Sunday, June 16, 2013

Gone 6 seconds.

First, let me say that I did not lock up my bike.  I have no one to blame but myself.

That said, when I got back form chaperoning my kids on their 7 grade trip to Boston, my bike was stolen.  In my apartment building one corner of the basement is dedicated to bike storage.  There are about 5 bike racks and about 50 bikes.  Most of the bikes show no evidence of being used in years.  Many have permanently flat tires.  Most are locked, either to the rack, another bike or just have their wheel locked.  I just put my bike in the middle of the heap of bikes and went on my merry way.

When I was doing laundry I figured I would 'check on my bike".  I don't know why I had the impulse to do that and not the impulse to actually lock the bike up, but I did.  And it was gone.  Just an empty slot where it was.  The supper's wife happened to be there.  I asked her if she new anything about my bike.  Mrs Super said that she she a guy leaving with my bike but he said it was his. ??????? ?!?!?!?!?!?.  At first my reaction was to get uppity and ask her why she did not stop him.  But, I quickly got to my senses and remembered that it is not her job to watch my bike and I would feel terrible if she would have gotten hurt.

So I walk down to the precinct and file a report.  I don't expect the cops to do anything but I need that for my insurance.  That all turned out to be a waste of time because the bike was worth less than my deductible.

But Mrs Super did tell me (about) when it happened and we do have surveillance cameras.  I watched a video of their conversation

Here is the bike thief tell Mrs Super that my bike is his.

So, Monday morning I print up the photo above and a few more with his face and walk back to the precinct.    I did not want to be the jerk who walked into the Police Station and demanded that they go find my bike.  So I said that to the detective that came down to get my photos. I remember saying "This might help in the larger area of police stuff, so I figure I should not just keep them to my self"

Wednesday afternoon my phone goes nuts.  I walk up the stairs from the subway and I have 5 missed calls from unknown and it rings.  It is Sgt Whatever from The 78.  "We are about to apprehend the guy who stole your bike and we want to see the rest of the videos.  We are ringing your bell but you are not answering"

I don't think I ever heard the word "apprehend" not on TV before.

I get home and there are 2 guys outside wearing cargo shorts and football jerseys at the front door.  Their guns, radios and handcuffs are hardly hidden.  I walked over and introduced myself and they both showed me their badges in a panic.  I told them I knew they were cops a block away.  They laughed and we shook hands.  I know this would at least be an adventure.

click to enlarge.
It took us a while to find someone to let us into the room with the video system   Then it took more time to figure out how the machine worked.  The cops were really excited because it showed how he got in.   They were able to download video of someone refusing him entrance and then being let in by someone else. This somehow promoted his crime from petit larceny to burglary.


Anyone would have let him in. If you look at the photo above you can see some papers in his pocked.  He had them in his hand when he was let into the building.  I looked like any delivery / service person.

On Thursday, the nice cops called me the next day.  They said they are on their way over to my home with  Grand Jury Subpoena.  I have to be there on Monday. 9 AM.  Don't be late.  Dress nice.  But I have to work on Monday.  Call your boss, tell him we will arrest you if you don't show up.  Just kidding.  Not.  I call my boss.  Work moved to Tuesday.  That was good because it rained on Monday and Tuesday was nice.  This job was 100% outside.

Friday I get another call.  The cops said he "took a plea". Now that my part was over they told me that this guy is a "chronic crook".  He just walks around Park Slope looking for stuff to take.  Then he sells it quick.  {Sorry your bike is gone, but we will keep an eye out for it.}

So far I learned 2 things.

  1. If you want to wake up in the morning and come home with someone else's stuff.  All you need is a lack of scruples.
  2. If you think you have something that the police might want, give it to them.  If they don't want it they can throw it away, but you never know when you can help.
But wait there is more.  Under the pink tape I got the crooks name and Arrest #.

Because I know low people in high places in the world of New York State Courts I got help in accessing some public records.  It turns out that his dirt bag has been "in the system" (there I am typing like a Law and Order Episode.) for decades.  His is also going to spend the next 30 days in prison.  He plead guilty to petit larceny instead of going to trial for something worse.  So for a month he wont be stealing from anyone who is not in jail.

and not I am not getting my bike back.

but once I tuned up my old bike I realized it was just as good as the one that was stolen.

and I am not going to apply for victim compensation or counseling.

I will be fine.

But as I type this 2 weeks after this all went down, Mr well dressed thief is still not picking up the soap on Rikers Island

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