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Vandalized

I am livid. My wife’s beautiful Electra Amsterdam bike, Willow, has been savagely vandalized in our very own building and I want nothing more than to get the culprits to pay for what they did.

How did this happen?

I arrived Monday night from out of town and saw that the Amsterdam was where we lock it inside the locked gated area behind our building, but standing vertically on its rear tire. There was also a gray Marin mountain bike that had been chained to the Amsterdam with cheap rubber-covered wire chainlocks. I straightened Willow and covered it again with the tarp (which was on top of the mountain bike instead of on the Amsterdam). I then left a note in the downtube of the Marin bike (it had the seat removed):

Please unchain your bike from mine at once. You do not have the right to use my bike as a bike rack. If this happens again I will cut off the chainlock myself.

I signed the note and put my apt number. The note sat there untouched for almost two days. I know someone must have seen it because a couple of times I passed by and saw that someone had re-covered the Marin bike with the tarp from the Amsterdam.

On Wednesday I had had enough and got a pair of wire cutters and cut through the cheap chainlock holding my Amsterdam hostage, for all intents and purposes. I left the note in the Marin bike so they owner would know why this was done and by whom; I wasn’t hiding at all.

For all of Wednesday the Marin bike stood where I moved it to. I feared that there could be some retaliation but lowered my guard when I saw that late in the evening the Marin bike still stood in the same place, untouched. I decided I would take the Amsterdam for a tune-up on my way to work to make sure that nothing had been damaged when it was stood up.

This morning, before leaving for work, I took a peek and did not see the Marin bike where it had sat since the day before. So I went around to make sure all was in order. Imagine my stunned and angry surprise when I see what was done to my wife’s bike.

I immediately notified the building’s manager/co-owner, who was quite upset that this had happened in his building (and in a resident’s-only-access area). I know all the bikes in the building and who they belong to. I’m a bike geek, I do this. And this Marin bike is one I had never seen around, which I mentioned to the owner. He told me we have two new tenants, so it must belong to one of them. In fact, one of them lives in the apt immediately adjacent to where we usually park the Amsterdam.

I then also notified the Miami Beach Police, as this was pure and obvious vandalism, and filed a police report. I explained the entire chain of events (even the officer was like, WTF, when I told her that this other bike had been chainlocked to mine) and got a report number. It is my intention to find out who did this in our building and have them pay for damages (which, by the way, includes a seat that is not in production anymore and likely not to be found). I’ll be happy to pay for the cheap chainlock in return.

I am livid. This kind of savage vandalism is insane, especially over a stupid cheap chainlock which was illegally placed on my bike to begin with! Honestly, I want to hurt someone.

As I got back home from work late tonight, I decided to take a peek in the back area just in case, and what do you think I see inside the kitchen of the newly-occupied apartment right next to where we parked the Amsterdam? Why, it’s the gray Marin mountain bike inside the house!

There was a dude inside so I knocked on the window and asked if we could talk for a moment. I asked him why had they tied their bike to mine. He said he had no idea what I was talking about, that he always took his bike in, that he was there for the day only visiting his girlfriend, who is the actual tenant. I told the guy what had happened and that now the owner had been notified as well as the police and that his girlfriend, the owner of that Marin bike I could see through their window, was now the prime suspect. Dude was evasive, showed me his grey fixie bike so I could see that he doesn’t leave his bike outside, told him it wasn’t his bike that I’d seen but the Marin bike in the living room that I had and could still see through the kitchen window. I told him his girlfriend could talk to the owner because he was very interested in getting to the bottom of this.

I won’t be surprised if they make the Marin bike disappear overnight, but I know that I saw it there and I reported it to the building manager/owner for him to take steps about it. That’s not the kind of people I want as neighbors nor he wants as tenants.

I am livid that they messed with my wife’s bike. And they are not gonna get away with this.

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  1. Wifey
    August 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    My heart is hurting. Why would someone do this? I know it’s just a bike, but it’s my property, and a complete lack of decency and respect for a fellow human being to derek you can trash a person’s things. Freaking cowards didn’t even have the guts to come talk to us. But it’s okay. If we can get damages, good. No matter what, karma works, and she’s a bitch.

    • Marta
      August 28, 2011 at 7:22 PM

      Ouch! It really hurts to know we live surrounded by this kind of people. But you are right, there is karma. Let go. Thank God, you are fine.

      • September 6, 2011 at 12:36 PM

        This is one of those times when I’m glad I can put my faith on a greater concept of Justice and know that, measure-for-measure, things will take care of themselves.

  2. Derek K.
    August 19, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    1. I probably wouldn’t have had the gumption to cut the chain.
    2. Presumably your complex has a codebof conduct this violates.
    3. Sucks.

    • September 6, 2011 at 12:37 PM

      Without solid proof, there’s nothing I can do. If we had proof, there would’ve been charges and eviction, though.

  3. Rog in Miami Gardens
    September 5, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    This is horrible. It probably would have been better if they stole it because, even if they resold it later on, it would have been put to better use, rather than damaging something for the sheer purpose of being destructive. Horrible, indeed.

    • September 6, 2011 at 12:37 PM

      Spare parts are on their way, so she’ll ride again soon.

  4. January 20, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Some people make me so mad, the sheer braindead nature of some people, they see something nice and pure and then just want to spoil it. Kind of says plenty about how their lives are going in general really. Hope you got it sorted ok and are back on the road.

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