Brazen bike thief steals in daylight

Bicycle thefts are nothing new in Northern Liberties, but neighbors are now on the lookout for a brazen thief who was caught on camera last week.

Debbie King, who lives and works in a building on North Third Street between Brown and Poplar, posted a video on YouTube from one of her six private surveillance cameras.

The video, taken from July 14 around 5 p.m., shows a man with a green tool bag. He then stands on the bike and uses his tools to take the sign off of the pole. The thief even borrows a ladder to lift the bike over the top of the pole. The owner of the ladder — perhaps unaware of the crime — even helps him down.

King said the bike belonged to a college student who works for her architectural firm.

“It was so brazen and bold of that guy. That’s why I’m pleased to put it on the Internet,” she said. “If he’s stealing bikes and just taking signs off of poles, he has no scruples.”

No arrests have been made, police said. The trendy community has been plagued with petty thefts over the past few years. But last month, 20-year-old Sabina O’Donnell was killed for a bike.

An official from the 26th police district, who asked that his name not be used, called the videotaped incident “extreme,” but said many thefts are a result of new, unsuspecting residents leaving their bikes unlocked.

“They get fooled by the way [the neighborhood] looks, but there’s still people looking to make a quick buck,” he said.

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