UPDATE: SFPD tells us that "no arrests were made" during Tuesday's sweep.
A cyclist riding to work Tuesday morning came across a notorious (and alleged) bike chop shop at 13th and Mission. After posting a pic of the makeshift criminal operation, SFPD swooped in to clear the bad guys away. At least for now.
"Hi guys - I’m in PR, but I’m actually not pitching you a client," Meredith Obendorfer of Spark PR emails SFist. "On my ride to work yesterday (from Inner Sunset to the Embarcadero), I saw a bicycle 'chop shop' in its usual operating spot along 13th Street, underneath the freeway. Fired up by the recent theft of my beloved mountain bike, I stopped and pulled out my phone to take a picture of the scums at work. While it was a potentially dangerous situation, I figured... if they chase me, what are they going to do, outsprint me? Please." (She means it. Obendorfer has been racing for the last ten years with for Superpro and Pacific Crush.)
After snapping a few photos, and giving the middle finger, Obendorfer pedaled to work and tweeted a picture (seen here) of the scene to notify @SFPDBikeTheft. (The account is manned by an SFPD officer who has been advocating for cyclists with stolen bicycles.) By 6pm Tuesday, she received tweets from @SFPDBikeTheft and the San Francisco Police Department Mission station, noting that the area had been cleared. Behold:
What's so great about this? A lot of things. But it shows that SFPD is doing something t help curb the recent epidemic around bicycle theft. Excellent social engagement on the part of SFPD. SFist contacted SFPD for more information (i.e., arrests). We will update as soon as we know more.
Oh, and be sure to tag your caught-in-the-act bike-theft imagery with @SFPDBikeTheft.
Previously: SFPD Now Shaming Bike Thieves on Twitter