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San Diego stolen bikes fenced on Offer Up and Facebook

331 San Diego bikes stolen listed on BikeIndex.org in 2023

The 2021 Super73 S2 electric bike retails new for over $3,000.
The 2021 Super73 S2 electric bike retails new for over $3,000.

Before New Year's Eve, Joy Boe's black-colored Retrospec Beaumont bike was stolen from her yard in Hillcrest.

"It has Pee Wee Herman stickers on it and a Pee Wee-inspired lion ornament on the front handlebars," she told me in a recent interview. "It has vintage metal collapsible baskets on the rear wheel."

Boe: "Thank God the doll was not on the bike when it was stolen.... I'm a huge fan of Pee Wee."


Like a scene from the 1985 Pee-Wee's Big Adventure movie, Boe was frantic and determined to find her missing bike. She shared photos for our readers in case they might've seen the stolen bike around town. She added, "Contacting Revision_SanDiego on Instagram would be the best form of contact." In the shared photos, Boe is posing proudly next to her bike; she's wearing a similar outfit worn by the Pee Wee Herman character played by the late Paul Reubens in the cult classic — with a red bowtie and matching hairdo and all.  The bike sported a step-through frame with red-colored brake lines in the photo and carried a Pee Wee Herman doll in the basket. "Thank God the doll was not on the bike when it was stolen," Boe continued. "I'm very sad because I'm a huge fan of Pee Wee."

Just a day or so before Boe's bike was nabbed, Kayla A. saw a man on the Ring.com app walk up to their home's patio in La Mesa. The guy in question was scoping out their bike. "This man, who is clearly the same man from an incident in April, attempted to steal our bikes [already]," she posted online. "He first came up to check what kind of locks we had, then went back down the stairs to get the correct tool." During the ordeal, Kayla screamed into her device and scared the lurker. "Please be careful and watch out for him!"

Others online mentioned they scared away would-be thieves by yelling into their devices, "which might slow down bike theft if more people had motion sensors attached to their cameras overlooking their bikes," noted John Peters, a Chula Vista cyclist.

Bryan Hance, co-founder of BikeIndex.org, said in 2023, 331 bike thefts were reported on their app within 25 miles of downtown San Diego, compared to 409 the year prior. 

The last reported theft on the app before New Year's Eve was by Mission Valley of a 2021 Super73 S2 electric bike, which retails new for over $3,000. The victim noted that their "Garage was opened by someone hacking our signal to open garage (likely Flipper Zero) at 1:26 am."

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Hance continued, "E-bikes are 'more' targeted because they are more useful and are of higher value to the fence, so thieves love them. The vast majority we see get fenced on Offer Up and Facebook Marketplace."

Hance's platform is "the most widely used and successful bicycle registration service in the world with over 1,183,000 cataloged bikes, 1,610 community partners and tens of thousands of daily searches."

Stolen bikes listed on BikeIndex.org


"Nothing is going to change unless these services get it together and do something about the massive sea of stolen goods (including bikes) being fenced on their [Offer Up and Facebook] platforms. They're letting junkies, thieves, and addicts get rich by fencing stolen goods left and right on their services."

In September, Justin H. found his stolen bike for sale on Offer Up. "With the help of a friend and the La Mesa PD, I was able to arrange a meeting with the thief and recover my bike. The police rolled up right as he took the bike off the top of his car."

It seems that roof racks on cars are fair game lately.

In late November, at Balboa Park, a bike was stolen from the roof rack of a car while the victim was still in the car. The victim "didn’t realize what was happening till [the thief] was biking away with it. Extremely sentimental. Was my dad's, has very clear markings including my name on it."

A few days later, Karen said on NextDoor, "My husband parked in the Lemon Grove Home Depot to run in and purchase something. When he came out of the store, he saw a fat man stealing his bike (bright orange colored with yellow and black flames) off his bike rack in broad daylight. He yelled and whistled, but no one did anything to stop the thief. My husband ran but could not catch up with the guy."

Of the 331 stolen bikes in San Diego in 2023 reported on BikeIndex.org, only 19 were recovered. The 331 registered numbers are much less than the annual bike theft numbers in San Diego because not every victim is a part of the BikeIndex non-profit bike registry.

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The 2021 Super73 S2 electric bike retails new for over $3,000.
The 2021 Super73 S2 electric bike retails new for over $3,000.

Before New Year's Eve, Joy Boe's black-colored Retrospec Beaumont bike was stolen from her yard in Hillcrest.

"It has Pee Wee Herman stickers on it and a Pee Wee-inspired lion ornament on the front handlebars," she told me in a recent interview. "It has vintage metal collapsible baskets on the rear wheel."

Boe: "Thank God the doll was not on the bike when it was stolen.... I'm a huge fan of Pee Wee."


Like a scene from the 1985 Pee-Wee's Big Adventure movie, Boe was frantic and determined to find her missing bike. She shared photos for our readers in case they might've seen the stolen bike around town. She added, "Contacting Revision_SanDiego on Instagram would be the best form of contact." In the shared photos, Boe is posing proudly next to her bike; she's wearing a similar outfit worn by the Pee Wee Herman character played by the late Paul Reubens in the cult classic — with a red bowtie and matching hairdo and all.  The bike sported a step-through frame with red-colored brake lines in the photo and carried a Pee Wee Herman doll in the basket. "Thank God the doll was not on the bike when it was stolen," Boe continued. "I'm very sad because I'm a huge fan of Pee Wee."

Just a day or so before Boe's bike was nabbed, Kayla A. saw a man on the Ring.com app walk up to their home's patio in La Mesa. The guy in question was scoping out their bike. "This man, who is clearly the same man from an incident in April, attempted to steal our bikes [already]," she posted online. "He first came up to check what kind of locks we had, then went back down the stairs to get the correct tool." During the ordeal, Kayla screamed into her device and scared the lurker. "Please be careful and watch out for him!"

Others online mentioned they scared away would-be thieves by yelling into their devices, "which might slow down bike theft if more people had motion sensors attached to their cameras overlooking their bikes," noted John Peters, a Chula Vista cyclist.

Bryan Hance, co-founder of BikeIndex.org, said in 2023, 331 bike thefts were reported on their app within 25 miles of downtown San Diego, compared to 409 the year prior. 

The last reported theft on the app before New Year's Eve was by Mission Valley of a 2021 Super73 S2 electric bike, which retails new for over $3,000. The victim noted that their "Garage was opened by someone hacking our signal to open garage (likely Flipper Zero) at 1:26 am."

Sponsored
Sponsored

Hance continued, "E-bikes are 'more' targeted because they are more useful and are of higher value to the fence, so thieves love them. The vast majority we see get fenced on Offer Up and Facebook Marketplace."

Hance's platform is "the most widely used and successful bicycle registration service in the world with over 1,183,000 cataloged bikes, 1,610 community partners and tens of thousands of daily searches."

Stolen bikes listed on BikeIndex.org


"Nothing is going to change unless these services get it together and do something about the massive sea of stolen goods (including bikes) being fenced on their [Offer Up and Facebook] platforms. They're letting junkies, thieves, and addicts get rich by fencing stolen goods left and right on their services."

In September, Justin H. found his stolen bike for sale on Offer Up. "With the help of a friend and the La Mesa PD, I was able to arrange a meeting with the thief and recover my bike. The police rolled up right as he took the bike off the top of his car."

It seems that roof racks on cars are fair game lately.

In late November, at Balboa Park, a bike was stolen from the roof rack of a car while the victim was still in the car. The victim "didn’t realize what was happening till [the thief] was biking away with it. Extremely sentimental. Was my dad's, has very clear markings including my name on it."

A few days later, Karen said on NextDoor, "My husband parked in the Lemon Grove Home Depot to run in and purchase something. When he came out of the store, he saw a fat man stealing his bike (bright orange colored with yellow and black flames) off his bike rack in broad daylight. He yelled and whistled, but no one did anything to stop the thief. My husband ran but could not catch up with the guy."

Of the 331 stolen bikes in San Diego in 2023 reported on BikeIndex.org, only 19 were recovered. The 331 registered numbers are much less than the annual bike theft numbers in San Diego because not every victim is a part of the BikeIndex non-profit bike registry.

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