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Thief destroys small street tree to steal bicycle

Original post made on Jul 23, 2010

A bicycle thief cut down a small street tree in order to lift the target bike over the stump in front of the Palo Alto Weekly building at 450 Cambridge Ave.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 23, 2010, 5:33 PM

Comments (25)

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Wow. Scumbags like this need to be arrested! I feel for the victim, because my sister has had THREE bicycles stolen at the residence halls at Stanford University!

It is disappointing that people will go through so much effort and work to STEAL -- when they could easily make the same money (or more) by WORKING a minimum wage job! Plus, they wouldn't have to worry about getting arrested and embarrassing their families and friends (or going to jail).


Posted by take your bike inside
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2010 at 6:42 pm

What kind of lame employer won't let employees park their bicycles inside the office? Or at least install secure bicycle parking outside so employees and customers aren't forced to lock their bikes to trees!

Posted by sheesh use some common sense
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 23, 2010 at 7:25 pm

ummm... why should private businesses pay extra money to install bicycle racks on PUBLIC STREETS? They already pay taxes to the city for these type of things. This building is also in a commercial area (California Ave Area) so lots of the buildings are right up against the sidewalk without any outside area they own.

Fire codes also ban the storing of bikes inside certain commercial buildings. This is especially true for crowded office environments where bicycles stored on-site slow down emergency evacuations.

Why are you blaming the employer? If it's anyone's fault it's the bicyclist. That part of Calif Ave is always really quiet at night and fairly dark. The bicyclist should have locked the bicycle to a metal object like a street light pole/traffic sign especially if the bike was going to be left out on the street overnight.

Stop passing the blame onto other people undeserving of it.

Posted by PA resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 23, 2010 at 9:27 pm

"If it's anyone's fault it's the bicyclist." Really? It's the fault of the person who stole the bike.

Posted by Bikes go to Mexico
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2010 at 9:42 pm

An employee at a bike shop said the stolen bikes end up in Mexico. I was very surprised that she said something so unPC, but she hears the complaints from customers.

Posted by Thanks for making me laugh
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2010 at 10:41 pm

To Bikes go to Mexico,
You really made me laugh, do you have an idea how much money will cost to take a bike to Mexico? Thieves just pass them on to whoever gives them some cash to buy their drugs. Mexico have worst way of making easy money, not by buying stolen bikes, but by kidnapping people and asking for a lot of money, and most of the times they get the money, but they do not release the person. Scary but true.

Posted by haha
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jul 24, 2010 at 2:43 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Mehico
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 24, 2010 at 4:54 am

Bikes end up on Craigslist. Selling in Bayarea of somewhere in US will likely fetch better returns.
Thiefs are smarter than the bike shop employee.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 24, 2010 at 11:47 am

Seems like a minor crime to some, a big deal to others...IMO, there IS a slippery slope of increasing crime when crimes like this are deemed "not a big deal." I am guessing word spreads among petty thiefs, criminals, that there are easy pickings in a certain area, a certain city with money. We DON'T want that.
Look at how New York City got cleaned up with a change of philosophy to crack down on ALL crime however "minor" in nature, graffiti, etc.
I cannot make light of a bike theft. It is WRONG and minimizing it is not the way to go if you want to have a safe environment around here.

Posted by Sheesh II
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2010 at 2:47 pm

"Fire codes also ban the storing of bikes inside certain commercial buildings."

Do you usually make things up like that? Bicycles are not allowed in hallways and stairwells because they could impede evacuation. You are totally allowed to keep them in a storage room or any out-of-the-way place like that.

My company pays for parking permits for employees, but I decline that offer because they let me keep my bicycle next to my desk. We usually have three bicycles in the office like that. We regularly get inspections by the fire department. They have dinged us about overloading outlets, but have never been bothered by the bikes.

Posted by Sheesh II
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2010 at 2:53 pm

"stolen bikes end up in Mexico"

That's a good joke. Stolen bikes end up in mainly three places: eBay, CraigsList, and (less commonly these days) flea markets.

Go to eBay or Craigslist and you will see several higher end bikes that are improperly or incompletely described. I do not know ANY serious cyclist who could not properly describe their own high end bike.

Someone in desperate need of their next drug fix will even steal low end bikes just for the little cash they get for them.

Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 24, 2010 at 3:19 pm

May the thief ride it into a bush of thorns. (Poetic justice.)

Posted by akjsbdjksad
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 24, 2010 at 3:58 pm

how do you not get seen when sawing down a tree 6 feet above the ground?

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 25, 2010 at 1:18 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

They need to develop a low cost gps beacon for bikes. A few years ago, Menlo Park tried a program leaving decoy bikes in locations where bike thefts were common, watching them from concealment. The program was scrapped because of claims of entrapment.

Posted by entrapment
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 25, 2010 at 3:53 am

Were the bikes locked? What exactly is the "entrapment" defense?

Posted by lol
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 25, 2010 at 7:31 am

wow that damn tree made the news....i bet the newpaper guy that was all night thinking of a story got one when his damn bike was stolen...haha

Posted by Blaine
a resident of University South
on Jul 25, 2010 at 2:21 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Bob Hill
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 25, 2010 at 5:45 pm

A real estate management firm that controls much of the rentals in the California Avenue/Cambridge Avenue area uses a lease that forbids bicycles (and baby carriages etc.) inside of offices and the penalty for even one bicycle inside of an office is actually eviction plus the offending company has to pay all remaining years of monthly payments! So, with a penalty fifty times higher than the cost of the bicycle, what can you do?

Posted by tree hugger
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 26, 2010 at 2:09 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]

Posted by robit noops
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 26, 2010 at 9:40 am

Sucks for the tree.

I thought it was against the law to lock bikes to trees and street signs? There are some bike racks in the area, but they seem to be pretty mangled. I agree that business should pay or petition the city for bike racks to encourage biking, not driving, to work. Especially after Palo Alto Weekly tooted its horn about its new "green office".

Posted by more bike parking
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 26, 2010 at 11:43 am

I have never heard of a law prohibiting locking bicycles to trees and street signs, except if you are blocking so much of the sidewalk that a wheelchair cannot pass by.

Posted by Sethro
a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Harold and Maude did it.

Posted by robit noops
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 27, 2010 at 10:32 am

Locking bikes to trees and signs is a city by city law, but I agree it should be against the law. City doesn't need to track and remove abandoned bikes all the time, or the rusty leftover wheel that has ben chained to a bench for years.

Posted by more bike parking
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 27, 2010 at 11:12 am

If a city is going to prohibit locking you bike to street signs, then they had better provide a sufficient amount of secure bike parking instead. Currently, that is sorely lacking both around California Ave. and around University Ave.

Posted by robit noops
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 27, 2010 at 12:42 pm

There are bike racks every few blocks on California Ave. and at Molly Stones. University Ave. I always find racks as well. Some of the older racks have been damaged and could be replaced or repaired, University Ave has fancy new racks at Lytton Plaza. Stanford has thousands of racks, and thousands of abandoned bikes as well.

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