SF man takes action after his bike was stolen

A San Francisco man went looking for his stolen bike and ran into a suspected bicycle chop shop.
January 17, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Ever wonder what happens to all of the bikes that get stolen in San Francisco? ABC7 News caught exclusive video of what may be a chop shop.

We caught a man in a spot that some people think could be a bicycle chop shop and it is a spot that has been captured on camera before.

Kevin Montgomery of San Francisco said after his bike was stolen, he was so frustrated by the response from San Francisco Police Department he took to social media to get action. He went looking for his bike on his own and says he found a chop shop where thieves break bikes down into their frames and sell their parts for cash.

San Franciscans love their bikes and so do thieves.

"I had a bunch of bikes stolen," said Montgomery.

He says it was either Wednesday night or Thursday morning when thieves made off with bikes belonging to him and his roommates. Those custom bikes are now part of a growing list of bikes stolen in San Francisco.

"I went around the neighborhood looking at various chop shops, of which there is one right behind us, and I went to look for my bike," said Montgomery.

What he says he found was stacks of bikes stripped to their frames. So Montgomery snapped pictures and tweeted the photos to SFPD.

"They strip all the parts off of it, put the frames in stacks, put the components in bins, load them up in vans and take them out of town," said Montgomery.

When we went to the same spot on Friday the stacks Montgomery reported were gone. What we found was a man, seated under the central freeway, using tools to remove the wheels from at least two bikes. According to SFPD, more than 4,000 bikes were stolen in the city in 2012.

Police Chief Greg Suhr spoke at Thursday night's board of supervisors meeting. He said, "There are 96 percent more bicycles in San Francisco than there were in 2007 and more are going to come."

Police tell us there is a bicycle theft ring that operates in and around Civic Center and there are chop shops throughout the city. We have no evidence that the bikes we saw stacked up are stolen and neither does Montgomery, but he says the numbers don't lie.

"It seems awfully weird that piles of bikes, at least 50, would be sitting under an underpass being cut up and loaded into vans," said Montgomery.

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