Crime Alert

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Ahlir
Participant
#

This is from the CMU Campus Police (I work at CMU, so I get these bulletins). I’m posting it only because it involves a bicycle.


On Sunday, September 1, shortly after noon, a CMU student was the victim of a robbery at the bus stop in front of the Park Plaza Apartments at 128 N. Craig Street. The student was waiting at the bus stop with his cellphone in his hand when an individual on a bicycle rode by him and grabbed the cellphone from his hand. The suspect continued on North Craig Street, turned right on Bayard Street and was last seen turning left onto N. Neville Street. The student did not suffer any injuries. No words were exchanged during the incident.
The suspect was described as a black male, 19-25 years old, medium build with short hair. The suspect was wearing black shorts and a black t-shirt. The victim was unable to provide a description of the bicycle.

I wish people generally knew more about bikes and how to describe them.
Also, I can only image what the trolls will do if this hits the news…


Mick
Participant
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The crimes I commit these days are fairly limited. ( Well, limited in variety, no limits on the frequency ;)

But I was sorely tempted to pull a cell phone away from the ear of a driver and dash it to the ground once when I was in the left hand turn lane.

I’ve been expecting bike-based crime for years.


Pierce
Participant
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That alleged thief has pretty good coordination to be able to pull that off


Vannevar
Participant
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First, I want to say that I appreciate Ahlir passing this along as an FYI, because it’s bike-related and it’s of interest.

But unless there’s a witness – I’m 53.2% disinclined to acquiesce in the willing suspension of disbelief. The first line should read,

On Sunday, September 1, shortly after noon, a CMU student reports being the victim of a robbery at…

So “Pat” is standing at a bus stop holding the phone.
The criminal rides by and snatches the phone out of Pat’s hand.
(think of the physics and alignment and odds involved)
Cops says, can you describe the perp? Black
What color shirt? Black
What color pants? Black
Describe the bike? Nope

I think Pat lost their cellphone Saturday night and needed a story for Mom and Dad so Pat could get a new one.

And you know, when Pat gets the new phone, the clerk’s going to ask what color Pat wants. Three guesses.


JaySherman5000
Member
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@Vannevar: there was a rash of this type of crime in NYC reported earlier this summer.

There’s even a video of it happening across the pond:

The fact that this same type of ride-by-yoinking has been reported in Oakland doesn’t make it impossible to believe, far-fetched, or made up, it just means that criminals can travel by bike, too.


salty
Participant
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Whether he managed to get a good description is another matter but it’s not hard to envision it happening. First, it’s not like anyone claimed the guy rode by at 30mph or even 10 – he might well have stopped for that matter. Meanwhile the kid is probably devoting 100% of his attention to his phone, 0% to his surroundings… easy target.

(Edit: Posted before I saw Jay’s video, which should remove all doubts about plausibility)


Vannevar
Participant
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Salty and Jay, I yield to your persuasiveness. +1 cheers, V.


Pierce
Participant
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Maybe at next year’s Try-A-Bike we can have a try-to-steal-a-phone section

Still seems like a pretty skilled grab to me.


Ahlir
Participant
#

Maybe at next year’s Try-A-Bike we can have a try-to-steal-a-phone section

I like that. Kind of like mobile-phone throwing contests in Finland…


Mikhail
Member
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Pierce wrote:Maybe at next year’s Try-A-Bike we can have a try-to-steal-a-phone section

+1


Still seems like a pretty skilled grab to me.

No much skill required. No more than grab a water bottle while riding.


edmonds59
Participant
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The only reason I would grab someone’s phone would be to put it away for them. Where the sun won’t get to it, you know.


Mick
Participant
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I saw someone grab a cell phone and run a couple of years ago. It was while a bunch of kids were causing trouble and the phoner probably had dialed 9-1-1.

The kid that grabbed the phone was so smooth at it that I thought he and his buddies probably punked each other by grabbing each other’s phones. A lot.

I’m not skeptical about this report.

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