Skip to content

Stolen Bike Recovered; Oakland’s Good Name Still Missing

If you listen to some of the complaints of Oakland residents, you might get the impression that the Oakland Police Department is either unable or unwilling to pay any attention to property crimes. And given the high levels of violent crime, it is presumably true that the OPD isn’t able to spend a whole lot of time investigating, say, bike thefts.

It’s reassuring, therefore, that the police do respond quickly (at least sometimes) when they have a concrete lead about a stolen bicycle. I just came across the following notice over at the blog Change Your Life. Ride A Bike. (Yes! Good advice!)


It’s a little the worse for wear and beaten up, but she’s whole, and only missing her leather-padded toe straps and the contents of my panniers and my seat bag (tools, lock, cable, pump, 3 flashing red bike lights, etc.).

Many thanks to Jason, a Cycles of Change APC volunteer, who spotted my unique mixte in Emeryville, trailed the 12-year-old riding it back to his house in Oakland, then called me.

Many thanks also to Oakland PD Officers Charles O’Connor (#8732) and Terry Jones (#8427), who quickly responded to my call and were at the house before I arrived. They checked out the house, recovered my bike, and brought it to me.

Thanks to all of you who kept an eye out for my ride, spread the word, posted about it in blogs, and offered your support through all this. It has meant a great deal and helped keep me going in the search, which took lots of time and effort in my depressed state.

(In case you’re wondering, he was in a depressed state because the beloved bike was a family heirloom. Really.) Kudos to the eagle-eyed good samaritan from Cycles of Change and to OPD!

Unfortunately, this story isn’t entirely good for Oakland. There is a widespread belief in Alameda that the crime they have on their side of the estuary is mostly caused by hoodlums from Oakland who cross the water and prey on innocent Alameda residents before crossing to safety back in Oakland, where the Oakland Police will be too overwhelmed by violent to help track them down. That fear of the barbarians at the gate—or across the drawbridge, in this case—might be overly simplistic (as is my portrayal of the Alamedan mindset), but the sad fact is that it probably has a lot of truth to it. So when I learned that the bike recovered in Oakland had been stolen in Alameda, my relief at finding out that the Oakland police promptly and professionally handled a call about a stolen bicycle (a stolen bicycle!) was tempered by disappointment at hearing yet another story about something that was stolen in Alameda and brought to Oakland, just over the water but a world away. Sigh.

One Comment