Pre-Tip: Always lock it up. BUT IF YOU FORGET like some of us do, here are your next steps.
Because I’m a total moron, I’ve left my beloved bike unlocked in my backyard for the last five years. Last week a limb fell from a tree, knocking off a couple boards from the privacy fence that surrounds the yard, giving an unabated view from the alley into my yard, which, as you’ll remember, contained my bike. I’m sure you can guess what happened next: I came home from work and my bike had been stolen.
Here’s what you can do if you are also a moron or just find yourself in a similar situation:
- File a police report. Call the non-emergency number (804.646.5100), and they’ll take down a description of your bike. If you’ve got the serial number that’ll help. Even if the police can’t find your bike, at least they’ll know someone’s been sneaky around the neighborhood thieving things.
- Post a picture to the RVA Stolen Bike Forum Facebook group.
- Join your neighborhood’s Nextdoor group and ask your neighbors if they’ve seen or come across any random bikes laying around.
- Do a couple-block survey of your neighborhood. Maybe the perp just took it for a joy ride and dumped it in a bush somewhere nearby?
Luckily for me, my story had a happy ending. A neighbor posted on Nextdoor that he’d found a bike stashed in his backyard, which was the very bicycle taken from my backyard. While this is certainly not the typical outcome in The Case of the Stolen Bike, I’m so glad it worked out. I didn’t realize how much I loved my ol’ bicycle until it was taken from me.1
- Life lesson! ↩