// Portland Bicycle Thief Apprehended and Faces Felony Charge
Posted on Monday, August 20th, 2012
This week I am happy to report that some justice has been served in the world of black market bicycles! Jake Gillum, a cyclist from Portland, recently had his $2,000+ Fuji Team bicycle stolen. Desperate to get it back, he scoured the web for days until he saw his very bike for sale on Craigslist in Seattle. Using a fake name and an iPhone app to disguise his number, Gillum, claiming to be a possible buyer, contacted the thief and set up a meeting to purchase the bike. Hoping to turn his thievery into some quick cash, what the scoundrel ended up facing was Gillum and some friends who had conspired a plan of confrontation, pulling out their cell phones to record the entire scene. The police were called a few times, and eventually showed up after the thief attempted escape on foot. Jake was determined to not let him get away, chasing him down, and made sure he was easily apprehended by Seattle PD.
Check out the entire video below, I found it pretty entertaining and definitely sensed a warm fuzzy feeling to see Jake back with his ride.
I have been the victim of bicycle parts theft in the past, luckily never my entire ride or even my frame. However, I unfortunately never recovered any of the items that were stolen. I filed a police report once when my back wheel was taken from the El Cerrito Plaza BART station. Another time I even saw someone on a bike speeding away from the station having stolen another cyclist’s wheel.
The bicycle theft racket in the Bay Area is very complex. The recent arrest of an 18-year-old San Francisco resident resulted in the recovery of 114 stolen bikes. In Los Angeles, a high-end bike theft ring was dismantled earlier this year as well.
Self-vigilantism is certainly something I cannot condone, for obvious personal safety reasons. Gillum was lucky that the man was not armed and dangerous, or his video may never have been seen. But I know all too well the fiery passion which arises when a stranger decides to hurt, damage, or destroy that which is the most precious material possession in a cyclist’s life.