazed tree killing/evil bike stealing felon/ psycho at 3am.
Or maybe they thought "it's HIS bike".

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