A moronic bike thief attempts to ply his trade

[Video Link] From Animal New York:

While out on a shoot Friday, the ANIMAL team captured footage of a thief with questionable intelligence trying to steal parts from a locked up bike on the Lower East Side. The video was shot at around 3PM on Attorney Street (between Houston and Stanton). That’s when a young man wearing a hoodie loosened the handlebars from a track bike and attempted to rip them off, literally. Sadly for him, this fixed gear has brakes and the cable prevents him from doing so, resulting in hilarity.
A moronic bike thief attempts to ply his trade


  1. In the time it took him to repeatedly jerk on the brake cable, he could have calmly unthreaded it from the lever and obtained his prize. 

  2. Maybe instead of just filming this you could have yelled out the window for the guy to quit vandalizing the bike?
    Oh but that would mean taking a stand.

    1. It’s New York. He would have, at the very least, told them to go fuck their own grandmothers and continued with what he was doing.

      1. I am not blaming you for your attitude, but can we admit it is sad that society has brought so many to feel that way? It doesn’t matter what they do – it matters what you do.

          1. Oh come now — the new social responsibility is taking a video of crimes and posting them on the internet for everyone’s entertainment and snarky commentary, which was done.

    2. Wouldn’t it be fun to throw a water balloon at jackasses like this?  Or better yet, a water balloon filled with pee?

  3. I’m picturing a kind of harpoon gun, which would launch a wooden dowel with a string attached. Next time numbskull tries this, shoot it through the spokes of his bike.

    1. Through the spokes of his bike…? Ah, and I’d just started imagining it aimed at his head. Oh, well.

      / Been the victim of bike theft/vandalism several times
      // Always wanted to just catch the b*stards in the act, just once…

  4. Judging from the fact it has no back wheel I suspect this bike is abandoned, though I’m curious to know how that happens. I’ve always been rather impressed by how human nature mirrors the animal kingdom when it comes to ‘wild’ bikes and how, over time, the scavenger mentality strips a bike to its bare frame.

    1. Judging from the fact it has no back wheel I suspect this bike is abandoned, though I’m curious to know how that happens.

      Removing a wheel is a very conventional method for making sure that nobody cuts your lock and rides off on your bike.

      1. I’m with tolstoy on this. True, removing a wheel is one way of deterring theft, but it’s usually the front wheel. Removing the rear means taking off the chain and getting your hands dirty. Not as quick or practical as removing the front, or is that just me?

        1. Back wheel is more expensive and easier to sell than a front wheel, and not really that hard to take off on most bikes with quick releases, and as long as you have a rag or some gloves it’s easy to keep your hands clean. It is possible they took off the rear wheel to discourage theft – I’ve certainly seen people do it.

          1.  This is why I have no quick release hubs and lock to my rear wheel.  I should really lock to both, but I don’t want to carry extra locks.

  5. Looks like fairly ordinary handle bars. The sort you could probably get by going to a police recovery auction and picking up the whole bike for a few quid.
    This thug would be better employed picking up litter and selling it for the recycling value than he was trying to take that handlebar.

  6. the guy with the camera should be ashamed of doing nothing, except for recording this. i had a similar story a few years ago, except my bike was stolen completely :(

  7. I immediately begin hoping for some dude from stage left comes diving in and smashes that dude’s face into the wall

  8. Once came back to find a guy trying to steal my front wheel. Which was locked to the frame, and to a very solid bit of bike-rack. He’d managed to get it into his head that it wasn’t the very obvious lock that was stopping him, but the mud-guard. So he’d ripped that half off…

  9. I notice the bike is missing the rear wheel so possibly a derelict chained to the rails for months if not years.  It makes me wonder why he was so furtive in his attempts to rip-off the part seeing as it was already abandoned junk.    nixiebunny noted above that he could have simple unhooked the cable from the lever and had his booty so the guy is obviously an amateur.  I wonder if this this video isn’t a hoax.   
    Be that as it may the folks who’s intelligence should be called into question are the members of the home owners association, the landlords of the building, and tenants who allow derelict bikes to remain without calling the authorities to have them removed which cities will in a timely fashion do when you report it. allowing derelict bikes to remain is a security risk which tempts this kind of low-lever street crime especially in these hard times when people literally have to scrounge for abandoned scrap metal  to survive.

  10. Welcome to my neighborhood. Mr Blue Hoodie doesn’t look familiar, but I’ll keep an eye out for him.

    At least he’s not shooting anyone, which is the other thing folks seem to get up to around here.

    1. It’s quite difficult and very expensive to get a licensed gun in NYC.  But that doesn’t mean bad guys (who tend not to care much about licensing requirements) don’t have them.  Just this week a guy shot a cop who tried to question him for suspicious behavior a few blocks from the site of this video.  Luckily for the cop, the bullet was deflected.

  11. A few years ago the handlebars were stolen from my bike. I though myabe my vindictive landlord did it because he was sick of seeing my bike there and I couldn’t imagine why someone would want the handlebars. I mean they can’t be worth anything right? 
    Well those internet people tracked down the woman  who threw the cat in the trash. I hope they catch this moron. (Yes there are more important problems in the world but I’m annoyed)

  12. I’m in NYC and I’ve shouted at people breaking into cars more than once and they’ve always left immediately.   If everybody shouted and pointed and helped when a crime was being committed, the world would be a better place with slightly more dead and injured altruists. 

  13. Never trust a low seated cyclist!

    A better outcome would have been a paintball ambush!!

    Blap blap blap

  14. What a jerk.  Hilarity did not ensue, though.  Hilarity would have been him successfully jerking the handle bars off, only to fall into the road and be hit by a car.

  15. I chain my bike up every weekday in the exact same place by a train station at 6am.  One day I found one of  locks halfway cut through.  It occurred to me that some people (who arrive to the train after I do, and return before I do) my think that it’s been abandoned.

  16. I live in the UK, and I find it fascinating that in the Scottish city where I live, bike theft is common, but component theft is very rare. I’ve never heard of someone having their wheels or bars or saddle stolen up here.

    Down in London, though, my girlfriend has had her bike saddle stolen three times, and I take extra locks for my bike when I take it down there.

    Would love to know why that difference exists.

    PS Bike thieves are the scum of the earth, component thieves possibly moreso.

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