Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Good News

The BBC reports that “Canadian police have arrested one of the world's most prolific bicycle thieves after discovering almost 3,000 bikes in his possession.”

At last, a glimmer of hopeful news amidst the usual accounts of war, famine, environmental destruction, murder, rape, and celebrity meltdowns.

Especially heartwarming is the fact that more than 400 bikes have been reclaimed by their owners. That’s 400 days brightened considerably and many more just from the news of it.

Last week, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that items from a notorious pawn shop/stolen property fence, Liberty Loans, were being returned to their owners now that the trial convicting the store’s owner had been completed. A phone number was provided for people to call who thought their property might be among the loot. I contacted it and had a glimmer of hope for the long-lost Rambouillet when the police detective I spoke with said that there was a bike in the mix. But alas, as soon as I began to describe it, he said it wasn’t the one.

Still, I’m delighted for all those cyclists in Toronto who’ve been reunited with their bikes and it’s too bad the thief wasn’t in Vancouver so I could entertain the fantasy that my old friend might be in that evidence warehouse.

What’s most troubling to me about the thefts is that they were masterminded by a bike shop owner. I sort of want to believe that anyone so closely involved with bicycles wouldn’t be such a scoundrel, that he would understand how bad it feels to have a bike stolen and wouldn’t want to subject a fellow cyclist to that pain.

But fortunately, I guess, cycling is a big enough tent to include even thieving assholes who prey upon people’s misfortune just to make a buck. That’s kind of like a political party, when you think about it, although I’m betting Mr. Igor Kenk is probably registered as whatever counts as the Canadian equivalent of Republican.


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