An Open Hate Letter to Miami's Bike Thieves, From New Times

Dear punk-ass Miami Beach bike thief:

On March 20, you rolled up on my '80s Italian-made Univega road bike tied to a street post near the Raleigh Hotel on Collins Avenue. It had a dope iridescent purple-and-blue paint scheme, a chrome yoke, and neon-green hand grips. It took me close to six months to sand it down, prime it, and repaint it. I shelled out about 400 bucks to replace the seat, the seat stem, the yoke, the brake lines, and the gear lines. Naturally, an asshole like you was bound to come along and take what doesn't belong to you.

I'm far from alone in my rage, of course. There are no stats on bike thefts in Miami-Dade, but anecdotally, just about everyone in Miami with a decent cycle has lost at least one.

One New Times editor locked his to a South Beach stop sign, only to emerge from a concert to find the whole sign ripped out of the ground. Another editor's ride got jacked from a residents-only garage in Midtown. One brazen crook ripped the baby seat from a bike belonging to our Broward editor before riding off into the sunset.

I admit, I mildly admire your gumption. You snatched my bike in broad daylight while electronic dance music revelers and dozens of Miami Beach cops roamed around. Then again, I was foolish to think that a cable lock was enough.

"Rarely have I heard of someone who used a U-lock to secure their bicycle getting jacked," says Rydel Deed, the man behind the Miami Bike Scene blog.

Even though I've posted a recent photo of my bicycle on social media networks and the stolen bike alert page on Deed's blog, you've probably already sold it. "It is a very small percentage of people who recover their bikes," Deed says. "The professional thief already knows where to go to sell a bike right away."

And filing a police report is pointless because I don't know my bicycle's serial number. "That's the problem with bike thefts," notes Miami Beach Police Department spokesman Sgt. Bobby Hernandez. "We'll catch a homeless guy riding around on a $10,000 bicycle. We know it is stolen but have no way to prove it. It's frustrating."

Because I can forget about ever getting my bicycle back, I can only wish for a cloud of gonorrhea and syphilis to rain on you until the day you die.


Banana Republican

Follow Francisco Alvarado on Twitter: @thefrankness

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.