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Video: Seattle police hunt man suspected of cutting brake cables on dockless share bikes

Suspect was caught on CCTV apparently snipping brake cables on Ofo bikes in city in Washington State

Police in Seattle are appealing for help to track down a man suspected of sabotaging dockless hire bikes in the city by cutting the brake cables.

The suspect was caught on surveillance camera at 11.45pm on the evening of 14 June apparently using a tool to cut the brake cables on several bikes parked at 4th Avenue and South Main Street.

Still images from the previous month at 4th Avenue and Holgate that officers believe involve the same suspect cutting the brake cable of a bike were also released by Seattle Police Department.

Other incidents of a similar nature have been happening in the city in Washington State since at least March this year, although police are unable to say if they are linked.

In March, it was reported that the Seattle Department of Transportation was advising cyclists to check brake cables on the bikes before riding them.

A spokesman for Ofo – one of three dockless bike share operators in the city, alongside LimeBike and Spin – said at the time that the company was working to identify any bikes affected and would take them out of circulation pending repairs.

Officers have requested anyone with information to contact them on (206) 386-1855.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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10 comments

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rkemb | 5 years ago
1 like

Interesting article (and links) discussing the economics of dockless bike hire and why it doesn't matter too much to the company if they all end up in a river: https://cyclingtips.com/2018/08/lessons-learned-from-the-real-story-of-o...

Summary: they already have your deposit and data and the bikes are almost worthless anyway.

Note: reputable companies do exist, but not all of them are reputable...

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to rkemb | 5 years ago
0 likes
rkemb wrote:

Interesting article (and links) discussing the economics of dockless bike hire and why it doesn't matter too much to the company if they all end up in a river: https://cyclingtips.com/2018/08/lessons-learned-from-the-real-story-of-o...

Summary: they already have your deposit and data and the bikes are almost worthless anyway.

Note: reputable companies do exist, but not all of them are reputable...

Interesting articles.

I'm puzzled about the YoBike scheme in Bristol as they don't take a deposit. Maybe the population density changes the profitability of the business.

Avatar
handlebarcam | 5 years ago
1 like

Unlicensed dockless share bikes are litter that has been left in public spaces by corporations. You can't walk across a town like Oxford or Cambridge without encountering at least one blocking the pavement or propped up in a shop doorway. That's more than just an inconvenience for the elderly or disabled, and they're a menace to blind people. They should - and if local government budgets weren't cut to the bone probably would - be picked up nightly and taken to local recycling centres. But cutting their brake cables is dangerous and stupid.

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flat4 | 5 years ago
0 likes

That long towbar arrangement is common in N.America. You see it all the time.

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janusz0 | 5 years ago
0 likes

The guy is sick, no question.  Let's hope they've caught him.

What I'd like to know is what the peculiar pair of (tracklaying?) vehicles 2 seconds in are?  Does the astonishing towbar mean there's something terrifyingly dangerous in one of them?

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kamoshika | 5 years ago
0 likes

I've returned to my bike to find the quick releases undone before now. I don't know whether it was someone trying to steal my wheels and got put off when they realised there was a lock through them, or something more malicious. On one occasion it happened when I had the child trailer on the back, which is particularly disturbing. Luckily I noticed when I was unlocking it, but it could have been really nasty. Have always been sure to do a quick check over the bike when I return to it since then.

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Kapelmuur | 5 years ago
1 like

Reminds me of about 40 years ago when I left my bike in a rack at Timperley railway station and returned to find all the cables cut.

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vonhelmet | 5 years ago
2 likes

I commute along a towpath into Manchester most days. The other day they’d pulled a load of the dockless hire bikes out of the canal. There was a row of them, all green and disgusting. Some people are scum.

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burtthebike | 5 years ago
1 like

Wow!  There are some very sick people out there.  I can't for the life of me work out why anyone would do this, perhaps he hates cyclists?

Just hope it doesn't catch on.

Avatar
Butty replied to burtthebike | 5 years ago
1 like
burtthebike wrote:

Wow!  There are some very sick people out there.  I can't for the life of me work out why anyone would do this, perhaps he hates cyclists?

Just hope it doesn't catch on.

 

Or works for Limebike/Spin?

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