thwarted bike theft

February 15, 2008 at 9:06 am | | grad life, hardware

Any moderately good bike is always under threat on Stanford’s campus. Jerks drive around with pickup trucks and just steal any bike they can sell.

I had my first road bike stolen my first year, and I’m still pissed off about it. Now I ride the junkiest beater-bike I can: no derailleurs (poor-man’s fixie), bad brakes, rusty chain, etc. Nevertheless, some idiot stole the rear wheel off this heap; they needed a wrench to remove that piece of crap wheel, and there’s no way they could have sold it for anything more than 12 cents. The crazy thing: there were wheels all over the ground from previous thefts. I just grabbed one that sorta fit, and rode away. WTF?!? Why take the time to steal a crap wheel when there are half a dozen equally crappy wheels sitting on the ground, rife for the taking?

This morning, I saw evidence of some asshole:


The thief didn’t even have time to remove the jack. And they left the crank on the ground:


I hope the person who caught the thief in the act disposed of their body in a place where no one will find it. Or even better, I hope they sold the body on eBay and made enough cash to buy three locks.

I’m tempted to set up some booby traps on a nice bike some night. Nothing fatal, just severely uncomfortable. And something that might lead the police to the thieves. Any suggestions?


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  1. Why nothing fatal?

    Comment by Kyle Finchsigmate — February 15, 2008 #


    Comment by kendall — February 15, 2008 #

  3. maybe fatal, but only if it disappears the body. e.g. dissolving in acid, vaporization, sublimation, rotoevaporation, etc.

    Comment by sam — February 15, 2008 #

  4. A Kryptonite Evolution 2000 lock can be opened with a Bic Stick pen faster than with its key.

    Write a nice letter to the Stanford Daily cautioning that campus security unable to secure bicycles will be no better at protecting students and faculty from mad gunmen. The answer? Institute an immediate tuition surcharge to fund studies.

    The proximate solution is a lookout, a basement lab, and a baseball bat. Remember – death is not educative. Mutilation is educative. Go for the periphery. Slowly. Tesla coil for desert.

    Comment by Uncle Al — February 16, 2008 #

  5. Set up a motion-triggered camera.
    Per booby-traps, just rub vasoline all over an unlocked bike that you’re cool parting with.


    Comment by jordan — February 17, 2008 #

  6. Sprinkle Rhodamine B, and get them red-handed.

    Comment by Mitch — February 18, 2008 #

  7. Why not good old fashioned high voltage?

    Comment by Thomas — March 7, 2008 #

  8. Looks like that lock actually beat the jack – the little circular tab where the crank attaches sheared apart.

    Comment by James — May 12, 2009 #

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