Last Friday, Chris Underhill's bike was stolen. He had taken a cousin from out of town to Mary Brickell Village, only to find his chain cut and his Giant Escape true to its name: gone.
Underhill underwent the usual stages of stolen bike syndrome: disbelief, anger, and despair. He filled out a police report, posted a notice online, and began saving for another bicycle. But then he crunched the numbers. The bike was worth more to him than the pittance a petty thief could get for it. So he decided to make an offer: a Miami Heat playoff ticket to whomever returns the bike.
Even the thief.
Underhill, an engineer, says his cousin's bike was locked to his but wasn't stolen. So he thinks whoever took his bike is an amateur who saw an opportunity to make a quick buck.
Now he's offering the thief -- or anyone else who knows the whereabouts of his bike -- a chance to see LeBron James and company pound the Pacers this weekend.
"Bikes get stolen all the time here in Miami," Underhill admits. "But I figured if I could offer a Heat ticket, it would be something to catch people's eye, or just enough for them to keep a lookout for the bike."
Underhill says he doesn't have season tickets, but friends do. If begging them for help won't work, he thinks he can buy a ticket off them for less than a new bike.
"It would be awesome to get my bike back," he says. "I could still come out ahead."
He knows it's a long shot and that if someone does take him up on his offer, it'll likely be the very thief who ripped him off. "If the guy who stole my bike wants a free Heat ticket, I'll make that transaction," he says.
But Underhill would rather see the culprit in chains. That's why he's offering two Heat tickets if he gets his bike back and the thief is charged with a crime.
"If he wants to turn himself in, I'll give him two," Underhill says of the thief. "He can do whatever he wants with it."
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As long as he or she gets out of jail first, that is.
Anyone with knowledge of the bike's theft or whereabouts can contact Chris here. His Heat tickets offer is valid only for games in Miami this Saturday and Monday.