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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All, My name is John (Rusty) Redican, I’m a fellow cyclist and LAPD Officer. This reminder is not an official LAPD news blast, but me as a fellow cyclist and community member arming you with a little information to keep you and your property safe. Due to another salient event, where a fellow cyclist had his bicycles stolen out of his garage.

I need to advise you all about a ring of high end bicycle thieves that we (LAPD West LA Division) arrested a couple years back, who may or may not be at it again. That arrest was only made possible due to cooperation between the cycling community and the police. First off, be very cautious on what you post on social media, i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Strava and similar forms of tracking and communication we all use for our shared love of cycling.

A few years back, this ring of bike thieves, based out of south Los Angeles, were responsible for millions of dollars of bicycle thefts, from San Diego County to Ventura County. They would follow cyclists home from group rides, scour FaceBook and other social media for intel on cyclists and their homes, so they could conduct surveillance on you and break into your garage or storage areas to steal your bicycles. They would do this during the day mostly when no one was home, but also at night while you slept. At times they would cause damage to the garage, but most times they were very surreptitious about it and the only evidence left, was the absence of your property. The majority of the bikes they targeted were well worth (as you all know) the chance for them to get caught by the home owner. At the time, they used a very clean and newer model silver, 4 door Audi sedan with bike racks on it. The suspects in the cases I’m referring too were all male hispanics in their mid to lat 20’s - early thirties, between 5’6” and 5’9”, 175 lbs to 220 lbs, not climbers. Again, I’m not saying this is definitely them, but the MO used in the theft of bikes from one of our fellow cyclists in Torrence, last week is very similar.

So be advised and be cautious of what you put on social media, NEVER have the starting point to your ride be your residence, and be cautious on who you share your photos and information with. Also, you don’t have to be paranoid, but be aware of your surroundings and if you notice a vehicle following you, or the same vehicle in 3 different locations, that may be a clue, and take not of the lic plate number, or any other distinguishing characteristics of the vehicle and occupant(s). Criminals are not dumb, and have evolved with the technology, so a little operational security will help you keep your property that you love, and work hard to obtain. If you see anything suspicious please be a good witness, don’t physically get involved, as you never know what these criminals are armed with, but immediately call your local police department.

Anyway, I put this info out not to alarm, but to inform, for-warned is for-armed. Please share with your cycling teams and groups, or any cycling friends who may benefit from this information.

These are the suspects from 2012. This photo is from CBS Los Angeles. They were apparently seen today in Corona at Corona High checking out the mountain bike teams bikes and asking questions... They are now driving a black newer model Honda Accord....FYI...
Ride Safe,
Rusty Redican

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Dang! I know a lot of bikes were stolen from Java Depot here on PCH in SD. If you park your bike at a gas station or coffee shop and go in to use the restroom, when you come out the bike might be gone.

On groups rides, we always designate a person to hang out and watch things while others go inside.

It sucks that we have to do this, but if there is money in it, then there are criminals right around the corner.
 

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When i drive home from work around 10pm, i actually put a cable chain and lock my bike to hooks in the bed of my pickup. I can just imagine some tweaker grab my bike off my tailgate pad and ride off with it at a stoplight.
And while its in the garage i cable lock it to my brew sculpture so it would be pretty tough to steal both. And if they do decide to try to steal it out of my garage at night, I've got two dogs waiting for them as they sleep in the garage at night.
 

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Thankfully, I was smart enough to buy (read: only afford) lower-end bikes (500-1k range)...so, I should be relatively safe...and the fact that they are not well-known brand names either helps! :)

Same philosophy with my cars...nobody wants to steal them as they are always low-end "fix or repair daily.'
 

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I had my old Trek stolen in West LA; it was chained up in a garage and my apt complex even had a night security guard. They should make devices like in Knight Rider where if someone other than the owner tries to operate the bike, they get electrocuted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Today we’re going to put out some important information about the inherent dangers of automatic garage door openers and how easily they can be bypassed. We hope that everyone takes this information to heart and spends just a few seconds to protect themselves and their property.

So what is the inherent danger? All automatic garage door openers legally require a safety release mechanism that is controlled by a grab handle. This is put into place so that if your automatic garage door opener is malfunctioning or traps someone beneath the door you can manually release and move it.
How Thieves Enter

This safety release mechanism can be tripped from outside your garage door with nothing more than a coat hanger. By disengaging the safety release on your door, a thief can simply lift the door and gain access to your home.

While hopefully most of you lock the door from your garage to your house, most aren’t built solid or have a deadbolt. Even still, once a thief has access to your garage they have plenty of time to lower your garage door and bypass the lock without being seen. This can be done with picks, or using the tools that most of us have in the garage against us.

As you can see in the video below, it’s very easy to defeat an automatic garage door opener and break into a garage, especially when you have garage door windows that enable the thief to see exactly what they’re doing. Even without windows the task is fairly easy and can be done just on feel and the fact that thieves know the mid-point of your garage is where the release cord is located.
Methods to Protect Yourself

A few simple methods that can be used to protect yourself against this type of break-in take no more than a few minutes and are something hopefully everyone reading this will do tonight if you’ve not done so already.

The method we recommend is using a zip-tie (or two), to lock the disengaging arm on the automatic opener. While this will prevent the bypass technique employed by thieves, the safety pull handle can still be yanked hard to break the zip ties in an emergency.
Demonstration

You’ll also notice the other method is to completely wire the arm closed, but you loose the safety feature of the door and in our opinion it’s much better to have this option available in an emergency situation.

Please share this article with your friends and family to warn them of the danger in leaving their garage door unprotected!
 

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I had my garage burglarized last week, they broke into my truck in the driveway and found my garage door opener. Alarm never went off on the house because they used my opener, all while we were inside sleeping. Don't leave an opener in your vehicle.
 

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....Also, you don’t have to be paranoid, but be aware of your surroundings and if you notice a vehicle following you, or the same vehicle in 3 different locations, that may be a clue, and take not of the lic plate number, or any other distinguishing characteristics of the vehicle and occupant(s). ..... but immediately call your local police department.

.....
QUOTE]

When my last motorcycle was stolen here in San Diego, within half an hour I gave police a license plate number and a picture of the minivan that was used to steal my bike. Police did not do anything and they told me they will not do anything since I dont have the pictures of my motorcycle inside the minivan. And they had the nerve to send me the letter in a couple of month or so asking if I found my motorcycle or not. So if your bicycle is stolen, hope you have good insurance, police not gonna do anything.
 

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If you have Strava, there are a few things you can do to protect your privacy. Set your profile to "Request to Follow" so random strangers can't see your rides and people must have your permission to follow you. This is especially important if you forget to start and stop your Garmin away from home. You don't want a thief tracking you to your front door! Enter your home and work addresses as privacy zones. Do not join any Strava clubs. If you are a member of a Strava club, people who are not your followers can see all your recent rides by looking at the recent activity in the club.
 

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If I read this correctly they were responsible for stealing millions of dollars worth of bikes in 2012 and were spotted today. Did they not get jail time and if so how is it possible they are out so soon given the total worth of what was stolen?
 

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As far as short prison sentences, the people of the state voted to make nonviolent crimes "legal", i.e. no jail time. Stealing a bike will go on your permanent record, but that's just about it.
 

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There is a street corner near me where I regularly see nice bikes with "For Sale" signs chained to a pole. They are there one at a time over a period of a week or two. They all use the same phone number? I reported this to the local police and gave my contact information in the event they wanted photos, etc. I never heard back.
 

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I had my garage burglarized last week, they broke into my truck in the driveway and found my garage door opener. Alarm never went off on the house because they used my opener, all while we were inside sleeping. Don't leave an opener in your vehicle.
This has always crossed my mind. Easiest way to get in the garage/house.
 
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