WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Open letter to a bicycle thief

Received today, from Byron:

My 11-year-old daughter’s bike was stolen today in the parking lot next to School of Rock on 41st Ave SW.

Her bike was a dark blue 2016 Kona Dew deluxe bike with a heavy steel basket. Serial number is 13i-1640. I will offer a $250 reward for the name of the person who stole it. I want the person who stole it. I want my daughter to see horrible people who steal will be punished. I want that a-hole paraded down Alaska Junction with a thief sign on.

You made my daughter cry because you wanted to steal a child’s bike.

I will have my retribution. I have reported it stolen to the police, bike registry has it stolen, all the bike shops in a 1000-mile area know it was stolen. You might as well throw the thing off a cliff because everyone knows it’s stolen. I will find you and you will apologize to my daughter.

If you have a tip for police, Byron is still awaiting the report #, but the tracking number for starters is T17009156.

33 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Open letter to a bicycle thief"

  • Susan August 8, 2017 (8:50 pm)

    That is sad.  Did they use bolt cutters to remove the chain / lock?  

    • flimflam August 8, 2017 (9:30 pm)

      I totally agree. shameful. i’m certain the police are on the case though – never fear.

    • Renée Thorkelson August 8, 2017 (10:15 pm)

      Why didn’t you just ask if it was her daughter’s fault the bike was stolen? 

      It doesn’t matter if it was locked or not. It was an 11 year old’s bike. And whether she locked it or forgot or whatever, the point is, it didn’t belong to the thief. It was stolen.

      • WTF August 8, 2017 (10:43 pm)

        Geez bitter much? Calm down. They weren’t blaming anyone. BYE!

        • Renee Thorkelson August 9, 2017 (3:25 pm)

          Gee. How condescending.

          So, really? Then what is the relevance as to how the lock was broken? 

          I’m saying, the parent’s upset. The kid is heartbroken. The bike is gone. Let’s not get into victim blaming/shaming. 

  • Chris August 8, 2017 (9:10 pm)

     That stinks.  I’m sorry for your daughter . How was the lock broken? 

  • Silly Goose August 8, 2017 (9:12 pm)

    Im so sorry your daughter had to experience this.  Take a drive down to 6th Ave S. and Industrial Way by FEDEX dozens of new bikes show up every day in the motor homes parked all over the place.  I even saw a guy with a black tandem bike yesterday.

    • Rick August 9, 2017 (11:30 am)

      I saw a guy with a high end white tandem yesterday down there yesterday. Pulled up to his motorhome. By hisself. No bike rack either. Bike was worth more than the motorhome. Suspicious? Naaah.

  • WSREZ August 8, 2017 (10:29 pm)

    Sorry this happened to your family. Tough lesson to learn so early.

    Bikes are and have been a form of currency for homeless people. Thousands of people “camping” from Ballard to Seattle. Dozens of campers with various numbers of bikes outside of their “homes”. Police look the other way while our joke of a council comes up with another hairbrained idea. 

    I am seeing homeless people who are not well mentally and physically walking through neighborhoods now, rolling suitcases behind them, some of them shouting obscenities at the top of their lungs. I have called police but they don’t show for whatever reason  

  • HappyOnAlki August 8, 2017 (10:49 pm)

    So sorry the girl’s bike was stolen — that’s a real bummer.

    But WSREZ, that’s a big leap from bike theft to “homeless,” and what rolling suitcases has to do with it is beyond me — “innocent until proven guilty” ring a bell?

  • Mark August 8, 2017 (10:53 pm)

    This bike theft issue needs to be solved.  At what point will citizens demand action?  Its time the thieves be held accountable.  

    • faceless August 9, 2017 (10:43 pm)

      Mark, I agree with you. The bike theft issue needs to be solved and thieves be held accountable

  • Asb August 8, 2017 (11:21 pm)

    Very hard lesson for a child to realize that there are folks who steal versus work and buy what they want, hard for parents who want to protect them

    Hopefully the intensity of wanting retribution walking an a hole down the street, your emotions can  modulate make this a learning opportunity for your sweet girl,  seeing you so viseral doesn’t help  her

    totally a lousy thing that happened, but there are good folks out there, if you need assistance replacing it and renewing your daughters faith in good people and the kindness of her community reach out here, bet lots of folks including my family would like to help

  • Wsresident August 9, 2017 (12:08 am)

    I agree with silly goose & wsrez. Under the west seattle bridge is a treasure trove of stolen bikes and bike parts at that homeless/drug addict camp. So sick of this city babying the theives down there. Between that area and the long line of RVs camped out on Harbor Ave… I am so ready for a new mayor. 

  • JanS August 9, 2017 (12:37 am)

    I, too, don’t understand the leap from “bike stolen” to “it was the homeless people” (without proof, mind you). It’s a child’s bike, and who knows, it might have been someone younger who would fit on the bike (to ride it away), as in another young teenager. But none of us knows for sure. It’s simply sad that it is gone. And a child’s beliefs and trusts are devastated.

    I am also sad that there is such vitriol towards all homeless persons, that  the prevailing belief of some people is that all homeless people are evil, drug using, petty thieves, etc. I refer you to Rex Hohlbein, a good man, and http://www.facinghomelessness.org. Be a part of the solution. Five bucks a month !   Or support in other ways. 

    • WSB August 9, 2017 (12:51 am)

      Also, we have no indication whether the bicycle was unlocked or locked, so no more speculation on that. Locked bikes are stolen too. (Happened to me many years and miles ago.) Thank you.

    • faceless August 9, 2017 (10:45 pm)

      just go down under spokane street bridge between 1st and 6th. There are bikes galore down there sitting next to the tents and in some cases there are tents with 3 or 4 bikes I saw an 8K bike sitting down there on Saturday. I almost took it from the tent and put it up on our blog for the owner to claim it back.

  • Byron anderson August 9, 2017 (5:32 am)

    The bike had a lock on it. She had locked it up on a pole instead of a bike rack and I’m sure they just pulled it over the pole. Could she have locked it up better? Of course but she is 11!!! 

    My fight isn’t about whether the person was homeless or not. I just want my daughter to see justice. I’m teaching my daughter that if you steal you should be punished. That is it. This is not a greater social justice issue about solving homelessness, Just a criminal issue. Steal and you should be punished. That’s the teachable moment. 

    • faceless August 9, 2017 (10:50 pm)


      Your kid needs to get her bike back. Go down to Spokane street tomorrow under the bridge between 1st and 6th. There are stolen bikes galore down there. If you need some help, email me and I will go sleuthing for you. I’m tired of the bike theft in West Seattle, and feel like the cops need to go round up all those bikes weekly and bring them back to West Seattle so the owners can go down to the station and claim them. This is crazy out of control. Your kid is 11 and its bs that she has to experience this.

  • Vincent August 9, 2017 (6:57 am)

    I saw this bike yesterday in white center on Roxbury, being ridden by a woman in her 20s meeting up with another group in what used to be the origins parking lot. It stuck out as I am familiar with the model and noticed the black front rack on it. I had a thought about how it was a good fit for someone without access to a car, but then I couldn’t reconcile where the nearest kona dealer was.

    • Byron August 9, 2017 (4:27 pm)

      Thanks Vincent. We went down to white center and talked with the bike shop and pawn shops to alert them to the stolen bike. No one saw anything but still. Appreciate the help

  • Alki August 9, 2017 (7:46 am)

    What is wrong with people these days. Who cares if it was locked or not!?The bike was S-T-O-L-E-N. You know, taken by someone it didn’t belong to…stop getting hung up on stupid details, and focus on the fact that there are jerks out there who are stealing things from children.

  • Mary August 9, 2017 (8:36 am)

    Not a very mature response, Byron. Stealing is wrong and even worse when vulnerable citizens are the victim, but your words make you sound petty and immature. Did you read your words to your daughter? I’m a 35 year old female. If my dad said those words to me at 11, I would be confused, embarrassed, and horrified. Please be a better role model! Our girls need all the support they can get.

    • Byron August 9, 2017 (9:49 am)

      Yes that’s the problem.  The messaging.  I’m showing my daughter that just because you have a problem you don’t lay down and just take it.  You do something about it.  Yes I can see now that being proactive and trying to find the person who wronged you is a horrible thing to teach a young girl.  I’m not advocating violence, anything illegal or anything other than public shaming.  Justice.  Our police cant chase down every bike theft so I will do my best to figure it out.  And I’m sure that what she will remember is that her father sounded petty not that she watched her father make phone call after phone call, file police reports,  drive to bike shops and alert them of the theft, alert our neighbors by putting a letter on blog.  But I’m sure its the pettiness of retribution that she will remember. 

      • Nieghborhoorwhocares August 9, 2017 (11:33 am)

        I think your a great dad in hunting down her bike-seeking justice for who took it-seems we all need to be a little more proactive in our Nieghborhood these days-crime is increasing and police are busy -I hope you find her bike and the person who took it does apologize-so not cool to take people’s stuff -I dont believe it would be you would approach person in a violent retaliation revengeful way-Maybe even call the police when u do find it have them approach person who took it-honestly i’m sure just getting caught with the bike alone would be enough for the person who took it to be apologetic-there is that lead who said they saw it in white center-if possible keep us updated on what happeneds would love to hear some good news:)

        • Nieghborhoorwhocares August 9, 2017 (11:42 am)

          I meant I don’t believe you would approach person on a violent revengeful way-and I sure would like to know what the follow thro is if u do find bike -if u contact police first ask for them to approach person and what if anything happens to person who took it there really does need to be some consequences our Nieghborhood is out of control 

      • ALKI August 10, 2017 (7:25 am)

        Image result for taken meme


  • Craig August 9, 2017 (9:24 am)

    I agree with ASB, well put.

    I too would be angry if this happened to my family. But justice in a community should be about peaceably resolving conflicts, discouraging criminality, and rehabilitation. If it veers into personal retribution and satisfaction, eye for an eye, Big-Daddy archetype must slap all naughty-kid archetypes with a ruler as a matter of what goes around comes around, so much for the spirit of community and civilization.

    • Mary August 9, 2017 (10:57 am)

      “Like” – well put, Craig.

  • Gene August 9, 2017 (10:37 am)

    What so frustrating/ maddening/ sad is that even if this thief is found by authorities- not much- if anything will happen him/her- at least nothing that that would make them think twice about doing it again. The only way that will change is by having a City Attorney & Prosecutors  & lawmakers willing to make & enforce stricter laws & penalties. In this city & county I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

  • Mark F August 9, 2017 (11:27 am)

    So sorry to hear. I know if my girls’ bikes were stolen they’d be crying too. 

    Three of my bikes were stolen a couple of weeks back from the North Admiral area; fortunately two of the three have been recovered and returned to me (one by SPD and one by King County Sheriff): 


    My big take-away here was to be sure all my bikes going forward are registered (with serial numbers) on bikeindex.org! That’s how King County was able to trace my mountain bike back to me. You mentioned you provided the serial number to the police and on the national bike registry, so you should be good there. Best of luck. 

  • pjmanley August 9, 2017 (11:36 am)

    @Byron:  I love you man!!  If this is your Howard Beal moment, let ‘er rip, brother!  I feel exactly the same way about thieves.  

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