Normally being burglarized leaves victims seething with rage, especially in cases of bike theft.
Chicago resident Benjamin Davis, however, had a sense of humor after a burglar was caught on camera boosting his wife's bike from a locked garage of the couple's Andersonville home.
Davis edited raw footage of the theft in progress (embedded) "in order to channel my annoyance and having my wife's bike jacked out of garage in broad daylight," he wrote in the video's description. "I put together this little homage to the uselessness of surveillance cameras."
According to neighborhood site Edgeville Buzz, Davis wrote a message to his neighbors via Facebook explaining the video:
“Hey Neighbors. We had our garage broken into on Summerdale a few days ago. He broke the lock on the garage and stole a bike. I actually have the entire incident on tape… guess he didn’t notice the cameras. Here’s a link to the video–I edited in a humorous way to make my wife feel better… but it’s all real. Keep an eye out for this dude.”
The bike thief is shown meandering around the property before jimmying open the garage door (Davis said he edited that part out for his cut) and pedaling off.
In a scenario that will be familiar to many a victim of bike theft, Davis also included what we'll call "fantasy footage" of what he hopes becomes of the crook at the end of the video.
According to DNAinfo, a police investigation is ongoing, though no one is in custody. Edgeville Buzz reports Davis said a detective on his case believes the thief has struck in the neighborhood before.
Justin Newman, a volunteer with the Chicago Stolen Bike Registry, told CBS Chicago, "We know that a significant portion of bicycles are stolen unlocked."
Even bikes secured with U-locks and cables can be easily cut, so indoor locked storage is always the most secure if it's an option. The Chicago Department of Transportation provides plenty of security tips for city cyclists, including:
- Record your bike’s serial number. Take a photo of you and your unlocked bike. Keep the receipt. All will help you identify the bike.
- Always lock through the frame and a wheel. Add a cable, cable lock, or second U-lock to lock the second wheel. See diagrams to the right.
- Buy the most expensive lock you can afford. U-locks are strong and better ones come with theft warranties. Only buy a U-lock with a flat or disc key. Cylindrical keyed locks are more easily picked. See diagram about keys to the right.
- Beware of locking to “sucker poles” that are loosely bolted down and can easily be removed.
- Avoid locking to private property. Store your bike inside if space is available.
- Lock your bike when keeping it in a garage or on a porch.
As the Tribune notes, the Chicago Police Department doesn't track bike thefts separately from other kinds of theft, and legal recovery of stolen bikes is often tricky -- that is, unless you're this woman.