Tuesday, September 21, 2010

To Whoever Stole Mike's Eyes

To whoever stole my headlights from outside the Mayfair Theatre last night:

Seriously, what the hell? They were worth $12.50 each when they were brand new more than a year ago. I'm trying to imagine you as some desperate, shaking junkie for whom those headlights would mean the difference between spending a night in racking DT agony and getting through the next day. But I know that's probably not the case (especially since I can't imagine there's a huge trade in black-market ten-dollar LED headlights.) Chances are, you were just being opportunistic. 

Because the bike was still there, and the back tire was still there, even though it's a quick-release and wasn't locked to the frame like the front tire. Even the seat was still there. But what really gets me is it wasn't just a whim. A couple of months ago I was coming out of my writing group at Mother Tongue Books and a passing guy, with some of his friends, reached out and switched my headlights on as he passed. I guess he thought it was funny. I called out something like "Gee, thanks for switching those on for me, it saves me so much effort," just to let him know that the bike's owner had watched him do it. It didn't seem to have much effect. But at least I called him on it.

But this isn't that kind of whim. Because you didn't just take the headlights off; slide them out of their housings and walk off with them, the way you might if you were a little drunk and saw the opportunity and thought it was a good joke. Nope. The mountings were gone, too: so you actually had to use a screwdriver to get them loose and remove them.

And you had to stand on Bank Street, in front of a movie theatre, in the streetlights, to do it. And wasn't there anyone walking by? It was (I think) something like 10:00 at night. So that means you actually thought, well, if anyone sees me they'll just assume it's my bike if I'm taking the headlights off - if I take anything else they'll realize I'm a thief. So at least I know that you know what you are.

What does it take to stand on a sidewalk and blithely remove something from someone's bike? With a screwdriver? I know, I'm lucky it wasn't a set of bolt cutters and I still have my bike. I'm lucky you didn't decide to pop off the seat, or take the back tire, while you were roaming Bank Street looking for random bike parts to steal. I still have Mike and I'm very grateful for that. But this, and you, are still so petty. So damn small.


  1. Some people are totally lame. I'm sorry to hear about Mike's blinding.

  2. I have an engraver (well, technically it's CfSC's) that I use to engrave my phone number into a lot of my stuff, including bike accessories, electronics, etc.

    I got a call once from someone who had had my rear light for a while and only just then that it had a phone number on it. I think it had been stolen months prior and somehow ended up in his hands.

    People talk about bike registries, but it's easier to either use the Ottawa Police Service's Operation Identification (where they'll give you a unique number and you can borrow an engraver from a community police centre to engrave belongings in your home), or simply engrave your driver license number (with province) onto your frame. That way, if your bike is stolen and recovered by a police station anywhere in North America, presumably they can access the database with your DL number.

    Make sure to record your bike's serial number, get photos that prove it's yours, and if your bike is stolen, report it or else you definitely won't get it back!

    On the 'bright' side, MEC now has 2 watt LED lights in a similar form factor. Mike's eyesight will be better than 20/20.