Bike Theft: The reason we can't have nice bikes


everyone hates bike thieves

Take the most mild-mannered liberal arts college educated latte-sipping leftie and ask them about how they feel about the death penalty, abortion and our wars overseas. You’ll get a fairly predictable liberal response. But ask the same person how they feel about bike theft and they would say, "oh, those f--ckers gotta die!" Case in point? Check out some of the comments we’ve gotten on youtube so far.

I think the real reason that To Catch a Bike Thief has gotten as much support as it has so far is that we are tapping into this very deep emotional place that people reserve for the lowest of the low, like oppressive dictators. 

Revenge rage

The vilification of bike thieves is such a bizarre socially acceptable form of hatred. If you switch out the words "bike thief" for another type of crime you’ll notice how shocking it is to listen to people describe the extent to which they would be willing to compromise their values to get “justice,” or more likely, revenge.

But as we embark on our little adventure in To Catch a Bike Thief, let us never forget that the problem isn't bike thieves - it's bicycle theft.  If you think about it, when someone pinches your ride, if a genie in a bottle were to grant you one single wish, it would be have your bike back, not to see the person who stole it publicly executed as some of our YouTube viewers suggest.


We've recently been portrayed in news articles as vigilantes that fight bike thieves.  I think it's probably more accurate to say that the To Catch a Bike Team is a group of cyclists that are pretty serious about combating bike theft but are more interested in a conversation than meting out justice. When we catch our bike thieves, we are not likely to call the cops, press charges or even give them a harsh scolding (“The Canadian Beatdown” that BikeSnobNYC suggested we might administer). We’re just as interested in WHO stole our bike as we are in getting him back. And of course, we’re all about giving you the tools to protect your bike as well.

In the game of bicycle theft, bike thieves have to balance risk and reward.  At To Catch a Bike Thief, our goal is to tip the scales in favour of cyclists so that less bikes go missing. And when they do, to allow cyclists a greater chance of recovering their property in order to disrupt the supply and demand that fuels the economy of bike theft.