The Breaking News Blog

All the latest news from the District, Maryland and Virginia

Page 3 of 3   <      

As Web Fuels Bike Thefts, Victims Turn Vigilantes

Police say most bike thefts go unsolved because many victims do not report the crimes or have unregistered bikes. With the Craigslist discovery, Moulton, 41, became one of the few people in the region to recover a stolen bike.
Police say most bike thefts go unsolved because many victims do not report the crimes or have unregistered bikes. With the Craigslist discovery, Moulton, 41, became one of the few people in the region to recover a stolen bike. (By Sarah L. Voisin -- The Washington Post)

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity

He said he provided police with a statement and surrendered the bike. He said he was never charged and has not heard from police since the sting. A police spokesman declined to comment.

Moulton said he also did not hear from police again. He wonders what happened to his bike during the year it was gone and marvels that it surfaced in Georgetown, rather than in his own, more crime-prone neighborhood, Shaw.

Which is not to say the Shaw area is immune to bike theft.

Nicholas McKenna was fond of his Iron Horse 6.8 mountain bike. The $2,000 bike was stolen in April from his garage near Ridge and Fourth streets NW. McKenna, 26, felt he had a decent chance of catching the crooks, particularly because he had installed a tracking device on the bike.

He called 911, but officers were delayed in finding his house because, he said, the dispatcher confused Riggs and Ridge streets.

McKenna activated the Global Positioning System device in emergency mode and soon was able to track the bike on a map on his computer. The device worked for about 55 hours before the battery died.

A few days later, after mapping out the path his bike had traveled, he set up an amateur surveillance operation in a residential area close to his house. The first day yielded what he considered probable cause -- McKenna saw strewed bike parts and teenagers riding a pink scooter -- but no smoking gun. Then, during the second day, there it was, a few blocks from his house, being ridden in plain sight.

"As additional proof of how stupid these kids are, stickers were left on the bike bearing this website's address," McKenna wrote in a blog on the humor site he runs, http://www.nbdinz.com. "Of course, they could be fans."

He posted to the site startlingly clear photos of a man riding what he said was his bike, and he filed a police report. Police have followed up on his tips to no avail, McKenna said.

After the GPS battery expired, McKenna gave up hope. "I'm sure it was dropped off at some bike store," he said.


<          3

More in the D.C. Section

Fixing D.C. Schools

Fixing D.C. Schools

The Washington Post investigates the state of the schools and the lessons of failed and successful reforms.

Neighborhoods

Neighborhoods

Use Neighborhoods to learn about Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia communities.

Top High Schools

Top High Schools

Jay Mathews identifies the nation's most challenging high schools and explains why they're best.

FOLLOW METRO ON:
Facebook Twitter RSS
|
GET LOCAL ALERTS:
© 2007 The Washington Post Company

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity