Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Stolen Shit

While in Milwaukee, I had two bikes stolen, was mugged twice, had my car broken into two times, and had a car stolen.  None of them were fun.  Walking to where you left something important and seeing an empty space takes the air out of you lungs before they are filled with ten gallons of hot, profanity-laced venom.  Immediate thoughts run to “Okay, maybe I just put it somewhere else,” before you reach the inevitable murderous rampage of anger and hatred.

After I left Milwaukee, I had a nice 2.5 year stretch of not being robbed in any way (besides the Post Renaissance debacle).  Crime had gone back to the periphery of my thoughts, only hearing about it on the news.  It’s similar to volcanic eruptions in the way that you know it happens, but since it will never directly affect you, you might as well be talking about aliens carjacking asteroids.  It doesn’t seem real.  Just an abstract idea that you know sucks but doesn’t really move you in either direction.  Fiction.

This is the dreamland I have been living in until today.  I walked to where I stored my bike in the parking garage of my apartment complex to ride to the library, get a haircut, and then go to the grocery store.  Standard off-day activities.  As I turned the corner to the spot my bike had been sitting in for the last three months, the pit of anger was ripped open as I noticed my bike was gone.
“Oh shit.  Was I drunk last time I rode it?  Did I leave it outside of a bar?  Is it in the trunk of my car?”

But of course, no.  To make matters worse, I had also locked up my girlfriend’s bike in the same spot which is probably about three times as expensive and about ten times as nice as my bike.  It also happens to be a gift from her parents.  And they were both gone.

“Okay, maybe they were removed since they were locked by a parking spot that isn’t assigned to my apartment.”

I walked to the apartment manager’s apartment to have that dream immediately shot down.  Time to face facts:  Some motherfucking piece of shit took our bikes.  But how?  The bikes each had a U-lock attaching the front tires to the frames, which were also connected to a cable wrapped around a metal grate covering the window within a locked parking garage.  Aside from encasing the bikes in a block of cement, this was as safe a way to secure the bikes as I had thought possible.  Evidently, it wasn’t enough.

The main question is how could they get them out?  They had to have used a bolt cutter to cut the cable and then lift the bikes out of the garage, since the front tires would not rotate.  This would require two people, or a truck waiting within the garage to make a quick escape.  This would also require a working knowledge of where the bikes were located and how to get them out of there.  Although the bikes were locked to a window, the window was elevated, leaving the bikes out of view from the sidewalk.  It had to be someone that had already been in the garage.  Even if they simply snuck through garage door as someone exited/entered, they would have to have to bolt cutter with them or return at a later date.  For this reason, I think it has to be someone that lives here, a friend of a tenant, or one of the many maintenance guys that wander around all the time.  ALSO, there are bikes all over the garage that aren’t nearly as secured as ours were.  They went right past an easy steal and elected to take the bikes that required some work.

God damnit.

Although it’s a long shot, I immediately hit up Craigslist and looked at damn near every bike posting from the last week.  I then called every bike shop with five miles and asked them if they had seen the bikes.  I then called to police and was told, “Frankly, you have about 0.01% chance of finding them.”  I already knew that, but fuck, it sucks to hear.

Here’s a picture of my girlfriend’s bike.  It’s a single-speed Motobecane.

Here's a picture of my Bridgestone, except I put a different seat on it and attached a mount for a light on the front handlebar and re-wrapped the handlebars with blue tape.

Everyone knows crime sucks because of the monetary loss, but that’s not what pisses me off.  You can always make more money.  Even the homeless guys can stand on a corner and get cash.  The blatant disregard for other people and lack of respect that is inherent in theft is what really pisses me off.  Stealing from a store sucks, but that’s different.  Sure, it’s still somebody else’s property, but it’s not their personal property that has been imbued with sentimental value.  We’ve all been teenagers and taken a pack of gum or something from a gas station.  That’s different.  You can steal a bike from a store and the owner will lose the money he spent on it, which sucks.  If you steal a bike from a person you are stealing their bike, which really sucks.  There’s an emotional difference there.  It’s personal.  You lose the bike and you get a giant middle finger shoved into your face.  And why?  Because some dickless waste of skin decided that they could strip it for parts and make some money.  So fuck you and your emotional attachment to something you worked hard to acquire, because this person doesn’t have any sense of community or rights and feels zero qualms about ripping you off.

It is because of this, that I am currently fantasizing about taking the dirty scissors from my kitchen and ramming it into the offender’s back as they ride my own bike past me on the sidewalk.  Not deep enough to kill them, but deep enough that they fall from the bike and writhe on the sidewalk as I kick them repeatedly and yell at them, trying to explain something their shitty parents obviously failed to instill in the them at a younger age which basically equates to, “If you don’t respect other people, you deserve a pair of scissors in your back and repeated kicks to your teeth.”

If you can ignore the swastika and racial motives behind this scene, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Don’t steal from people.  Who knows, you might end up stealing from a skinhead that will knock your teeth down your throat.

(Quick sidenote:  I, in no way, encourage skinheadedness and all the ideology that goes along with it.  Not a racist, just madly in anger with crime.)

So if you live in Los Angeles and come across either of these bikes, curb stomp that motherfucker into the ground, or call the police.  Whichever you feel is more appropriate.

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