Reston Bike Shepherd Seeks to Reunite Stolen Bikes, Owners

by Karen Goff July 16, 2015 at 11:00 am 11 Comments

Reston Bike Shepherd seeks to reunite bicycles and owners/Courtesy Reston Bike ShepherdA Reston mom is hoping social media will reunite kids with their stolen bikes.

Wendy Cook is the founder of Reston Bike Shepherd, a Facebook group where residents can post pictures of bikes without apparent owners around Reston. Many of those bikes are stolen and abandoned on the trails.

Cooks says she got the idea last summer, when her son’s bicycle — a birthday present — was stolen off the front porch of their home.

“Shortly after his bike was stolen, we saw two kids walking through the backyards with a bike,” she said. “My son called to them and they dropped it and ran. I ran after them but could not catch up to them. We were able to return that bike to our neighbor’s son.”

Alas, she still has not found her son’s bicycle.

Cook said she is always seeing abandoned and stolen bicycles on Reston’s paths.

“I photographed and posted them. Then I called the police to come retrieve it and file a report,” she said. “People of Reston are finding stolen bikes ALL the time. The are being tossed into dumpsters, streams and woods. These bikes are cherished gifts from grandparents and parents and have great sentimental value to our children.”

Cook says she hopes people will be more aware of the issue and will photograph potentially stolen bikes, share them on Reston Bike Shepherd and also file a police report.

“I also want to let people know that the bikes are not safe in your yard or garage unless locked up,” she said. “Bikes have been stolen from unlocked garages, from backyard sheds and right off front porches in broad daylight. The more locks you have, the better. Also, write down your serial number!”

Cook offers these tips if your bicycle is stolen:

  • File a police report as soon as possible, police can connect bike to owner via serial number.
  • Contact your insurance company.
  • Post a photo of your bike on Reston Bike Shepherd, with description, and location etc.
  • Alert your friends on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.
  • Make posters and put them up at the Reston pools, Community Center, schools, post office etc.
  • Put a STOLEN BIKE notice up on Craigslist.org.

Photo courtesy Reston Bike Shepherd on Facebook.

  • Ming the Merciless

    Think of it as Uber for disadvantaged yoots.

    Just another price to pay for the glorious benefit of vibrant diversity!

  • Malcom Z

    “These bikes are cherished gifts from grandparents”
    Of course your grandparents could afford bikes, they were oppressing my grandparents! Think of this as reparations years in the making!

    • Mike M

      This message was brought to you by Ken Plum and the Democratic Party of the United States, self-appointed heroes of the perpetually oppressed.

    • Mama

      Dearest Malcom,

      It’s easy to make assumptions, isn’t it? There’s
      no way for you to know if it took four grandparents to chip in for the
      bike, if they bought it used, or how long it took to save up money to
      buy a bike. You don’t know how many jobs the parents work, or what they
      had to give up to buy their child a bike. One simply can’t know the
      story of the bike or the child, or the family.

      I can tell you
      what I do know….that my grandparents were not oppressing your
      grandparents. I can tell you that my grandparents taught me not to take
      things that don’t belong to me. I can tell you that my grandparents
      (who not only lived through the great depression, but somehow managed to
      survive it) – they taught me to live within my means or do without.

      It’s not reparation, it’s theft. Moreover, stealing from children is sad.

      a Mama

  • Arielle in NoVA

    Good idea for a group! Shared on FB, Twitter, and G+.

  • Mike M

    When organizations and businesses sprout up around your local crime situation . . . what does that say about larceny in Reston?

    I am impressed with the positive approach. Unofficial “bikeshare” has been a problem in Reston since I moved hear many many years ago. I followed one bike thief to the High School one day after he dumped the bike on my cluster’s property. The “resource” officer accused me of harassing him. Now that I live near the W&OD, I often see perfectly good bikes rotting in the scrub. Most are cases of theft. I believe this whole issue is beneath the police radar. They are to busy with . . . big stuff,. . . that requires expensive equipment? I hope to use this service. You can do a lot with a database and a web site.

  • Karen Goff

    Chiming in to say please keep this discussion on track. This is a story about a community member who is trying to help kids whose bikes have been stolen.

    • Emmanuel Goldstein

      To help with these poor children whom have had their bikes stolen, wouldn’t it be helpful to know why they are being stolen? Or more importantly by whom?

      • Ming the Merciless

        The answers to those questions would involve Hatefacts and Wrongthink.

        • BossHogg

          That’s double-good Mr Ming. I’m glad you’re so well read.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Good for you, Wendy. I wish we could find you another hobby/cause but I suspect that your services will be needed for a long time.


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