erica-bike

The horror! The unacceptable, outrageous horror!

The bicycle of Sheepshead Bites’ own Erica Sherman was pilfered yesterday in broad daylight at one of the neighborhood’s busiest intersections. And nobody saw nothin’.

Sherman locked her bike to the Bay’s railing at 10:30 a.m., at the intersection of Sheepshead Bay Road and Emmons Avenue. When she came back to the spot at approximately 2:30 p.m., she was shocked to find that her only means of transportation was little more than a cruddy public art display.

The thief made off with two tires with matching 8-ball gauge caps, front and back strobe lights, and an American flag bell, the last of which was surely a win for terrorism.

The location is popular with strolling neighbors, shoppers, restaurant patrons, fisherman and beachgoers. Hundreds of people, if not thousands, passed by it in the time it was locked up. And, somehow, somebody managed to go up to, inspect it, dismantle it, and walk away with their bounty without anybody saying a damn thing.

Is that the kind of neighborhood we want to be? One where neighbors aren’t looking out for each other?

Apparently, it’s not the first bike-related theft to happen at that intersection. Just a few weeks ago, also in broad daylight, a patron left his bicycle outside of Zephyr’s Deli (1729 Emmons Avenue). In the brief moment he went inside to talk to the clerk, someone hopped on his bicycle and took off.

While the thieves are the ones to blame, we can help thwart them in the future. A few things:

  • Don’t leave your bike unlocked and unattended. Not even for a moment.
  • U-locks only do so much. A chain lock that can be weaved through the frame and both tires is more secure.
  • Although it didn’t help in Erica’s situation, locking your bike in a high-trafficked, well-lighted place is better than a dark, empty street.
  • Get your bike registered with the NYPD. It won’t help if your tires are stolen, but if the entire bike is swiped and later recovered by the police, they can track it back to the original owner. Just by luck, there’s an event to do this on Monday, at 5 p.m., at Asser Levy Park.
  • Remove any dangly bits you don’t want stolen and that can’t be locked up, including American flag bells.

And for the rest of us? If you see something, say something.

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  • nauticalstar

    Geez. I’m sorry Erica!

  • brooklynq

    That really sucks – but not to blame the victim, but I always ran my lock thru the tires as well. Don’t the hip cats do that anymore?

    • ES

      I just had my one U-lock, and it was hard enough to get it around the railing on the Bay and my frame, let alone my wheels.

      • brooklynq

        Erica, I’m really sorry this happened.

        • ES

          Thanks brooklynq. Par for the course in my world. You live and you learn… and you try not to become a bitter old hag in the process. :)

  • BayResident

    Thanks to Councilman Chaim Deutsch for being proactive and coordinating the bike etching!

    • BayResident

      Nice username. Imposter!

    • Jimmy

      Unlike the Brooklynites, most of Deutsch’s constituents in Midwood are uncaple of making a 1 to 3 mile trek to Sheepshead Bay.

      • ES

        It’s “incapable.” Not “uncapable.”

      • Supporter of Left Handed Rule

        Hey Jimmy, what does “uncaple” mean?

  • snoreasaurusrex

    I found a way to eliminate this problem way back. Get a folding bike and take it inside with you. You can also take it on the bus.

    Nest, you need to run a cable through everything and them lock it up. With the quick release it makes it easy to take something.

  • BayResident

    I’ve owned three bikes in my life and all three were stolen. The last one was chained inside my condominium’s garage. Came in one morning and saw the chain on the floor (snipped) and the bike gone. This is the main reason I haven’t owned a bike in years although I’ve been seriously considering giving it one more try.

  • Nick the Rat

    that’s what happens when you do not know how to properly lock your bike up!

  • Matthew Schless

    The bike was locked to the vertical part of the railing, and should have been locked to both the vertical and horizontal parts of the railing, at the crux. Though it wouldn’t have mattered in this case.

  • POSbike4Summer

    I recently saved a kid from getting hit by a car, and his appreciation was expressed by telling me to watch my bike because as he put it, “there’s a bounty on bikes and parts” from someone at the Nostrand houses near Ave W. and “it’s easy money”. I left out him and his friends unique phrasing. He pointed out even my cheap POS bike wasn’t safe, they pay for kids tricycles too. Then his friend got worried about my whiteness and pulled him away.

    If my bike gets ripped off, now I know where to start looking.

  • People Suck

    Typical nosey neighbors are always in your personal life and business but as soon as something bad happens, like someone broke into, hit, or stole your car, or did this to your bike, or anything not good, nobody knows anything or saw nothing.

  • KnowledgeIsPower

    Does the Bay have only one resident?

  • disqus_Gf76m0Cqd9

    Wow, that stinks. So sorry.

  • BrooklynBus

    Erica, this is horrible. I feel so bad for you. I never heard of someone stealing bicycle parts. Live and learn.

  • Mat50

    Hal Ruzal from Bicycle Habitat has a few YouTube videos on the topic. Funny and instructive.

  • ES

    A bit of an update (cross-posted from Sheepshead Bites’ Facebook page): My cassette and front and back wheels have been replaced by Eddie at Ride Bike Pro Gear, a place I am a huge fan of and thoroughly endorse. He is one of the hardest working, and fairest businessmen around. My wheels are no longer quick release, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be weaving a second (possibly third) lock through the frame and spokes. Was this crime my fault? I suppose in a way it was, but it’s hard for me to not also think a lot less of the alleged “community” I live in, which is clearly populated by crooks and apathetic individuals who turn a blind eye to these criminals. Way to go, Sheepshead Bay.

    Thanks everyone for the supportive, kind and insightful comments. Unfortunately they don’t add up to the two-thirds of my paycheck I had to say goodbye to last night, but that’s life in the big city, I suppose.

  • Gene2T

    To summarize the post, carry your bike on your back .

  • cabbie

    Let’s set up a decoy bike bike in the same spot and lay in wait for the bike thief – then we pop out and toss him/her in the bay where they will be attacked by the swans – end of story.

    • Jimmy

      I am surprised that some blacks have not carjacked you and shot you, thanks to the end of stop and frisk. You are a slave and a lowlife. You work sweatshop hours, for sweatshop wages. The black Bloods and Crips, who rob you would not drive a cab lowlife. The city runs this car service business, which pays under minimum wage and the workers work sweatshop hours.

  • Leroy Oobagij

    Brainwashed Liberals take note……..You can bet your life savings that a “Knee Grow”” did this. II am not racist, I am just keeping it real.

  • Mike S

    Please post paypal address for Erica. I would like to contribute some money to help her recoup expenses for replacement of stolen parts. I think we should all chip in and help her out. That would be the right thing to do. Erica – please post total cost to replace your tires AND bell.

  • MiklosMeszaros

    Stealing components has been an issue for quite some time. If there were quick releases on the wheels, the entire theft took under fifteen seconds to complete. A short enough window for no one to notice someone without any tools in hand.

    In general, any bike needs to have the following items secured if locked outside during the day.

    Frame
    Front Wheel
    Back Wheel
    Saddle & Seat Post

    The most common method to lock frame and wheels is with a combination of D-Lock an cable lock. This will at least deter someone just walking away without using tools. Seat posts and saddles can be secured using a cable lock between the saddle rails and rear seat stays. Also make sure that your D-Lock is attached to a secure object as weak fence could become the point of attack for a theft.

    There is no lock that can secure an outdoor bike overnight in this city. If you plan to leave your bike locked overnight, try not to have a bike you care for. If the bike is worth something to you, then it has value to a thief. Well, unless its just a sentimental lump of rust that has no distinct value to anyone but only to your personal fondness of it ;).

    If you don’t want to carry so many locks, you can purchase locking skewers (do research as some are easily compromised) and security bolts installed on both the seat and saddle clamps. This doesn’t mean some intrepid thief won’t pilfer other components, but they will more likely move to an easier target where they can gain more with less effort.

    Generally, the three better known security skewers and bolts come from Pinhead, Pitlock, and Atomic22. Pinheads can be compromised, but requires a certain tool do so. The other two are a bit more resilient and also more expensive.

    Unfortunately, it will never be entirely safe to lock your bike outside. Doesn’t mean we have to take this lying down.

    • Cyclerock

      Pinheads are the locking skewers, (rods that hold the wheels on), that are common. They come with a special key, and in 2 / 3 / or 4 packs, so yoru seat post, and stem can also be more secure.

      • MiklosMeszaros

        Yep (I call them security skewers), but earlier Pinheads could be compromised with a GatorGrip on a ratchet. Pitlocks offer a few more security options that can lock Ahead bolt and cap as well as dropouts with the same security key method. Atomic22 on the other hand can make a security piece to cover every single component on your bike, or near to it. The problem with both Pitlocks and Atomic22 is the cost can be as much or more than some bikes. Atomic22 uses titanium on many parts, which is light and very resistant to corrosion. The issue with Atomic22 is that you have order them from the UK and its the most expensive solution you can find. You can get Pitlocks and Pinheads right here in the US.

        For the price Pinheads will do well on most bikes. I would only go for Pitlocks or Attomic22 if the bikes or components price warrant it.