Curious Case of a Stolen Bike

Back in October I had my commuter bike stolen from a secure Trimet bike locker at Hatfield Government Center. It totally pissed me off to say the least. I was also very underwhelmed by the help and response I received from Trimet. As a government employee myself there is nothing that upsets me more than another government entity having piss poor customer service.

Before I go into the story a bit more let me implore you to go and register your bike(s) at Bike Index. If I hadn’t done that and registered it as stolen I probably never would have seen this thing again. Four months had passed since the theft I figured it was long gone. The people who returned the bike to me found it listed as stolen on Bike Index. I know I’m lucky and that a lot of stolen bikes are never seen again.

Couple days after the initial build in August
Gorilla Monsoon build
I built up this thing exactly how I wanted it

I’ve been through A LOT of bikes over the past 30 years and I’ve definitely been on a search for a dedicated commuter for the past 6. I never quite felt like any of the previous bikes I was using were quite the right fit for what I wanted it to do. The closest was my Gen 1 Salsa Fargo. I sold that back in 2015 and probably never should have. Oh Well.

Within the first few rides with the All City Gorilla Monsoon I just knew that it was pretty damn close to exactly what I wanted a commuter to be able to do. I prefer the 650b (or 27.5 if you prefer) wheels and the fact that this frame can fit up to a 2.4″ tire is awesome. I wanted Shimano shifting and hydraulic brakes so I went with TRP Hylex brakes, Microshift bar end shifter and SLX/XT mix of 11 speed Shimano parts.

Gorilla Monsoon build
I like these brakes a lot

I was so pissed when I came to get my bike one day in late October and there was my bike locker wide open with no bike inside! It’s just one of those moments when you’re thinking “No freaking way”.

I won’t go into the details of my ordeal with Trimet and trying to get any sort of help getting my bike back. Just suffice it to say that I think they kind of suck.

I kept my eyes open for days just expecting to see some homeless guy ride by on my bike. I’d see bikes hanging on hooks as MAX trains went by and I’d look to see if it was mine. I contacted a couple local pawn shops and checked Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace on an almost daily basis for well over a month.

So after four months now I figured the thing was long gone and I’d never see it again. Then on Monday of this week I get a random call from some kid saying he found my bike and would like to return it to me.

Front wheel is pretty shot
Massive dent in front rim

I won’t lie. I was a bit stand offish with the kid at first. It was just a really odd phone call and he was kind of hard to talk with. Eventually he explained a bit more about how he got my phone # and described the bike to me in pretty good detail. We agreed to meet up on Tuesday after work so I could get the bike back.

Still has my name sticker on the frame too

As it turns out this guy and his girlfriend were searching for aluminum cans to redeem in the woods behind their apartment complex ,over in Beaverton near 158th and Walker, and my bike was just leaning against a tree back there. I can think of a couple scenarios as to how that may have happened. The most probable in my head is with the trashed front wheel and the fact that it was setup tubeless the thief had no clue how to fix it and hid it in the woods until some later point.

The couple that stumbled upon it told me they had a feeling it was not a run of the mill bike. They knew it wasn’t a huffy or anything and it doesn’t sound like the first time they’ve done something like this….they took it back to their apartment and started trying to figure out if it was possible to find who might be missing this bike. I find a bit of ironic justice by the fact that they more or less stole my bike from someone who stole it from me. Karma Bitch!

The frame bag and lights are nowhere to be found but the majority of the bike upon initial review seems to be in decent shape. The thief covered my bright blue bar tape with electrical tape, also covered up a neon yellow piece of cable housing and literally just put a piece of tape over my name sticker, they didn’t even try to tear it off.

The bar tape absolutely reeks like homeless person B.O. and nicotine. I cut that stuff off and tossed it in the trash. I need to get a new wheel rebuilt and I’ll strip the bike down a bit to check it out and grease the bottom bracket, check the headset bearings, etc.

I still cannot believe I got the thing back. I gave them some cash as a reward and thanked them profusely for returning my bike to me. Again, I still cannot believe it.

So! List your bike(s) on Bike Index. Keep detailed records of your costs for insurance purposes too.

Thanks,
-Pete

2 thoughts on “Curious Case of a Stolen Bike

  1. I am so sorry that someone dared to steal your bike…..It was a nice looking bike…..Hopefully you can rebuild it back to its original state…..I can relate to your madness because I felt the same way when someone stole my purse, stole my money then thru the purse in the toilet tank at a retail store in Nashua…..Take Care for now….Maggie…..

  2. So happy that you got your bike back! It does suck that it’s damaged, and the bags are gone, though.

    I thankfully haven’t had a bike fully stolen. But I had a couple instances where a bike was “sorta” stolen:
    1) Eons ago (2004?) I had a bike in a shop. Overnight, the shop got broken into, and the thief grabbed my bike, as it was on the stand and easiest to get. But the cops caught the perp up the street, as he was trying to put lights (that he also stole) on my bike. So the cops just returned it to the shop and arrested the dude. (Ironically, that bike was a pos, but the only bike I had at the time, so it wouldn’t have been the end of the world if it was gone.)
    2)A few years ago, I saw that my bike was gone from the bike area in the back of work. I walked around the block, and found it parked on the sidewalk! While the bike wasn’t locked to something, it had a cafe (wheel) lock. My guess is that the thief dragged it for a little bit, then got tired of doing it. (Also, it looks a mite suspicious.) I was relieved, but made sure to always lock it to something solid from that point on.

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