Alas, no bikes

For the last several days I've held off on posting anything, because I'd decided that the next thing I posted would be a picture of me on my brand new bicycle. For those of you who don't know, our house was broken into while we were in Tennessee over the holidays. Nick (the guy who rents a room from us) came home and found a window broken and a lot of drawers opened and rifled through. Fortunately, the only things that were stolen were

  1. Walter's box of loose change
  2. Nick's Girls Gone Wild DVDs (no comment)
  3. Our bikes
I did have a moment of grief about my bike--you all know I loved that bike--but soon enough I realized that a new bike could be my Christmas present from my parents. I could get an upgrade! A bike that doesn't need to be taken to the shop every few weeks because the pedals break off, the seat slips, or the ball bearings dry out!

Walter and I have been shopping for just the right bike. But then last night, Nick called us--he saw two kids riding our bikes near our house. They hadn't spray-painted them or anything. There they were, on one bike with flaming dice, the other one with flowers and pink tires. Walter and I hopped in the car and drove around downtown looking for the bikes, but we didn't find them.

So now here's our dilemma. Do we go ahead and give our old bikes up for lost and get new ones, or hope that we might find them? If we do find the kids riding our bikes, how do we handle that situation? ("Excuse me, but I believe that's my bike. Hey, come back here!") Should we just assume that these kids need the bikes more than we do and let them have them?

School starts tomorrow, and it looks like I may be walking rather than riding for a little while.


Kevin O'Mara said...

AUGH. I hate that you got broken in to. That sucks SO MUCH. I hate that feeling of intrusion.

So. Having been a fellow small-time theft victim myself I say if you see those bikes you yank those kids right off. I advocate violence.

Okay, maybe not violence. But still! If you see the bikes, they are YOUR PROPERTY and you have every right to reclaim them.

Cate Bush said...

Do the police know their stolen, James asked?

Urg. Hard call - what are the chances you'll be able to find these kiddos again? If you do find the children you could always have a conversation with them ... "Those are cool bikes; where'd you get them?" Then you can go from there.

Bleh. It just sucks that they were stolen in the first place.


Zane said...

Stinkin' kids.

The Mom said...

It is a tough call. If you actually see them and let them "get away with it", they've learned that "crime pays", so you're not doing them a service. Have you told the police they were seen by a friend? and where and when?

If you don't see them again, though, I think your attitude of "they needed them more than I did" works pretty well.

Charlie said...

My dorm got broken into by rogue maintenance workers when I was at Governor's School in 2001. Unfortunately, they stole cash. I'm glad you were comparatively unscathed. The bikes were pretty integral to your lifestyles, though. I'd offer to give you a ride to campus tomorrow (yay for being neighbors), but I don't even have class. The walk isn't quite as hellacious as you'd think. Allow about 35 minutes.

I think the "maybe they need them more than I do" sentiment is an honorable one, but I doubt that a)they have an occupation and b)they need bicycles to get there. Also, can we even be sure that the kids were the ones who stole the bikes?

Anonymous said...

Tough call about the bikes.
First, if you decide to get them back, it is not your job to confront the kids. This opens another "layer" to this situation.
The possible reponses from the bike kids could range from sorry to flight to violence. The police are the only ones to confront and you can then decide to if you want to take it the next step and charge them. You don't have to prove they took the bikes, if they are in the possession of stolen goods, they are just as guilty. Then, they are in the "system" and can be monitored.

Second, if your bike was becoming unreliable, then you should probably get an new one anyway and keep it locked, even in your porch.

This then might offer you the opportunity, if you see them, to say "I know you have my bike. This was wrong and made me angry and sad but I now give it to you." Maybe, just maybe this might have the most impact.

Boy, that was too deep for me. I now have to sit in my blue chair.

Hey, I know, maybe just move to Cookeville. Yea, Cookeville...

The Dad

The Mom said...

Wow, The Dad...that was good!

The Mom

Scout said...

So, bikes were stolen before Christmas and then 'kids' were seen riding them. Were they 9 yrs old? 18 yrs old? It makes a difference in the response. Ok, maybe to some, 18 is not a kid. I'm old enough that it is. If they were young kids, there is a possibility that the bikes were gifts--perhaps even from Santa. Do you want to crush a child's belief in Santa? If they were older kids, I'd go with not confronting them anyway. You never know who might have a weapon or feel cornered by an accusal. I believe in karma or as my grandmother used to say...what goes around comes around. No sense in endangering yourself for a material item. Go with the new bike idea. Think of the time you'll save on maintenance with which you can work on your prepared remarks for Elon. :-)