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Original post made
on Apr 30, 2012
As the Palo Alto police keep saying, "lock it or lose it". Most bicycles are stolen from peoples homes, not off the street. That includes locked garages that are easy to crowbar open. People need to lock their bicycles, even when they are inside their homes. Crooks know how much money they can get for high-end bicycles and often case neighborhoods to see who owns them.
They probably just climbed the balcony with ropes/lowered the bikes down with ropes in the middle of the night.
I'm sure the bikes were up on a wall mount, just begging to be taken. Most people don't think they should worry about locking their bikes if they're up on a balcony, but they should. At least put them inside if you're going on vacation, or stop spending so much on a bike until you get a proper house.
Sounds like the perp(s) knew the guy was on vacation and it wasn't just some random crook walking by and looking up.
Some of the crooks just watch people come home on weekend afternoons with expensive bikes displayed on their car roofs. Then they return during the work week to steal them. The victim doesn't have to be on vacation for a week. Just takes a few minutes to break in run off. With Craigslist, thieves have an easier time fencing stolen bicycles than jewelry or electronics.
I'm sure them being on vacation was a non-factor. If there was a suitcase full of $5,000 dangling on a balcony, I'm sure somebody with a grapple hook would come along and grab it within a day.
It's not exactly the safest part of Mountain View (close to the trailer park) and this stuff happens. Even if it was locked up Pee Wee's Big Adventure style on the ground floor, it can still lifted pretty easily.
I doubt the thieves even knew the value until they took it to the annual stolen bike silent auction at the community center.
I wonder how close the balconies are to each other. I had an apartment once where they were so close together, you could climb onto the one next to you... I wonder if that has been investigated???
I remember seeing a guy stopped by Hayward PD. He was an "undocumented worker."
He was riding a Zaskar. All the speculation about what bikes are stolen and by who and why should end there.... A GT Zaskar.
Granted it was an old one even at the time this happened... but shows you bike thieves will steal whatever they can get. Leave the Sherlock Holmes Jr nonsense out of the discussion
The greatest sound in the world is the sharp thud of a 29 inch aluminum bat clapping into the hamstring of the person trying to steal your bike,
followed almost immediately by his shrieks of remorse.
It was many many years ago, but I bet the lesson is still with him.
We just need to get out there and "Educate" these bike thieves, obeying all laws during the process of course.
I have a bike on my balcony and there's a bear trap underneath, ready to clamp down on any would-be thieves. I've carelessly lost a leg in the process, but I feel it's worth it.
Dawn, are you suggesting insurance fraud?
I would keep an eye on Craigslist, a lot of thieves have been caught that way....
The balconies are continuous with just a wall separating the units. It would be very easy for a neighbor on the same floor to get around the balcony wall.
Use Google Maps to locate the address and look at the Street View photo of the Oakwood Apartments.
I would consider this guy's neighbors to be possible suspects. They could have known if he was in town or not.
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