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.
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.
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.