An Open Hate Letter to Miami's Bike Thieves, From New Times

Mark Poutentis
Dear punk-ass Miami Beach bike thief:

On March 20, you rolled up on my '80s Italian-made Univega road bike tied to a street post near the Raleigh Hotel on Collins Avenue. It had a dope iridescent purple-and-blue paint scheme, a chrome yoke, and neon-green hand grips. It took me close to six months to sand it down, prime it, and repaint it. I shelled out about 400 bucks to replace the seat, the seat stem, the yoke, the brake lines, and the gear lines. Naturally, an asshole like you was bound to come along and take what doesn't belong to you.

I'm far from alone in my rage, of course. There are no stats on bike thefts in Miami-Dade, but anecdotally, just about everyone in Miami with a decent cycle has lost at least one.

One New Times editor locked his to a South Beach stop sign, only to emerge from a concert to find the whole sign ripped out of the ground. Another editor's ride got jacked from a residents-only garage in Midtown. One brazen crook ripped the baby seat from a bike belonging to our Broward editor before riding off into the sunset.

I admit, I mildly admire your gumption. You snatched my bike in broad daylight while electronic dance music revelers and dozens of Miami Beach cops roamed around. Then again, I was foolish to think that a cable lock was enough.

"Rarely have I heard of someone who used a U-lock to secure their bicycle getting jacked," says Rydel Deed, the man behind the Miami Bike Scene blog.

Even though I've posted a recent photo of my bicycle on social media networks and the stolen bike alert page on Deed's blog, you've probably already sold it. "It is a very small percentage of people who recover their bikes," Deed says. "The professional thief already knows where to go to sell a bike right away."

And filing a police report is pointless because I don't know my bicycle's serial number. "That's the problem with bike thefts," notes Miami Beach Police Department spokesman Sgt. Bobby Hernandez. "We'll catch a homeless guy riding around on a $10,000 bicycle. We know it is stolen but have no way to prove it. It's frustrating."

Because I can forget about ever getting my bicycle back, I can only wish for a cloud of gonorrhea and syphilis to rain on you until the day you die.


Banana Republican

Follow Francisco Alvarado on Twitter: @thefrankness

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Didn't get the serial number ? Why go into a rant if you're too lazy to get that when you first get the bike. A decent bike shop will have it on record with your purchase and provide that documentation on your receipt when you purchase it. Almost as if you didn't expect to keep the bike very long ? I go the extra yard sometimes, lock the bike with a u-lock and hide it away in the shrubs locked to a fence. Let the thief try to find the bike first. Otherwise, where I lock it up is in a highly visible location where I can see it and consider it like I would if it were a child. It takes no time at all to defeat a lock for a thief that knows what they're doing anyway, so inside my home is where it'll be. Bike locks only prevent honest people from becoming bike thieves. So the $ 60+ bike locks are a waste of money, you'll wind up with a destroyed bike lock and no bike. The $ 10-30 lock is about all you'll ever need to invest into one. There's safety in numbers, so the more locks and bikes of your friends that you can daisy chain into one confusing and tangled mess of locked bikes the better. They may get thru all of them, but how many would they be able to steal ? They'd need friends and or a truck or van to get them all, so having the least desirable of the bikes might be a saving plus too. Catch the thief in the act, well you didn't hear me say it, but punish the thief mercilessly. Once he's knocked out cold, call the police and report it then. Throw in that the thief was stupid enough to continue to try to steal the bike and assaulted and battered you to provoke being beaten with a u-lock. At that point, it's not about integrity any more,


I lived on 5th and Ocean, bike was locked up with a U lock to Condo bike rack, bike got jacked on a Friday night, Saturday night coming home from a movie with wife, what do I see to my amazement, thief came back with a blow torch to take another bike, not this time.  Held him up long enough for the police to arrest him.  Sobe residents have to step up and protect whats yours.


I stopped at cable lock.

Amy Christine Lee
Amy Christine Lee

Sucks! The Opa Locka flea market has a bunch of nice bikes :) And as far as the cops registering the serial number-we had a laptop stolen only to follow-up 6 months later and find out they never even ran it through the pawn shop system!


Majority of property crime is not reported in Miami Beach.  Police cover up crime statistics by discouraging residents to report crimes.  If you have a picture but no serial number you still should report the crime. Watch out for suspicious people walking around with knapsacks late at night. They carry all their tools with them.  They can also be used as weapons if you catch them in the act. 


Papo, I saw un viejoe en Hialeah riding around an that exact same bike pero con un bumper sticker that read "I love Hialeah" and  lmao

Klaudia Bello
Klaudia Bello

I think i saw this bike in Dallas. Right, Eve Alvarom ? LOL

cpchester topcommenter

U-Locks people. But more importantly, Miami developers and public works together need to start providing some more decent bicycle parking options so we're not left with stray poles and wires. 


Sorry to hear about your bike. Same shit happened to me a few years back. I chained my mountain bike up outside Blockbuster on Alton Rd, walked in to rent a movie (probably took 15 mins) came out and the chain was cut and laying on the ground, bike was gone. I probably had it for two weeks or so before some ignorant piece of trash stole it. They're pussies and cowards that do that shit. I've since moved from Miami Beach to the west coast (Cape Coral) and bike thefts aren't so prevalent here, but none the less I use the Ulocks now.

JoseDuran moderator communitymanager

@cpchester my bike was stolen and it was properly locked with a U-Lock.

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