My Pannier was stolen off my bike while riding uphill…
too bad you didn’t have an iphone. you could have used the “find my iphone” feature.
about locking your bags to your bike rack or each other: if someone tried to pull them off while you were riding, you would probably be pulled over and hurt, but i guess nothing would be stolen.
sorry to keep topping this, but I just found a spot on the Pittsburgh Police’s website where they keep an “incident blotter”.
Looks like mine came up here: http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/police/blotter/blotter_thursday.pdf
It occurred in Zone 5 at 20:15.
Yeah about that iPhone… I called Verizon to see what I could do about my phone and they were ready to give me an early “New Every 2” upgrade…(mine’s up in two months) I wanted an iPhone, but they said because they are on consignment-based contract with Apple that they can’t give early renewals. SUCK. So I activated an old phone.
Maybe I’ll have to look into locking my panniers. Thanks Stef.
FWIW, there’s a locator app for android and its free IIRC.
Definitely sucks but glad you’re OK… stuff is just stuff, not worth getting jacked up over.
Glad you’re ok, Trisha. I have a set of non-waterproof Nashbar Panniers that you are welcome to have if you want. I never use them, and I need to buy a better set for my next trip.
Sheesh, I just read this. I’m glad you’re not hurt (you definitely did the right thing). As you know I only live a few blocks from you. If I see the dude with your pannier I will call the police.
How horrible! I’m sorry about the loss you’ve suffered, but I’m glad that otherwise you are OK.
i walk this road to work every day, and i bet we have passed each other at times! i dont take it home from work, because i find i am totally harassed by kids after school lets out (sucks but it’s happened more than once)
however, that means i might see your bag someplace and I will gladly pick it up and let you know.
i know where the kids that usually roll up on me live… not that it would help, and there are a ton of kids in that area, but ill just look more carefully some mornings. Do you know the guys that hang out at the corner of penn and graham, the older dudes? You can tell them what happened and they know everything that goes on in the neighborhood. I work right there and they are super nice guys and yell at kids when they litter
Anyway, might be worth mentioning it to them. i dont know their names, but they sit inside quiet storm sometimes, and i know the one dude is always talking to the crossing guard in the mornings around 830-9.
sorry this happened to you and glad youre okay. i cant believe the kid went for your stuff while it was attached to your bike!
also that gas station is NOTORIOUS. i wouldnt be surprised if some of your items might be attempted to be sold in or around it
I was just wondering after reading this thread, would it be legal to shoot the attacker in this case ? I think its pretty easy to get a concealed weapons permit, but does your life has to be threatened or can you shoot someone (maybe in the leg or something) if they steal your stuff?
Just incase you aren’t joking: No, you can’t shoot human beings because they take your stuff.
I’m with dwillen. OTOH, I wonder what would happen if this situation was posted on a pro-Castle-Doctrine board, what discussion would come of it?
The person against whom the force is used is in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or has unlawfully and forcefully entered and is present within, a dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle; or the person against whom the force is used is or is attempting to unlawfully and forcefully remove another against that other’s will from the dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle.
So you could shoot someone trying to abduct you or your passenger, but otherwise he’d have to be trying to get inside your bicycle (whatever that means).
You could also shoot and kill someone if you believe “it is immediately necessary to do so to protect [yourself] against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse by force or threat”, if the bad guy displays or uses a deadly weapon of some kind.
Sorry to hear your stuff was stolen, gimpPAC.
I am not a lawyer. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, as I understand it, the OP was riding in traffic on a public road when this happened. She had no way of knowing at the time of the crime that they wouldn’t attempt to do anything worse, or by trying to rob her they weren’t putting her life in danger from auto traffic.
That said, the OP can’t turn and fire at them as they run away. At least in Mongomery County, PA, she couldn’t. In July 2009 there was an attempted robbery and bikejacking on the Schuylkill River Trail at Norristown. The cyclist fired his legal to carry gun at his assailants as they fled.
So put this in car terms. I’m lugging up a hill, maybe it’s a manual shift and I needed to downshift a little sooner, but I’m just chugging up it at little better than a crawl. Someone says something to me as I go by, which I ignore, then that person snaps off my radio antenna and runs away with it, or maybe the left rear window is open and my just dry-cleaned suit is hanging there and he grabs it and runs. Isn’t this pretty much the same thing? How would this be handled? How *should* it?
Buy a new suit. And the next time you drive through that area, you’ll either downshift sooner or roll up your window.
Seriously, you don’t want to shoot a bullet at another human being for stealing your stuff.
In the situation you describe, you should make a call to the police, ideally immediately from your cell phone. Making a chase after them for your suit would probably be unnecessarily dangerous and opening fire in public on someone fleeing the scene would be a whole lot of bad and also probably illegal.
one time I was stopped in my car in a sketchy area and a guy knocked on my window and asked for money. I shook my head no and he walked away. My doors were unlocked, and I didn’t want to insult him by pressing the power locks. I should have, because he came back and opened up my back door. I think he just did it to annoy me, as he then just walked away.
Even in that situation, I think it would be out of line to pull a gun on him unless he was to continue to try to enter my car and/or steal from me.
Unfortunately these muggings take place much too often. A close friend here in Philly was pushed off her bike last week and her bag stolen out of her basket. It’s messed up.
In regards to what can be done in the future, if you, or others have an iPhone, I highly recommend turning on the ‘Find my iPhone’ feature. It’s a free service that Apple offers for iPhone/iPad users to locate their devices from a computer. Turning this on provides you with precise GPS coordinates that could help the police locate the stolen items and perpetrator red handed.
@morningsider, re: Stu’s post:
I don’t think Stu was asking is it ok to shoot the guy. I think the point was, is this car analogy of the OP’s event valid, and if so, is the perpetrator – if caught, guilty of the same crime. The law, as described seems to suggest “entering” as a threshold, but if we accept a bicycle as a legally-defined “vehicle,” then what constitutes “entering?” And I think Stu’s point is that pulling a pannier off a bike is entering, and therefore a violation of that law has taken place.
At least I think that’s what Stu meant.
In that case, the “and is present within” verbiage would mean this specific doctrine does not apply.
However, if the guy was attempting to remove you from the vehicle (I would argue for the bike as an occupied vehicle as far as I could possibly argue), then all bets are off.
Keep in mind, you will be living with the consequences of your actions. If you’re lucky (and a bad shot), so will the perp.
Dead men tell no tales – their mothers do.
@morningsider – FWIW, please don’t take my post as advocating shooting people in those circumstances. I was simply trying to clarify what I perceived Stu’s meaning to be.
I haven’t been back for a couple days, I had a great bike ride up North, which really helped me to clear my head.
Thanks Scott and Caitlin for looking out for my bag and for the tips.
As far as guns are concerned, hells no. I’d even be concerned about pepper spray…to be turned around and used on me.
Even after my fantasy of being “biker ninja”, I’d still feel bad if I severely/permanently injured the guy if I took after him and ran him over with my bike. Just doesn’t seem to line up with the crime…if he was trying to hurt me I would definitely consider a U-lock to the head. Other people may have their own opinions and laws may be different, but I’d rather keep to evasive/preventative measures if possible. Nothing is worth the possibility of me severely injuring/killing another human.
EDIT: He didn’t have a weapon, and he didn’t threaten me, it just took me totally by surprise. Also, this road is a residential street, traffic is not like it would be on Negley or Penn.
Fact is, if I didn’t keep my back turned, I probably would have been able to anticipate this. It’s not THAT easy to take my bag off of my bike…I must have been really out of it to not notice right when he starting pulling.
On another note, I need to see if I can find a small, waterproof bag with a shoulder strap that can be synched tight against the front of my body, for stuff like wallet, small camera, phone and keys. This wouldn’t have been so bad if I could have had all of this on my person, but it was pouring and the bag was the “safest” place for those items. Any suggestions?
I was more trying to make the analogy between vehicle and vehicle, not whether deadly force should be used. But that said, if the analogy is valid, and Castle Doctrine holds that such force is reasonable (not whether it is morally reasonable to do so, an important distinction), then I think we are clear to go on to the next point, whether pulling a pannier off a bicycle being ridden is “unlawfully and forcefully entering…an occupied vehicle”. I say it is; IANAL. Right in the first sentence of the bill it says “It is proper for law-abiding people to protect themselves, their families and others from intruders and attackers without fear of prosecution or civil action for acting in defense of themselves and others.”
That WDUQ story quotes the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Scott Perry, as saying “it’s hard to establish how one forcibly enters a bicycle.” Well, if this situation does not fit, I don’t know what would.
I keep my wallet and phone in my pants pockets at all times, if I’m expecting rain, I put them in a couple of ziplock sandwich bags. Women may not always have the pants pockets option. I can think of numerous ways in which womens clothing should be designed differently, but that’s a whole other story.
I think “Seal Line” or a company like that makes little sorts of camera sized dry bags that can have a shoulder strap, check REI or the website, would be in the paddle sports area.
In regards to muggings and all that, I’ve thought about carrying two wallets, one dupe and one real. Carry the dupe wallet in your back pocket with a couple bucks and an expired credit card or two. Keep your real wallet in your front pocket. Hand over the dupe and don’t worry about all the crap of carrying a gun on you, canceling your credit cards, and losing a ton of money. I haven’t actually done this yet, as carrying two wallets for an unlikely event isn’t very motivating, but I’m sure if I ever got mugged I wish I’d have followed through.
Kinda an aside, but I know my pannier is designed so that the strap that hold the roll top down can also be looped through the rack frame before it is latched. Essentially locking it to the rear rack. Since this happened to you, I have been taking my time to make sure I secure it to the rack in this manner.
Granted, someone could unclip the strap, but would probably only know to do that after at least one failed snatch attempt.
In college, the street I lived on (and walked down alone and very late at night regularly) had a mugging spree for my last three semesters. I made it a policy to carry three scrunched up dollar bills to throw at would-be muggers. Theoretically by the time they picked them up and realized what they were, I’d be sprinting down the street. Never had the chance to try it out (see elsewhere mentioned “look of death” I seem to unconciously wear while moving about, or luck). Wouldn’t apply in gimPAC’s case.
I find that, though slightly uncomfortable and damp (very damp when biking), my sports bra and its intended contents can secret away a surprising number of necessary items.
After a bad situation last fall, I have been carrying a “marked” bill in my wallet- a straight black line on the front & my initials and zipcode written in small letters on the back. I keep this bill in with my other cash, but I try not to spend it. This way if my bill shows up in a suspect’s pocket, it’s probably the same guy who took my stuff. This doesn’t help with prevention, but it sure would have helped the cops press charges in my case.
I forgot to mention that I was only going from Oh Yeah! on Highland. I was literally a 5 minute ride from home, so when it’s monsoon-like weather and you are almost home…it’s easy to be single-minded and let down your guard.
Lesson learned: don’t let your guard down. Specially at night. And invest in a bigger bra size (ejwme – my “intended contents” wouldn’t hold up very much! lol).
@Marko, or perhaps carry a bunch of counterfeit fifties. Not to spend, but geez, if they get stolen, maybe the Secret Service would take THAT seriously. It would be pretty easy not to accidentally spend them since they aren’t twenties.
That sounds like horrible advice, Lyle. It isn’t only spending the counterfeit bills that is a crime, it is making them and possessing them. The wording in the law specifically mentions “intent”. In the case of the mugger, he had no intent in the counterfeiting, and all that would be on you.
I imagine if you had a bunch of counterfeit fifties, you would end up on the wrong end of some federal counterfeiting charges, and your assailant would get a nice deal for his testimony regarding the origin of the fake currency. I could also imagine getting arrested over some silly mixup, and having the police find your honeypot currency. Explaining them to the federal prosecutors as some elaborate anti-mugging strategy might not go over so well.
Eh, I think it’s only making and possessing them with criminal intent. There’s no fraud in having something stolen from you. There have been a whole series of events involving some guy who makes these elaborate counterfeits and then offers them to people *as works of art* in barter for some other goods or services.
If I ever were arrested in some silly mixup, I’d use this thread as my alibi.
The po-po busted me with a counterfeit fiver once; you don’t want the hassle. Innocent til proven guilty – right…
@edmonds59 – LOL, but seriously thanks for the recommendation on the Seal Line…once I get a new credit card I’ll be snapping one of those up. But yeah I have other stuff I need to replace… I need to check my credit card company to see if I have built-in insurance that might cover theft…better get on that.
Funny you mention Seal Line. They are actually sponsoring National Bike to Work Day so you can actually win one. http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bikemonth/contests.php
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