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A bike thief was apprehended today by SFPD during an attempt to steal a bicycle; in case you're wondering what serious bike thieves carry with them when they're 'working', here's his arsenal of tools.
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41 comments
 
I'm going to post this photo to Cyclelicious. I assume this came from SFPD?

Pipe cutter is unexpected. I wonder if they use that to cut frames or seat posts or something?
 
They should use that pipe cutter to cut off one of the thief's fingers.










Just kidding.












Not really.  Haha.
Chris H
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Maybe to cut the pipe that it may be locked to?
 
+Richard Masoner I'm guessing to cut racks or small posts that people lock to or especially if people lock to decorative fencing or railings....
 
+Paul Deming Could be, though the thieves I've heard of who damage locking infrastructure typically just tear the whole thing out with the truck and take a whole pile of bikes in one swoop.  
 
Hate to say it, but that bolt cutter mod is slick.  Makes it easy to hide/carry under a jacket.
 
+Dan Saunders I've seen security video where the thief whips the bolt cutter out, snaps the cable lock, swings the bolt cutter back under his jacket and hops on the bike in one very quick movement.  It's very sly.
 
Hear in the PDX area there have been several cases of thieves unbolting the rack from the concrete or just sawing the rack in half.  
 
+Paul Deming - not surprising.  We have some pretty poorly anchored and chincy stuff out there.
 
I want to know why he had 2 nearly identical walkie talkies.
 
+Željko Trogrlić Not unless it is hollow.  Can't cut something solid with a pipe cutter.  This guy looks like he was going for cable locks mainly.
 
+Željko Trogrlić Nope, at least not in any practical amount of time. I'd also guess that it's for cutting tubular bike racks, either directly for the theft or in preparation for one: A friend of mine once saw what probably was a prepped staple rack that had one side almost cut through. So you lock to that rack and the thief just had to yank the rack hard to fully sever it.
 
tubular bike racks are usually thicker tubes than that. 
 
I would guess they are cutting the frame. In a numbers sense, trashing the frame to get at high dollar wheels and compnents is a reasonable strategy.
 
+Adam Pressler You could be right, I haven't actually been hearing about such cases but maybe with hipsters putting $400 wheel sets on old schwinn varsity frames it makes sense.  

Thats why on another forum where folks were talking about "Theft proof locks" and Titanium locks that cost $300 I pointed out that anything you need to lock up with that kind of lock can either be cut more easily than the lock, or stripped, or pretty much anything you lock it TO is going to be worth cutting to get a bike that nice.  
 
+Tom Ligman The good ones installed by the Cities or better stores yes, but there are many old racks around with undersized tubing, especially the ones that use small tubes for the vertical grid.
 
Damnit all of you, I just had to go look and make sure my bike was still okay.  And it's in the next room of my office with me!
 
Wow, this guys is clearly more than the casual thief!
 
+Tom Ligman Yeah, you're probably right. If I were to cut through a frame, I'd be using a hacksaw, though. Should be fast and less awkward in many cases.
 
I heard from others elsewhere what +Harald Kliems suggests - pipe cutter used to cut tubular steel on bike racks, and then the thief tapes over the cut for later retrieval.
 
I'm a little bit confused about the wire stripper -- that's a car & motorcycle theft tool, so maybe this suspect steals those, too?
 
Bicycle protection is easy: you just need cheaper bike and more expensive lock than the next guy.
 
The one poorly situated rack at our apartment complex still has a section where the tubing was cut through, presumably with a hacksaw, but possibly a pipe cutter, to gain access to a modest bike that was always cable locked to it at night.
 
+Željko Trogrlić EXACTLY or at least that is the main strategy in busy areas for street parking.  There are additional strategies like knowing the best places to lock etc...
 
+Richard Masoner I thought maybe the smaller wire cutters and the allen wrenches could be more easily carried in a big coat pocket and be easy to use inconspicuously even with people around. 
 
Not to make it into a good thing, but that inner tube mod on the bolt cutters is actually really creative.

Just imagine what this thief might have accomplished had he put his theiving creativity into something more noble. 
 
Did they find the person on the other walkie-talkie?
 
I enjoy the irony of using an inner tube to make a carrying strap for the bolt cutters…
 
Well, I'm shocked and puzzled at the same time. My darling dears are at home except for some couple of hours outdoors once in a blue moon : / (DANGER)
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