Man makes cell-phone activated stun gun to punish bike thieves

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94 Responses to “Man makes cell-phone activated stun gun to punish bike thieves”

  1. SpinkySulks says:

    Perfectly happy that he’s shirtless.

    And since he’s obviously, through the glasses and haircut, trying to morph himself in the image of the Cory D. Of My Dreams, well, so much the better.

  2. Sister Y says:

    I can’t believe nobody has mentioned folding bikes. More humane than an electric shock, easier to transport than a regular bike, fits under your desk . . . mine is so awesome it makes me want to make out with David Hon on a regular basis.

  3. querent says:

    Word, Luke. Word.

    Fuck the law. This is not up for public debate. “I built it.” Didn’t ask. Fuck consensus.

    *Sigh*…i can’t believe the girls are fighting over him…I’m so lonely…if only they understood me…

  4. querent says:

    Oops…sorry…’girls’ was an ignorant assumption…

  5. SpinkySulks says:

    Wow- though I was the first Pro-Shirtless vote on here, I’m obviously not the only one-

    He’s been Fleshbotted.

  6. Antinous says:

    As someone who grew up with Mary Ann and Ginger, Ginger and Mary Ann, I’m quite happy to see the Professor be the totty for a change.

  7. robin_hood says:

    ahhhh, once again all the vulgar libertarians that equate private property with life come out to play….

  8. Anonymous says:

    Clever combined with “Bring on the lawsuits” is all I can say.

  9. Takuan says:

    acts have consequences. A bicycle is just an object. The absence of that bicycle has real world impact on someone’s life. The property is not the point. Horse thieves were traditionally hanged since leaving someone on foot on the wilderness was a death sentence. Not because the horse cost x number of dollars.

  10. Takuan says:

    OK, so traps are “wrong”. How do you feel about a group laying in wait and breaking all the long bones in the theifs body with lengths of pipe? Is that better?

  11. petezombie says:

    Must he be shirtless?

  12. Dav says:

    Back in college I took a second summer job to pay for a brand new mountain bike. Within 24 hours of purchasing it someone stole if off of my front porch where I had left it long enough to go in and make a sandwich.

    I was traumatized. For a week afterwards I would leave my old bike out on the porch as bait and sit silently fuming behind the front door with a baseball bat.

    Bike thieves suck.

    I still had to work that second job all summer to pay for the bike.

  13. holtt says:

    We never really can tell if he’s got pants on, can we?

  14. Jim_Graham says:

    I’m no Frances Ford Coppala, but normally don’t people edit out their mistakes from their videos?

  15. David D. says:

    My thoughts exactly.

  16. Anonymous says:

    What if some one dialed the wrong number wile your going down a hill?

  17. bwcbwc says:

    How about dye-packs like the ones the banks use to ID bank robbers. Having one of those go off under one’s crotch should be sufficiently painful without being considered a “booby trap”. Rather than using the cellphone to trigger the dye-pack, you could use the cell-phone to enable an accelerometer that triggers the dye-pack the next time the bike is accelerated.

    I also liked the options of removing the quick-release lever on the front hub and unhooking the brakes.

  18. Anonymous says:

    @#1: Agreed.

    @#3: A nice shot of the man’s shorts (thank God) at 3:15. For a laugh, pause at 3:18.

  19. Takuan says:

    how about pillories next to the bike racks?

  20. zuzu says:

    Ah, someone finally built the MagnaVolt!

  21. Skep says:

    Amusing hack but not very useful since it could cause a fatality. Such booby traps are illegal.

  22. mgfarrelly says:

    Shirtlessness aside, does anyone else see the massive “prank” (not the funny kind) potential here? Not to mention the rather dubious record stun guns and tasers have.

    Bike theives suck indeed. But I’d rather get a new bike than electro-shock another human being.

  23. Billybob says:

    Love the comment ‘using technology to alter social norms’.
    Geek cliche, but it will won’t it!
    Imagine a single button, that tracks your bike zaps the thief, grabs his dna, traces his parents, gets his address, calls the Police and starts legal action against him.
    Anyone make one of those, it isn’t that far fetched.

  24. Buckethead says:

    Perhaps he should have recruited some actual bike thieves to help him design this thing? They normally don’t hop on your bike and ride it away, they just toss it in the back of a pickup truck.

  25. DE_Prodigy says:

    #47

    So you would rather people take all of your things? I don’t understand how anyone can make the argument against these types of traps in favor of protecting the thief. You purchase something, it is yours and you own it, clearly you should be able to modify your own property, and assuming that the other person follows the law they will never encounter your trap. They have to break the law and more importantly violate your personal rights/property… if only there was a way to make sure it WAS fatal every time.

  26. toxonix says:

    #7 Skep
    not very useful since it could cause a fatality

    The entire defense industry fails to grasp your logic.

    A geo-locating transmitter activated by an accelerometer would be worth having a few of. It would send out coordinates every time its moves or comes to a stop. You could get location by text message with a link to google maps…
    I’ve had a bike stolen stolen for as many teeth as I have, and I still have all my teeth.

  27. brandocommando says:

    Re: 70

    Actually, Texas is a “Stand Your Ground”-law state, which allows even more leeway over Castle Doctrine.

    It means you have no duty to retreat anywhere, including car or public.

    Harris County just acquitted a man for fatally shooting two illegal immigrants that were robbing his neighbor’s garage.

  28. Steaming Pile says:

    Hot seat, anyone? That’s where I would put it. Shock the hell out of the guy’s jewels. That’ll learn him.

  29. zuzu says:

    Such booby traps are illegal.

    But how else can I protect my residence from sneak and peek searches? er, I mean home invaders.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Lethal booby traps are illegal in the USA by federal law. Federal laws apply even in Texas, although there’s plenty of places where the cops have selective vision (Baltimore MD for one).

    Looking at things through the pragmatic lens of Kant’s categorical imperative, perhaps we should all agree to kill all thieves regardless of circumstances. Either there isn’t enough stuff to go around, so we need to reduce population, or there isn’t equitable distribution of stuff, so we need to provide impetus to thieves to direct their efforts to rebelling against the power-brokers who control distribution of stuff rather than towards thievery, or the thieves are sociopaths, in which case society benefits from their elimination. Encouraging the vigilante murder of thieves as a civic virtue (“Yer Honor, he had stolen stuff” – “Oh, OK, you’re free to go then”) might result in a more polite and equitable society, and over time might actually result in less crime and fewer deaths than our current (sloppy) attempts at categorizing property crimes based on circumstances.

    –Charlie

    PS: If the above offends you, look up the definition of “perhaps” in a good dictionary.

    –C

  31. J Vivs says:

    I empathize more than a little bit. Last night someone stole the brake pads off my bike and I almost died riding to work.

    I have a car, but I’ve decided to stop driving it to make the world a better place (and because I live and work in a place where it’s possible… not an easy feat in Vermont).

    I think an embedded GPS would be a phenomenal, if not slightly more benign addition to a bike. It would certainly aid in recovery of a stolen ride.

  32. KingOfCats says:

    “Bike theives suck indeed. But I’d rather get a new bike than electro-shock another human being.”

    I can’t relate to you.

  33. mcgringostarr says:

    #3 The whole pantless thing might give would-be thieves a second thought about straddling the same seat.

  34. Clif Marsiglio says:

    I got into a LOT of trouble over a stungun trap hidden behind a radio that kept disappearing in my old Triumph.

    Built the sucker and pretty much shocked the hell out of anyone digging around behind the dashboard who didn’t know how to disable it, and some kid rips his wrist open on sheet metal screw or something needing a dozen stitches. Next thing I know, I’m explaining myself to a cop after the kid admits to his mother what happened and the mother decides that a ‘rich guy’ with a 30 year convertible means ‘trapping my son into stealing’ (actually admitted he took the radio before that too).

    These days, I’m not so much about the vindictive need to hurt someone that takes something from me. Life is too short to worry about ‘stuff’…and even less so about preemptively ‘getting someone’ over ‘stuff’.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Have none of you actually been shocked by a stungun (i.e. NOT a tazer)? They hurt, but won’t kill you. It’s not like the perp will be tied to the bike and forced to endure a prolonged shock.

  36. G_E_Gardner says:

    Have a good time in prison when you inadvertently zap the child who winds up with the stolen bike, causing him to go into fibrillation and die. “Social change?” I guess sharing a cell with a guy called ‘Crammer’ is gonna’ change YOUR social life, but this may not be a positive thing. Even if you did zorch the thief, you’d still be guilty of a criminal offense. Seriously, the lack of common sense here scares me shirtless.

  37. jonathan_v says:

    Here in crazy NYC, many people spend more money on their locks than their bikes.

    I don’t understand how ‘humane’ comes into play — I think shocking someone trying to steal a bike is fairly humane. If someone was using bolt cutters on my bike in front of me, I’d argue that I’d have reasonable use of any necessary force — as bolt cutters are sharp and deadly.

    I’m not a lawyer, but I think the things to worry about are:

    - is a taser legal in his state?

    - Is the bike ‘booby trapped’ or is there a warning + a security deterrent in place? I could see a lawsuit out of someone getting shocked by a bike they stole or a stolen one they bought — but if there’s a sign/sticker that says “This bike uses an electronic shock deterrent system” – then you’ve pretty much warned them and its not a booby trap. Booby traps are meant to trick people into activating them or unknowningly encoutering them – a waring dispells that.

    - you could run into the situation where the theif has a heart condition or a pacemaker, and your shock that is safe for 99.9% of the population is really deadly force.

    I think most court cases would happen like this though:

    BikeThief: Yeah I stole it, but the shock was deadly force. That was uncalled for.

    TheftVictim: a) this happened while using stolen property after he committed the crime. b) it’s legal in my state for unrestricted use — ( ie: consumers may purchase, no permit or registration needed ). they’re designed to safely deter and control someone without causing permanent or serious injury. it was absolutely justified.

  38. Takuan says:

    was at the hospital the other day. Saw a young woman get her broken ankle set. Someone ripped of her bike a day before, she fell using an unfamiliar borrowed bike and now can’t work – losing her plans for the rest of the year.

    A few mods for the article: use a 4/10 shotshell stuffed in the downtube with electric sqib primer. Use an old untraceable bike. We only have to get a few of them.

  39. mdhatter says:

    …and get jailed and sued.

    When you build a trap, judges call it hunting.

  40. holtt says:

    How about a bike seat cover that looks like something really gross is on the seat like a bit blop of bird crap? Apply a bit of social engineering to the problem (along with locking up your #%!@#% bike!)

  41. AGF says:

    Is it really illegal to booby trap your stuff? I’m so disappointed.
    I lived in a campsite where people would always steal our food – and this one guy peed in his milk, put wires in his cheeze and sand in his nuttalla. I have Never seen anyone so happy about their food going missing. Still I suppose I can see how it might not be the best idea . . .

  42. Anonymous says:

    The most common victims of booby traps are those who set them! Here’s an idea from the earliest days of bicycles for stopping the grab-and-ride thefts: a 6″ spike that fits under the saddle and can be pivoted up through the saddle and locked in place when you leave the bike. Makes the bike impossible to ride and can’t be set off by accident!

  43. Billybob says:

    I write some pin numbers on a piece of paper in my wallet, usually around 2 more than cards.

    Then the theif will try each card 3 times in the machine and I’ll get them back.

  44. Brett Burton says:

    Um… Isn’t it way cheaper and easier just to get a good lock for your bike? What the hell is wrong with people? Lock the thing to a poll. Bikes are covered under many homeowners and apt. insurance plans anyway. Why go out of your way to hurt people?

  45. holtt says:

    I can just imagine the original owner riding his bike around and some random dialing sales call comes in…

  46. G_E_Gardner says:

    Stealing a bike is a misdemeanor. (That’s as long as it’s not directly FROM the owner, which would be robbery.)

    Zapping someone with a stun gun, other than in self-defense, is a f-e-l-o-n-y. Good luck with any and all wise-ass justifications in a courtroom.

    An anecdote:

    I once was turning over a teenager to the custody of a police officer. The little scamp had tried to assault me and wound up in a secure and – I hope – very uncomfortable arm lock.

    I held him still as the cop handcuffed him.

    The cop asked “how long have you had him in this arm lock?” “About ten minutes,” I said.

    The cop grinned. “Why didn’t you just punch him in the head a few times?”

    I looked at him, incredulous. “Uh, because you’d be arresting me instead of him.”

    The cop gave me a sheepish look, clearly annoyed by my response. But here’s the gag: he did not even pretend to disagree.

  47. bardfinn says:

    IANAL.

    I am familiar with at least one case in Texas where a gentleman has legally booby-trapped his home in order to stop thieves. He has clear and easily-noticed signs on his property notifying people of the existence of the booby-traps and the likely consequences of entering his home without his express permission.

    This bicycle probably doesn’t warn anyone in any way that they could be shocked for touching it without the express permission of the owner.

  48. justONEguy says:

    @#46 and @#50,

    Yes, it royally sucks to have sh*t taken from you, but you’re not entitled to hurting the offender (and possibly innocent people or yourself).

    #46 advocates vigilantism and #50 advocates murder. You’re talking about a BIKE people. No one’s life is worth a bike, I don’t care what your reasoning is.

    Get away from mowing down pedestrians in your Grand Theft Auto session and step out into the real world and INTERACT with people where violence and retaliation have REAL consequences.

  49. michaelk says:

    For crap’s sake, it’s a stun gun, not a thermonuclear weapon.

    “But I’d rather get a new bike than electro-shock another human being.”

    Oh, I see the mistake. Some people seem to have confused bike thieves with human beings. An easy error to make.

    Besides the electro-shock/annoying zap error.

  50. Neon Tooth says:

    Thieves would come along later, lift the pole up, pull the chain through the gap, set the pole back down, and take the first bike and leave the trap for another sucker. Sorta like fishing.

    This is why you always pull on the pole (har har) if it’s one of those wimpy parking sign type poles that’s just got a few bolts holding it in place. I do this everytime I need to lock to one.

  51. jjasper says:

    Didn’t I see this on the last season of Burn Notice?

  52. zuzu says:

    Um… Isn’t it way cheaper and easier just to get a good lock for your bike? What the hell is wrong with people? Lock the thing to a poll.

    How clever / paranoid are you? I remember probably a decade ago when a rash of bike thefts were predicated on the simple concept of a pole which was not actually bolted onto its base. Thieves would come along later, lift the pole up, pull the chain through the gap, set the pole back down, and take the first bike and leave the trap for another sucker. Sorta like fishing.

  53. Takuan says:

    real consequences? hey,I SAID use an untraceable bike

  54. gabejones says:

    @ #18 Takuan:
    For the win.

    Indeed, though many rightly point out the illegality of boobytrapping yer bike, I’ve got to side with the shirtless/possibly pantless high-voiced man. They used to execute horse thieves. Bike thieves should consiider themselves lucky to merely get tasered. Who cares if it’s a teenager. Maybe it’ll (gasp!) teach them a lesson. It’s not like the cops are going to do anything about it.

    We used to remove the front wheel’s quick release lock and take it with us. Or disable the brakes and take the little cable bolt with. The thief who rides off on your bike is in for a painful and lower-tech comeuppance. Though I like the way Takuan’s solution takes advantage of the natural alignment of the seat-tube and the tender unsuspecting theif taint suspeneded just above it.

  55. mendokusai says:

    I love the idea of having a GPS unit inside the bike! Go and ninja that shit back!

    The concept of the “shocker” (assuming it’d be built into the seat of the bike) sounds great as an idea, but yeah, reality makes that bad…

  56. skarbreeze says:

    Much like rigging a trip-wire to a shotgun behind a locked door, this would wind up getting you into serious trouble. You could call the cell as someone is crossing a busy street and get them killed, very easily. But on the other hand, if you wait until they are at a stop and approach them asking for the bike back… and they refuse. Game on!

  57. zuzu says:

    This bicycle probably doesn’t warn anyone in any way that they could be shocked for touching it without the express permission of the owner.

    “This Bike is a Pipe Bomb”?

  58. buddy66 says:

    Oh, the poor thieves!

    My buddy Bob walks up on two “kids” trying to steal his girlfriend’s bike FROM UNDER HER (assault). He grabs one of them. “I’m only sixteen,” the kid says. “You’re old enough to steal,” Bob says,”You’re old enough to bleed.”

    POW!

  59. mgfarrelly says:

    The standard booby trap story runs about the bar owner who sets up a shot gun to fire at anyone coming in through the transom over the door. He kills the burgler, but is arrested in turn.

    It varies somewhat, but generally setting up a booby trap is illegal and the person setting it up can be held accountable for injuries caused, even to an intruder.

    I’m not one to cry a river for theives, but elctro-shocking people for property theft just goes a bit past the line for me.

  60. Takuan says:

    “According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in 2004, 62.6% of homicides were “cleared,” leaving a substantial portion of murder cases unresolved. ”

    also please note bush and cheney will never serve a day.

  61. liseman says:

    hi,

    i built this, and i’ll happily sell one to anybody who wants one as well. google judgment proof. to address a few of the concerns raised:
    -importance of a bike: not only is my bike my primary mode of transportation, i also really like it. i even like it enough to shock somebody who steals it.
    -’it’s illegal, waaah!’: wake up, stop telling me rhetorical stories about shotguns in bars, and live in the real world. cops do not care in the best of neighborhoods; in east austin, cops don’t care and have actively encouraged me to take advantage of castle law ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Doctrine )
    -hurting somebody innocent. in case it wasn’t clear, my plan is to track somebody and then shock them. this prevents shocking innocent little raggedy ann who bought my bike from the actual thief and, more importantly, makes sure i’m not burning out the battery by shocking when the thief’s not on the bike:)
    -and most importantly: yes, i must be shirtless. my video, my clothing choice. was it really worth your time to comment on?

    have a shocking day,
    luke

  62. Anonymous says:

    @ petezombie: his chest isn’t bad. no one would complain about a topless woman video. I want more guys with good chests to make shirtless videos.

    To everyone else: he actually says that he doesn’t recommend building or using this device and says he wouldn’t use it either.

  63. Chas44 says:

    I have a great deal of respect for the opinions of a shirtless dude who repeatedly show me his armpits, dorks up his live demonstration and leaves the screwup in his final video, doesn’t properly light the scene so I can see what the heck he’s talking about, and promotes a product that could *kill* someone because they stole my stupid bike. Another great contribution to the world by the YouTube generation!

  64. rageahol says:

    i echo clif marsiglio and mgfarrelly:

    life is too short to devote precious time and energy to retributory acts of violence. if your bike is stolen while you’re not watching it, that’s because you didnt secure it properly. take that as a lesson learned. (if, as in buddy66′s comment, you ARE watching it, or on it, that’s robbery, a different crime – i’d try and hit their hands or face with my u-lock, but ymmv)

  65. Skep says:

    #63 POSTED BY LISEMAN , JULY 16, 2008 1:28 PM
    hi,

    i built this, and i’ll happily sell one to anybody who wants one as well. google judgment proof.

    Hmm, that might help you against civil damages (not sure how you are going to pay for the civil lawyer, though), but it won’t save you from criminal prosecution. Castle Doctrine doesn’t help you a whit when you are off your property and not in danger–not even in Texas.

  66. RUR says:

    Don’t have anything identifying on the bike and don’t get caught.

    If the perp dies, then it saves the thousands of bikes the thief is going to steal.

    Remember kiddies, when you nail a perp you nail them not just for what they have done or tired to do to you but what they have done and will do to everyone else.
    Be a good citizen. Nail that perp but good and for good!

    [b}This message brought to you by The committee of Concerned Citizens for a Better Deperped Society[/b]

  67. irishspacemonk says:

    Dude needs to be stunned for not wearing a shirt. Painful to watch.

  68. justONEguy says:

    In the past ten years, I’ve had two bikes, a Nissan truck and my debit card stolen from me. Each was a lesson hard lesson learned: Buy the $100 bike lock and bring it inside at night, buy a better car alarm (if I were to buy a car again), buy a chain wallet, etc.

    As much as I loathe the thieves that took my stuff, its all just stuff. And because its just stuff, I wouldn’t want to inflict bodily harm or possibly death on the persons that stole it.

    Their bad karma will catch up to them or it won’t, they’ll eventually f*ck up and get caught or they won’t. Its how the world is. I think 1-upmanship of this kind is retrograde for us as a society.

  69. Jamie Sue says:

    Is it a booby trap… or is it a theft prevention device?

    If he puts a sticker on the bike that says “This bike protected by shock-nuts technology” would it magically become legal?

  70. Anonymous says:

    Depending on the state, you can use reasonable force to protect your property from thieves. The problem with the shotgun behind the door is that killing someone is generally not reasonable force – although I think it is in one or two states: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/01/us/01texas.html?bl&ex=1215144000&en=48e8276f9f188a9c&ei=5087.

    I think you could argue the device is reasonable force. The problem is that it doesn’t really protect the bike from the thief — it just punishes him after the owner finds the bike gone. How about modding the bike so that anyone who touches it after you lock it up gets shocked, but not lethally.

  71. Daemon says:

    Just buy a bike that works great, but looks old and lame. Just not old and lame enough that people think it’s abandoned and have it carted off as trash.

  72. padster123 says:

    I’m no vigilante gun lobby type… but having had a nice bike stolen… and also having videoed the whole process of a bunch of kinds stealing my friend’s motorbike from outside my house (I was too chicken to confront them – there were about 5 of them), given the tape to the police and having been told that there was nothing they would do, I personally quite like this idea.

    Reduce the charge to something a little less serious, maybe combine with indelible dye sprayed in the face, and I’m there – I want one.

  73. justONEguy says:

    @37 …or paint your bike pink. No macho thief punk would be caught dead on a pink bike.

  74. bubbleman says:

    I would gladly shock the nuts clean off someone who stole my bike. You people defending the rights of thieves to steal must be British. I would be more worried about a telemarketing call or wrong number while I was riding, but a hidden switch would work if you remembered to turn it on when you parked.

  75. Chocolatey Shatner says:

    @#66: I’ll fight you for him.

  76. gwax says:

    IANAL but I have taken a few law classes and I recall a Torts case about booby-traps and the ensuing discussion on the matter.

    The law, of course, varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but the general rule is that booby-traps to protect people are sometimes ok but booby-traps to protect property are never ok. A trap that injures someone breaking into your home might be ok; a trap that injures someone breaking into your tool shed will be a crime.

    As such, booby-trapping your bike will be a crime.

  77. Village Idiot says:

    A good friend of mine was left-handed, and customized his bike so the brake levers and shifters were switched from their normal positions. Worked great for him and anyone riding off with it would do a nice endo the first time they used the ‘rear’ brake.

    Muhammed Ali got into boxing when he was 12 after his Schwinn he’d worked all summer to pay for was stolen and he wanted to whup whoever it was. I heard an interview where he said he’d look at his opponents in the ring before the fight started, thinking “that’s the guy who stole my bike.” I can relate.

    A little liquid nitrogen makes all bike locks brittle as glass (that’s why Kryptonite warranties are void in NYC; they know that trick there), or with many older Kryptonite locks a Bic pen worked perfectly to pop ‘em open. So, getting the nice lock is no guarantee of anything; to anyone with a little knowledge, locks are merely declarations that you’d really, really prefer something not be stolen.

    If someone wired up a bike to look booby-trapped in order to prevent a theft (but it really wasn’t, so as to be ‘legal’), it’d cause a Bostonian Mooninite-style National Emergency. If someone doesn’t set a trap they might lose their bike and the police won’t help get it back, so the only effective deterrent to more theft is making life unpleasant for the thieves on our own.

  78. william says:

    Having had a number of bikes go missing in San Francisco: Yes, thieves really do ride off on bikes. No, a good lock is not enough. I have the remains of two high-end Kryptonite locks to prove it.

    Given the entirely unconcerned attitude of cops, at least in my town, to thefts like this, I can totally understand why somebody would have revenge fantasies like this. But I hope everybody realizes that this is terribly, terribly dangerous. This could easily send somebody, possibly an innocent somebody, right under an oncoming car.

  79. semiotix says:

    @13: Sure, there’s a whole rich tapestry of ways to steal bikes. But I think #10 is right that that’s how most bikes are stolen. Thieves are selling to shops that know full well they’re dealing with thieves, and so are buying for pennies on the dollar–so thieves have to steal lots of bikes to make a dishonest day’s wages.

    Nobody looks twice at people loading things into generic box trucks, which can be parked strategically to shield the actual bolt-cutting from view.

  80. Harrkev says:

    Maybe not a booby-trap, but how about something that would spray pink spray-paint at the thief. Not damaging, but sure would be embarrasing, and the thief would stand out for days.

  81. clarkie604 says:

    Booby traps aren’t illegal–just deadly booby traps. (Although in some states, using deadly force to protect property isn’t always prohibited: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/01/us/01texas.html?bl&ex=1215144000&en=48e8276f9f188a9c&ei=5087) Shocking a rider is definitely dangerous, but you could argue it doesn’t rise to the level of the shotgun behind the door.

    The problem is that you can only use force to protect your property. The shocker doesn’t protect as much as it punishes — which means calling your bike is a criminal assault.

    Why not mod the bike to shock anybody that touches it. That’s protection.

  82. tsiatko says:

    Hopefully you never get a wrong number while riding your own bike.

  83. Sam says:

    I’d say he need to invent himself a shirt and he’ll be all set.

  84. BSUWG says:

    Clever, but if you have the GPS location of the bike, why not just ask a cop to accompany you to retrieve it? Sure, most cops are probably unconcerned about stolen bikes. But that’s only because the probability of retrieving it is unbelievably low. But, with actual coordinates of its whereabouts, I bet most cops would listen to you.

  85. xllr8 says:

    Values and might! They are the final arbiters of dispute. You think one way and I might think another. Biggest brawn/brain combination wins. PERIOD.

  86. g.park says:

    Legal issues aside, the “buy a lock” and “don’t be such a dick” crowds both have it wrong- there’s no foolproof way to secure your bike, and physical pain is often the only way to communicate with people who are dumb enough to steal bikes.

    On July 5 of this year, my roommate had his locked bike stolen from our front porch, at 3 in the afternoon, in broad daylight, while 3 people were in the house. My roommate heard a noise on the porch, looked out the window, and saw the kid cutting the lock, and riding off with the bike. We gave chase, but couldn’t keep up. He simply cut the lock, and was off.

    Locks are a deterrent, not a failsafe. Were there better ways to protect the bike? Of course, but hindsight’s always 20/20.

    Thankfully, my roommate has other ways to get to work- but what if he didn’t? For many city-dwellers, their bike is their sole means of conveyance, and thus a part of their livelihood.

    In cases like this, the police are useless. Even if they caught the kid, how could we prove the bike was my roommates? And the kid couldn’t have been older than 16, so he’d get off with a warning, likely neither his first or last.

    Thieves need to learn a lesson somehow. If their parents are unwilling to teach it, police are unwilling and unable to teach it, who will?

  87. mgfarrelly says:

    Booby traps aren’t illegal–just deadly booby traps.

    I don’t think it would take a modern day Clarence Darrow to argue that an electroshock administered to someone on bike (likely in motion) could be considered a deadly trap.

    Not to mention the rather illustrious record of stun guns and tasers used by law enforcement and psuedo-law enforcement personnel.

    Putting aside legality for a moment, you start down a very creepy road with this kind of thing. Iphones run you as much as a cheap bike, how about an electrified iphone case?

    I’m always going to side with not hurting a person, even a crappy thieving mean person, over protecting an object.

  88. Chris P says:

    1. Buy a used bicycle from the pawn shop.
    2. Shock the bejeezus out of yourself…file a lawsuit.
    3. Profit!?

  89. buddy66 says:

    Nope, money. That’s REAL power, as Mr. Choo-Choo explained.

  90. TheBuckett says:

    Locks deter honest people. That is all.

  91. Nancy Jane Moore says:

    The first case I remember being discussed in torts class in law school was the one about the guy who set up a shotgun booby trap to protect his watermelons. Some kid got hurt and the man was liable when he got sued. That’s established law and it’s been that way a long time. Don’t get confused by the currently changing laws on how much force you can use to protect your property — those all assume you’re present and doing something and they don’t change the rules on booby traps.

  92. Anonymous says:

    Idea: Drill a hole through the handlebars, 1cm from the end, big enough to fit a padlock through. When locking your bike, slip a ring of spikes over the handlebars (like those bracelet things, but longer) and lock them in place, so it’s not possible to ride the bike.

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