Wednesday, May 13, 2009
A couple of weeks back, Greg and I had noticed a fully tricked out Pinarello Prince casually locked to the handicap entrance to the Maguire building. We thought two things quite odd, (1) that someone would be stupid enough to lock an $8,000 rig to a railing with a cheap lock, and (2) who on God's green earth would put a $49 set of pedals on an $8,000 rig? It intrigued us so much, that Greg took a camera phone picture of it and posted it to the blog.
Well the universe now makes sense because according to the Competitive cyclist, they had a Pinarello Prince stolen in May and posted this item on their blog...
"If you are the bitchface who stole our 53cm Neon Yellow Pinarello Prince demo bike via an admittedly clever bit of identity theft in early April, a few things to consider: Do you know how many 53cm Neon Princes exist in the US? Of those, do you know how many are built with SRAM? Do you know that we know that your IP address is at SMU in Dallas? We're closing in..."
Apparently the crime has been solved as they have posted this on their latest blog...
"Loyal readers of our What's New section will recall that last week we were hot on the trail of the scumbag who stole one of our Pinarello Prince demo bikes. In our investigation we learned that the fraudulent order was placed from SMU; we learned that the delivery address was a "for sale" (and likely vacant) house in a dodgy Dallas suburb; and we learned that the thief went apeshit with UPS trying to re-route the delivery or pick up the bike at the Mesquite, TX UPS depot.
We filed police reports galore and scoured Ebay, Craig's List, and sites like the TXBRA to see if someone was trying to fence the bike and we found nothing. And then, in a funny twist, we got a phone call from Sarah at fellow retailer Chicagoland Bicycle. She told us she was reading our What's New piece about the theft, then did some poking around on websites we're not familiar with, namely Facebook. She came across the SMU Cycling Club's Facebook website, which led her to the SMU Cycling Club's blog, which led her to this blog posting.
One thing led to another and the SMU police soon tracked down (editor: name removed for privacy) (an SMU student, no less) and secured the bike from him. So huge props to Sarah at Chicagoland and to the SMU PD. The situation we find ourselves in now is whether to file charges or not. The student in question is either the thief (felony) or was in possession of stolen goods (felony) and while the detective who helped us was doubtful that the student was indeed the thief, it's interesting that the kid got amnesia about the details of buying the bike off Craig's List. And suddenly the rationale of waterboarding became obvious to us.
The crossroads we find ourselves in is this: If we file charges, the investigation and the legal process could take a year, during which our Prince would be held as evidence. Or, conversely, we have the option to forget about charges and just pick up the bike. A tough call, since vengeance is sweet. But we want our demo back, so we're trending towards just saying nevermind….
We are psyched that the Competitive Cyclist have found their bike and are glad to have played a part in it's recovery. It's a testament to the connected world we live in and the love we have for bicycles (though at no time did The Competitive Cyclist contact the admins of this blog - that I know of - to inquire about the bike. Greg has even met the student - he is not a member of our club).
While I understand the Competitive Cyclist's desire to get their property returned, I lean towards filing the charges. If there is a thief at SMU (especially a thief of bicycles) I believe that they should be held accountable for their actions and removed from our campus. This is a serous crime (a felony) and reflects badly against SMU's reputation. However, we have had projectors stolen and understand the desire to retrieve your items. Perhaps you can take comfort in the fact that at least a pawn shop didn't have it, because you'd have to pay them what they shelled out for it to get the item returned in a timely fashion.
In any event, I will follow up with the SMU PD and the Dean of Student Life.
So hopefully, the bike will be returned in a timely fashion, the perpetrator will be held accountable and we can all get back on our bikes instead of sitting at keyboards writing about them!
As for the anonymous bloggers who thought WE stole the bike and then posted pictures of it, I would suggest reserving your comments until you know what's going on. Dumbasses.