Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bikes Come Back, Sometimes

Some of you out there may remember our post last month about Jon's stolen Peugeot mixte. It's back!


It's a little the worse for wear and beaten up, but she's whole, and only missing her leather-padded
toe straps and the contents of my panniers and my seat bag (tools, lock, cable, pump, 3 flashing
red bike lights, etc.).

Many thanks to Jason, a Cycles of Change APC volunteer, who spotted my unique mixte in Emeryville,
trailed the 12-year-old riding it back to his house in Oakland, then called me.

Many thanks also to Oakland PD Officers Charles O'Connor (#8732) and Terry Jones (#8427), who
quickly responded to my call and were at the house before I arrived. They checked out the house,
recovered my bike, and brought it to me.

Thanks to all of you who kept an eye out for my ride, spread the word, posted about it in blogs, and
offered your support through all this. It has meant a great deal and helped keep me going in the search,
which took lots of time and effort in my depressed state.

The lessons from all this?

1) ALWAYS lock your bike up securely.

2) TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES OF YOUR BIKE and document the components, serial number, and other details.

3) Engrave it with your driver's license number, SSN, or similar identifying marks, and/or stuff a business card or
other identifying paperwork inside the seat tube where only you will know it's there.

4) If your bike is stolen, TELL EVERYONE--THEN KEEP TELLING THEM. Pass out flyers with a good color photo,
inform all the local bike shops and bike clubs, file a police report AND contact other local jurisdictions as well.

5) OFFER A REWARD, "no questions asked." (I offered $200 for a bike that would have cost me $800 or more to replace.)

6) NEVER GIVE UP. This bike was stolen on April 5 in Alameda. I did not know it was spotted in Berkeley on April 17 and April 24 until Saturday, April 24, and I was at the Ashby BART station flea market in Berkeley again today when Jason spotted my bike and called me around noontime.

I am relieved but still on an emotional roller coaster. I'm facing costs of $150 or so to repair the bike and replace my lost gear, and not quite used to having my bike back yet. But for the first time in my life I have had a stolen bike returned to me, and I'm glad I have a chance to get used to that new experience.


Jon Spangler
Alameda, CA USA


  1. i just saw that email - so AWESOME
    there is hope :D

    reunited + congrats JON !!

  2. That is great news, and it is really amazing that you got it back. WOW!!!

  3. wow! that's awesome! so do they know if the 12-year old was the thief? or just the recipient? way to go jason, for being so observant and for going the extra mile (literally!) and helping recover the bike!

  4. Glad it was recovered!

    I have only manage to recover one out of maybe 6 that I have had stolen, but did manage to recover a buddy's race bike one time...


  5. That is great news to actually get a Bike back after it was Stolen and such a Unique Bike like that. It is a terrible Wrench to have something like that Happen. Best Wishes to you From Dublin Ireland.

  6. yay! glad to hear this had a happy ending!

  7. I love happy endings :)

  8. Wow, that is great news! Glad that your bike was recovered and that people helped you out!