Camera Captures Passersby Ignoring Brazen San Francisco Bicycle Theft

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – While a surveillance camera captured a brazen bicycle theft in San Francisco’s Mission District last week, people who were passing by didn’t bat an eye.

Surveillance video taken Friday night first shows a man in a trench coat and a cane, limping down the 400 block of Valencia Street last Friday night. He walks right up to a bicycle, pulls a power saw from his bag, and the sparks begin to fly.

The ear-splitting grinding of the saw seems to go on forever. People walk casually by; most never even looking his direction. Finally, the thief cuts through the bike lock, walks it down the sidewalk, hops on board and rides away.

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The bicycle belongs to Julia Robertson of Berkeley, who was attending a comedy show at the nearby Stage Werx Theatre.

“Bold. I mean, that’s a bold move,” Robertson told KPIX 5.

Robertson said she locked her bike up and went inside. During the middle of the show, she and other audience members actually heard a loud noise coming from outside. “It sounded like grinding. I mean it was a grinder that he pulled out of his bag. He was grinding away. Didn’t take that long,” she recalled.

When asked what she thought the noise was, Robertson said, “Honestly I had this weird thought that maybe I hadn’t locked the bike to the bike rack. So I was worried, obviously. But when I heard that weird noise, I didn’t think of jumping up and running out to look for my bike.”

“And when I went outside, the bike rack was there, but my bike not there. It was gone,” Robertson said.

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What shocks and disappoints Robertson, and frankly anyone who has seen the video, is the fact that hardly anyone stopped to help, except for a woman who said something to the thief. But by then, he was leaving.

Robertson reported the stolen bike, which is worth about $1,200, to police. The man who stole the bicycle remained on the loose as of late Monday night.

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