Stolen Bike Rescued by Online Geeks


City Room has the amusing tale of a stolen one-of-a-kind bike, recovered with the help of the Internet, an avenging bike messenger, and inspired plots involving underwear worn on the outside.

When Agata Slota’s bicycle disappeared from a spot near Union Square
one day in September, the odds were that she would never see it again.
About 60,000 bikes are stolen in New York City each year, and only 2
percent of them are recovered by their owners. Because the bike was
distinctive –- her brother had built it himself –- Ms. Slota, 27,
posted an ad and photograph on Craigslist in the hopes that someone
would notice it.

That is where it would have ended, except that a friend of Ms. Slota’s
had also posted a notice about the theft on an online chat room for
fixed-gear bike enthusiasts. Such postings are common on the chat room,
which serves mainly as a place for, in the words of one regular user,
“geeking out over fancy bike parts.” Weeks later, someone posted a
response after spotting Ms. Slota’s bicycle locked up outside a
Quizno’s in Midtown. This set off a flurry of messages that continued
for weeks and, eventually, led to Ms. Slota getting her bike back.

Photo via City Room

  • ddd ssd

    great ids

  • ddartley

    Take pictures of your bikes!

  • ddd ssd

    Great idea.

  • LN

    The last few months has seen a rash of bike thefts around Union Square I personally have heard of 3 or 4. Seems like its time for a little investigative reporting, Streetsblog.

    Dont lock your bike to scaffolding near U. Square.

  • flp

    AND take down the serial # of your bike – usually found on the bottom of the frame under the doohicky in which your pedals turn… ya know.. the bottom bracket!

    oh hell, just memorize and record every damn detail about yer bike. if you ride it enough, that should not be hard.


  • lee

    this may be a little far out, but a gps deely to find your pet can be had for about $200. If those come down a bit in price and size it may not be a bad investment for a biker. Sure your security system would be more expensive than the bike itself. But if you factor in all the bikes you won’t have to buy because you are always able to recover it you may come out ahead.

  • galvo

    put your serial number into your cell phone, and a couple pictures of your bike. this would help id the bike quickly to police without having to go home to get the paperwork. police like to downgrade the report to lost property as a way to lower the crime stats artificaily.
    we need secure bike parking.
    some sections of parks and unused subway bathrooms could be used for secure bike parking
    make it mandatory that car parking garages offer low cost or free secure bicycle parking. some kind of reward or bounty system to videotape or photo bike thieves could start a cottage industry.


    mass produced frame in Philadelphia, bother did not “build it himself”


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