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.
Follow Francisco Alvarado on Twitter: @thefrankness
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.