Alleged Bike Thief Foils Bad Lock Job

I certainly don’t want to pour salt on anyone’s wounds with this post. Having your bicycle stolen is a painful, soul-crushing experience that leaves you feeling helpless and probably pissed off since you must now walk or transit home, the two things you were trying to avoid by riding your bicycle in the first place.

Below is a cell phone photo of an alleged bicycle thief holding a Globe Roll bicycle with dubious bell placement.

Alleged bicycle thief

And this is the dubious bell placement:

Crotch placed bell

Ummm… you ring that how (or with what)?

And here’s the “opportunity” this alleged bicycle thief chose to exploit and obtain a new, albeit single-wheeled, bicycle:

Kryptonite and the wheel

And here’s the end result:

Just a wheel and a lock

Of course, if you’re the inventor of the wheel (and comb) you’ve got your ride home. If not, you’re left with a painful reminder of the ride home that could have been.

If you see this Globe Roll with a spoiled blue/grey colourway then be sure to alert the proper authorities.

And, to be constructive, you can get away with locking just one wheel and not return to have in your possession one locked wheel. Bike thieves look for opportunities. A thin coil lock is an easy target if you have wire cutters. If you’re out thieving with just a wrench, you look for nuts you can unscrew. While you can never completely “thief-proof” a bicycle, here’s how to prevent this type of theft by locking through the rear triangle:

Final photo via commutebybike

Alleged bike thief photo via Twitter.

About duncan

Duncan rides bicycles in the city of Toronto and contributes to the main blog of BikingToronto as well as writing and taking photos for his blog Duncan's City Ride.


  1. The bike in the bottom photo has a quick release front wheel, so if you don’t want to go your wheel stolen you need to lock up through the front frame and wheel. Or just get rid of your quick release.

  2. Jake, certainly. On the site I pulled that photo from the rider says he typically uses a cable in addition to the u-lock in order to secure his bicycle. But getting rid of that quick release is certainly even better.

  3. Duncan,

    Did you photograph the suspicious looking guy?

    Where was that? What time, date?

    Might help neighbors, friends of the victim help obtain justice – prevent future thefts.

  4. It came through on Twitter originally.

  5. the photo was taken around 3:30 yesterday. A crowd had started giving the guy shit but it seemed no one was willing to physically step in and get the bike off him (though a security guard ended up chasing him).

    someone snapped this photo as he wasn receiving his tongue-lashing.

    I guess nobody wanted to get their hands dirty.

    True, the locking style used wasn’t practical.

  6. Thanks for the info Stu. Where did this happen? Those Globe Rolls aren’t too popular and those colours stick out like a sore thumb, so hopefully the bike is found or identified as stolen.

    If the person who lost the bike reads this, please know I posted this not to gloat over a poor bike lock job, but to help others identify the vulnerabilities thieves look to take advantage of.

  7. The bike on the bottom doesn’t appear to be locked up properly either. The lock has to go around both the wheel and a part of the frame to be effective.

  8. That’s a very distinctive bike and orange phoenix jersey. “Locked” in my memory now.

    Duncan: it was near Bloor and Church.

    I can’t believe no one stopped the guy. Especially a crowd of people.

  9. Brian, while locking part of the frame and rim together is also effective, simply locking the rim through this rear triangle will prevent a theft. Even if the rear wheel is loosened and moved, there is no way to remove the frame without cutting through either a seatstay or the rim. The size of the rim is too large to be pulled through this part of the frame and while it may get messy, your bike and wheel aren’t going anywhere.

  10. Yes, the picture at the bottom (with the link to Sheldon Brown’s advice) is an effective way to lock up. However, I prefer running my U-lock around the seat tube and rear wheel. I find this method keeps my bike from tipping or falling while it’s locked up to a pole or post-and-ring. And, while Sheldon’s technique works, it doesn’t *look* as secure to possible thieves. Remember that rear wheel is worth more than a front wheel.

    I think quick release is the dumbest thing to come ‘stock’ on bikes – quick release should only be ‘after market’ since it’s only handy for racers who need to change a flat as quickly as possible.
    I highly recommend Pinhead skewers to replace quick release:
    You can get them at just about any bike shop; seems they’re cheapest at MEC.

  11. Great advice, Mark. Locking both the frame and wheel certainly helps keep a bike upright and tighter to the locking surface, making it harder to wedge things in to pry a lock/bike free.

    Pinhead skewers are a great product. I have replaced my seat quick release with something similar and so far so good on keeping my seat on my bike.

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