I would like to take this opportunity to remind people to be careful out there. On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, I was commuting home with my bicycle and decided to hop on the bus when I reached the Hollywood area. Three bus stops later, I hear the bus honking and people saying, “The bike!” I look up to see someone is at the front of the bus with my bike in his hands pedaling away down Ivar Avenue. It was a very surreal moment where I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. Almost like I’m watching myself in a third person but still from a first person’s perspective.
I froze. Should I get out and run after the thief with my cycling shoes? Should call 911? Should I get off the bus? Should I call the police? What’s the police number?
The bus driver consoled with me at the front of the bus and I blurted out, “I’m going to call the police.” She accompanied me out of the bus and onto the darkness of the Walk of Fame. The only thing I could do was Google search for the police on my iPhone. The bus driver told me to remember the bus number and gave me the approximate time that it happened.
I could only remember the time.
She got back on the bus and continued on her route. I was left alone figuring out who to call. Instead of wasting time, I decided to call 911 with a hint of guilt because this really isn’t a life or death emergency. I talked to the operator and gave her the story. She tells me she needs to forward me to the Sheriff’s because they handle incidents on public transit and LAPD does not. I tell my story again to the second dispatch and she tells me to wait for a deputy to come to my location. 10 minutes later, I get a call back from the same dispatch person and she tells me all the deputies are elsewhere and she will have to send them over to my house in about an hour and half. I was waiting for the next bus when I received the second call back from the Sheriff’s dispatch. This time, she was saying she couldn’t keep the incident open for that long and will have to close the incident and asked me to call them back when I get home. I agreed.
Taking This Online
The next thing I could do while I waited for the bus was to share with my audience on Twitter and Facebook. I immediately received responses. Ted Rogers of the ever popular bicycle blog, Biking In LA, sprung to action and offered his help in posting more information about my bike on his blog so that we get his readers’ awareness. I continue posting information up not only to just tell people but more for a documentation purpose so I have the right recount of the incident to tell the Sheriffs. One of my good friend, Richard, saw the updates and gave me a call. He was at Alhambra and offered to come up to Hollywood to pick me up and take me home. I reluctantly agreed. I bought him a meal from a local Del Taco and went straight home.
Please see Ted’s post: BOLO Alert: White 2009 LeMond Reno stolen off Metro 222 bus in Hollywood
I keep almost everything on hand so I was able to pull out the packet of information on my bike when I bought it 4 years ago. I waited for another 45 minutes until the Sheriff deputy shows up. He takes my information and issues me a case number (see below). He also mentions to me that there was a slim chance of recovering a stolen bicycle so be prepared for that.
I talked to my insurance company about coverage from my home owners insurance for this loss. The good news is that it is covered but the bad news is that I have a $1,000 deductible. The bike with all the accessories was about $1,300. That means I only get $300 back which only covers some of my accessories (Garmin GPS, NiteRider Light, and Giro Atmos helmet). If I wanted to file a claim, it will impact my insurance premiums for the next 3 years. I just don’t see it worthwhile going through this. I mean if it was a more expensive bike, I would do it in a heartbeat.
The only thing I can do now is remain active on the Internet and hope that someone spots my bike either on the street or one of my automated search robots can send me information whenever someone posts up my bike on sale to Craigslist, eBay, etc.
If by chance that you see my bike either online or in person please be sure to contact me or call Detective Savedra at (323) 563-5000. Reference case #: 913-06822-6874-386 for a silver LeMond Reno road bike size 51cm.
Looking back, this happened because it was supposed to happen this way.
- I never take the bus home but I thought it would be the better option than taking the train since I always took the train and the bus can drop me off at a restaurant on the way.
- I should have locked my wheels to the frame or to the bus rack as suggested by my friend Jen.
- I should have sat right in the front of the bus so I can be aware of what was happening and be able to ID the guy. I had no idea what this guy looked like. Only thing I remember was his backwards cap riding away.
- I was busy looking at my iPhone when I got on the bus to even notice how it all went down. Not sure if that would have made any difference but again I may have been able to ID the guy.
- This could have easily been any other person’s bike but I was on the bus at the right time for this thief to take advantage.
Again, be careful out there and be on alert at all times. You just don’t know who else is eyeing your stuff.