With all the theft stories recently, I thought I'd put write up a couple.
I've only ever had one bike stolen. It was a dual suspension Diamond back which I'd bought for $600. It was the most I'd spent on a bike (ha ha I know). It being an off road unit, it had kind of mudguards, and it got to see a lot of mud. It had been thrashed, crashed, and the bike shop mechanic had said "this thing has multiple issues." I like to hang onto things, much to the missus' annoyance, and it had to be taken away secretly, as per my old clothing.
I was looking at the space in the garage where it usually sits trying to work it out. We never bothered locking our bikes, and I thought some resident must have borrowed it. Eventually it dawned on me that someone must have actually stolen it, while number 3 was moving in, with the garage door left open. Stupidly, my wife's brand spanking new Rockhopper was still sitting there. This only had single suspension, and the thief didn't get the chance to do a test ride, and pick the better one. It made me laugh quite a lot, to think of them trying to get down the street quickly, gears screeching, the back wheel wobbling badly enough to hit the brakes, and the seat sitting at just the wrong angle. It would have occurred to them quickly that they were not going to get much for this thing. This was the excuse I needed to get a bike with substantially fewer issues, and they did me a favour.
Nearby in the basement, a previous tennant had left a silver coloured fully lugged steel framed 10 speed racer, and the landlord said I could take it. The front fork had been hit, and it was unridable. $40 later, I'd selected a replacement fork from a pile at the local bike charity. It rode sweetly. Except for the brakes, it was perfect for getting to work, and a few multi day tours.
My boss at work was a former US Olympian. For the job interview, I turned up in shorts and t-shirt, and covered in mud and filth. I'd gotten a lift. Due to traffic etc, I simply had no chance of getting home, and getting there on time. If it was anyone else, I would not get in the front door. But him being him, it was actually a positive sign. I made an impression on the rest of the staff.
Being influential in bike circles, the old sponsors still gave him bikes to use. I think it was Trek. They'd give him these $10,000 carbon fibre units. There was also a nice black Serotta in his collection. The parking at work was a rack right next door to the parking superintendant. This was a result of the theft of his $8,000 bike, which would be very painful, if you didn't get them for free. I think he was still stung, and anyway, the rack got moved from the wall, and right next to the super's little office. Nothing beats rolling out your front door, and arriving as close to the lift as you can get, without being inside the lift.
He said his offices used to be on Market St San Francisco. If you know Market St, between 5th and Van Ness it looks like some kind of apocalypse has occurred. People walking around confused, shouting, drinking etc. SF has a lot of beautiful bikes. Sometimes you'd see a really nice racer, then see the rider. It'd take a sec to think, why does that guy look homeless, and how did he afford such a fine machine?
So he used to park his bike inside the office there, where it should be safe. One day he noticed someone, and then the lift doors closing. He looked to where his bike was, and it was gone. So he bolts down the stairs to catch him at the bottom, but is too late. Wandering out onto Market, he caught site of his bike, and the chase was on. Our thief should have had the upper hand with his high tech racer, but when he jumped on to get away, he couldn't get it into gear cleanly. As he sat there trying, the boss bolted some distance. He was still in great shape, so got there, and grabbed him. The thief said, "Oh sorry, I didn't know it was yours!". The owner was very happy to get his bike back. As he walked up Market St, the crowd around there gave him a round of applause!
I have had one other bike, and the pole it was attached to, go missing. But it was taken by a govt. department, so not stolen. It's another (long) story.