Well, That Escalated Quickly

Family bike ride turns into stolen bke recovery.

By now it’s probably pretty common knowledge that I’m not a big fan of bike thieves and will do what I can within reason to reunite stolen bikes with their rightful owners when the opportunity presents itself. One of those opportunities presented itself again this past weekend.  If you haven’t had a chance to read about the two previous recoveries, you can do that here and here.

Sunday afternoon, I was finally wrapping up repairs on a window that my youngest broke back in May when I received a message via my YGR Facebook account. It was a friend of a friend asking if I could help spread the word about her stolen cruiser. I get these requests fairly often, and although I hate that I have to, I’m happy to do what I can to get belongings back to the owners. I told Mckenzie to post to the NoCo Cycling Facebook group, file a police report, and register her stolen bike with Bike Index just like I tell everyone that reaches out to me.  I also told her that I would share her post via YGR the next day. Her post went live at 2:48 pm with a few photos of the bike and the following text:  My Phat Cycles Melodie cruiser was stolen last night 8/20 from the bike rack outside Union on Jefferson and Mulberry. It has a wicker basket, black bell with a sloth sticker, a cup holder on the handlebars and light strings around the spokes of both wheels. It was a gift from my husband before we were married and has been used for many big life events. I would love to have It returned. TIA!

I gave the post an angry emoji and went about my afternoon.  By 4 pm the family and I were wrapping up our chores for the day and had decided to head to Lory for a quick MTB ride. I spent the next 15-20 minutes getting all five bikes ready to go, loading them up and tracking down helmets, gloves and water bottles…  We were on our way by about 4:20. As we were turning off Shields onto Drake near Maya Cove and now heading West, I happened to see a guy sitting in the grass with a blue beach cruiser lying next to him. At that exact time, my wife was thinking to herself, “No way that’s his bike.” As we passed by I told her to grab my phone and check NoCo Cycling for the stolen bike post while I flipped a quick U-Turn and pulled into the Maya Cove parking lot. By that time my wife had the Facebook post up and confirmed that from a distance it appeared to be the same bike. Before I could pull into a parking spot, she said, “I’m going to see if that’s the bike, if it is, I’ll see you at home!” My thought bubble- “WTF !?… what…?” Before I could get that out of my mouth, she hopped out and started walking down the sidewalk towards the bike and guy. I parked the truck and ran over quickly enough to see her making her first pass, checking out the bike and the guy. He was completely oblivious to her while sitting in the grass eating something out of a styrofoam container.  She walked about 25 yards further down the sidewalk, turned around, walked back to the bike, grabbed it, straddled it, and attempted to ride off. I’m watching this all play out from about 20 yards away. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, the guy had crashed the bike pretty hard as the bars were really bent and were twisted 180 degrees out of whack making it impossible for Sara to make the quick and glorious getaway she had envisioned in her head. She had everything under control but I decided I should probably lend a hand regardless, so I ran over and grabbed the bike, called the guy a few choice words and walked off with it. Sara snapped a photo of him and got on the horn with Fort Collins Police Services. The thief didn’t even stumble to his feet until well after Sara was on the phone with dispatch.

So at this point, I’m in the parking lot checking the bike out and straightening out the bars, Sara’s giving dispatch the details and the thief is wandering down Taft Hill only stopping occasionally to wave at Sara. I compared the bike to Mckenzie’s photos/description, confirmed it was hers, and 1hr and 30mins after she posted to the forum, I let her know that we had it in our possession with the accompanying photo. She was pretty blown away. Her husband had purchased the bike for her nine years ago from Road34 and although they had more expensive bikes in the stable, this one meant the most to her. She was very grateful to learn she’d be getting it back soon.

The Fort Collins Police Services officer responded within 4 or 5 minutes. By the time she arrived the guy was 1/4 mile down Taft and Mckenzie was on her way to Maya Cove to get her bike back. Sara gave the officer our side of the story and showed her the Facebook post and photos of the guy and helped confirm that it was the same bike.  The clock was ticking, and we had a ride planned with the kids so we put the officer in contact with Mckenzie and headed out.  She messaged me later offering a gift card, which I declined, and told me that the bike was in relatively good shape but was going to the shop for new bars and a good once over. The next day I learned that the officer had ID’d a suspect and would be issuing him a summons. I’ll be sure to follow up if I hear anything more. 

I think she might be happy to have her bike back.

More information on what you should do before and after your bike gets stolen can be found here, and as always, if you appreciate the hustle that goes into YGR please consider becoming a supporter via the link below.

If you enjoy this content and appreciate the hustle that goes into YGR please consider supporting the site.