Letter to a bike thief

January 21, 2019 § 15 Comments

Dear Mr. Bike Thief,

So there I was, sitting in front of my computer on a fuggin’ Saturday, chewing through a hundred yards of wet manure while trying to recover from the plague, and I got an email from my friend Nancy Linn saying that her bike had been stolen from in front of Caffe Tre Venezie in Torrance.

As you know, it was leaning, unlocked, out in front of the cafe while Nancy and her friends had a cup of the best coffee in Torrance. It even had its lights on.

All I have to say to you, Bike Thief, is this: Good job!

For starters, you stole a nice bike from someone who can easily afford to replace it. Actually, she could buy 500 of them, plate them in gold, and it wouldn’t put much of a dent in things financially, if you get my drift. So aces to you for picking the right target.

And then you really pulled a smooth move by stealing it from a group of women cyclists. This particular group is basically trusting and unsuspecting, and wouldn’t imagine that some low-life scumball would scoop up one of their bikes while they were patronizing a local small business. 99% of being a good bully, I mean crook, is picking on people who can’t fight back.

Best of all, hats off for putting in a full day’s work in less than five minutes. That Roubaix you ripped off will get $150-$200 on the stolen bike market, probably a little less, worst case $75, and that’s a heck of a lot more than you could have made staying home watching TV or playing with yourself.

So really, good job. Your parents would be proud of you. “Billy made $75 bucks today stealing a used bike from some women having coffee. Chip off the old block!” Or something like that.

I guess there are a couple of things that bother me, though. It was a great crime, but not a perfect one because, you know, there are no perfect crimes. I mean, there’s that whole thing about stealing from people who can afford nice things and justifying it because you can’t. I get that society is unfair, but the person you stole from isn’t. If you had gone into the cafe, or waited until she came out, and asked her for $75 to get you through the month, she would probably have found a way to help you on the spot. She’s that kind of person.

Problem is, I guess, that you didn’t really need the money to, you know, survive. You just wanted it because you are a lazy bag of dung. So it’s kind of a bummer that a kind-hearted person got stung needlessly. Hopefully that won’t bother you one fuggin’ bit. Heck, I know it won’t.

Other thing that kind of bugs me is that you did it in front of a local cafe. I know you don’t GAF, but the owner, Alessandro, is an Italian immigrant who works seven days a week to build his small business. He makes the best coffee, greets everyone by name, knows your order, and brings a flavor of the Old World to the strip malls and ugly America of Torrance. People come to his shop because it is warm, welcoming … a good place.

And then you swoop in and swipe a bike while his hard-earned clientele is relaxing, well, that kind of rubs off on him, you know? Here you, a lazy petty thief, fling a bad day on a guy who has more work ethic in his little finger than you have in your whole family tree. Welcome to America, asshole, something like that? Of course his customers will understand that lowlifes like you are everywhere, but he takes things personally, and after today everyone will be just a little less carefree and a little more careful. Thanks for spitting in the punchbowl, Bike Thief.

Last, not sure if it’s least or not, is the personal violation that your spur-of-the-moment crime committed. Sure, Nancy can replace the bike. Sure, the Torrance PD are on the lookout, as is the whole South Bay, and sure the bike’s on the stolen bike index registry now. And sure, it’s just a bike. It’s not like you killed somebody. But when someone’s means of transportation is taken away from them and they’re left stranded, you make them uniquely vulnerable and you hurt them in a very special way. It’s why they used to hang horse thieves, Bike Thief.

I’m not suggesting you deserve hanging, but maybe some dental work courtesy of a tire iron might not be too unjust.

Anyway, good job. You made an impression on a lot of people, and like I said, Dad is probably smiling down on you from heaven.

Stolen Bike. Good job, Bike Thief!



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