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Being a tourist from Germany, one of my first actions in Southern California was fulfilling a long-dreamed dream: purchasing a lovely beach cruiser. Those bikes are rare and hard to get in Germany, so my intention was to buy it and take it home with me as a souvenir.

After looking around for a while at numerous bicycle stores, I finally found a Kustom Kruiser brand bike with a unique, artsy, graffiti-style paint design. In addition, it was pink, my favorite color.

For a few weeks, I enjoyed the bike at San Diego's great beaches, and wherever I rode, the bike got all the attention. At red lights, people in cars would pull down their windows to compliment the bike. It was a real eye-catcher, and I couldn't wait to bring it back to Germany and see people's reactions! Unfortunately...

One recent morning, I was shocked to not find my bike outside the hotel's lobby; I had secured it with a strong steel lock on a concrete bike rack. Left behind was the cut lock. I was in tears as I searched everywhere for the bike, thinking that the thief might try to sell it on craigslist or to a used-bicycle store. Then, when I was searching in Mission Beach, I got a phone call. On the other end of the line was the hotel's manager, stating that my cruiser had been found. I could not believe what I heard! I was ecstatic!

I hurried back to the hotel. But, as it turned out, I had been too happy too early. My beach cruiser had been found in someone else's room in the same hotel! It was completely vandalized, even doused with gasoline. The act was so senseless. Someone stole and vandalized my bike just for the joy of destroying?

The hotel management called the last guest to rent the room and found they had given their correct phone number and ID at check-in. The hotel management then forwarded all the information to the police. I had also called the police to file a report, and an officer had come to the hotel to have a look at the scene. The officer looked at everything but did not secure any evidence such as fingerprints.

At first I was hopeful. My hope turned out to be pointless! I am devastated by the poor police work and the laughable legal system in this country. Something is wrong when someone can steal and damage your property without having to fear any legal consequences.

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Comments

sotom Feb. 2, 2010 @ 8:59 p.m.

Marina,

I despise the lowlife who stole your bike as much as you do, but no one really expects the police to spend that much time and money on a bike theft, even in Germany. It would be great to catch the person who stole your bike, but almost nothing would happen without you being here to take him to court.

On the other hand, don't be jaundiced by the event, perhaps there's a silver lining? Start an import business in Germany that buys used beach cruisers from areas like San Diego (on the Reader or Craigslist) then ship and sell them in Germany!

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