The following is what I submitted for the “Incident Description” field on chicago.stolenbike.org. They ask, “Describe in your own words what you think happened to your bike. Please include any important or unusual details that make your situation unique.”
Was my thief in a halloween costume? Or perhaps a Halloween ghost?
I locked my bike in front of Chicago’s second largest library figuring it would be safe with the constant car traffic and people that always sit in front of the library chilling out. Across the street in Welles Park is a group of older gentlemen who play bocce ball every weekend.
When I left Sulzer library and saw my bike missing, the couple people sitting outside said they didn’t steal it. Then I saw my lock sitting on the ground. Cut. Either with a bolt cutter or a hacksaw.
Also, this happened on Halloween. In this neighborhood, all the kids do their trick or treating on Lincoln Avenue, so there were even more people walking around.
How can someone steal a bicycle with all these witnesses? My only guess is some sort of Halloween ghost. All in all this is shaping up to be like a game of Clue.
— We know the location. The LIBRARY.
— We know the weapon. The BOLTCUTTERS (or hacksaw).
— We do not know the CRIMINAL. Who could have seen this? The pedestrians. The trick or treaters. The auto drivers. The library loungers. The bocce ball players.
This is a Halloween mystery that will haunt me for ages.
I tried to write this in a humourous way, because while it is a serious thing, it’s also a rather funny story about how all these different things come together on Halloween. Who knows? Maybe the fact that it’s funny might garner it more attention. The more eyeballs, the more likely the changes of the mystery being solved.
However, I do kinda regret saying that this mystery will haunt me. Because I do feel at peace with it. It’s important to me that I am at peace with it, because:
A) It’s just a material possession
B) Justice is in God’s hands, not mine. I trust God.
C) I hope that someone else will be able to use and enjoy my bike
Excellent post. I love your ghost with the bolt cutters. Funny enough I can see the pictures here. I guess stolenbike.org is less of a risk than flickr here at work
Hey I just wanted to say thank-you for how you ended your post. I once had my car broken into and a number of things stolen and I’m pretty sure those three points didn’t cross my mind. I wish I could say they did, but sadly they didn’t. So thanks for the reminder!
I’m happy to say that so far no other bikes have been reported as stolen in front of the Sulzer Library–according to stolenbike.org But everyblock says there has been four theft crimes on the 4400 N. Lincoln block since Nov 1, 2009. http://chicago.everyblock.com/crime/by-primary-type/theft/by-date/2007-06-15,2010-06-02/streets/lincoln-ave/4400-4499n/1-block/
My stolen bike report is officially on everyblock at: http://chicago.everyblock.com/crime/by-date/2009/10/31/2594527/
Saw your comment on Everyblock. Did you ever get a new bike? And how about a u-lock?
Mike, oh yeah. I bought a new bike for under $300 from the kind folks at On the Route bicycles 3144 North Lincoln Avenue http://www.ontheroute.com I not only got a u-lock, but the special locks for the wheels that require a special wrench, so you can’t just take off the wheels.