(Photo: Littleford Custom Bicycles)
Portland bicycle maker Jon Littleford (Littleford Custom Bicycles) spent two months building a touring bike for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show last February. On Thursday it was stolen from him while parked in front of the Multnomah County Courthouse (1021 SW 4th Ave) for less than an hour. Now Littleford is working every possible angle to get it back.
The $6,500 bike, featured on BikeRumor.com as “bombproof”, was locked up in front of the courthouse at about 9:30 am Thursday morning while Littleford cleared up a traffic ticket inside. He reported it immediately to a County police officer inside the building. Fortunately, the theft was caught on video and police are reviewing it. Multnomah County Sheriffs Deputy Troy Hakala reviewed the tape and says this is how the theft went down:
“They [a man and a woman] arrived on bicycle and can be seen hovering down as if unlocking their bikes. Video footage is a little static so its hard to tell for sure what they were doing. They both left at 9:23 with him walking south on 4th ave with two bikes and her leaving across 4th riding her bike. The van that was parked by the rack was a Portland Police Traffic van.
They were both at court and we figured out what court room it was. We don’t know who they were as the docket for that particular court room was very large and no one remembers exactly who they were. We are trying to figure out the lawyer he had and go that route.”
Dep. Hakala says Littleford’s bike wasn’t the only one taken in that same area on Thursday. Another bike across the street on SW Main was also taken. Authorities are checking to see if the same suspects took both bikes.
Littleford posted a Stolen Bike Listing and has worked all weekend to get the word out in hopes that someone will come across his bike, which was ironically painted with, “a low gloss clear coat finish help keep a low profile and avoid unwanted attention.”
Unfortunately the bike wasn’t insured. It was also locked up with a cable lock. Those facts are hard to swallow for Littleford, who says he’s learned three key lessons from this experience: 1) Don’t lock up where the criminal count is high — “there is no riskier place, at least in terms of opportunist density, to lock a bike up than in front of the courthouse”; 2) Cable locks are a joke; and 3) Insure a bike you can’t afford to lose — no matter what.
Keep your eyes peeled for this bike. If you have any information, get in touch with us and we’ll patch you through to Littleford and the authorities.