It’s been a long-standing revenge fantasy of mine to set up a decoy bike and equip it with GPS from a cheap cell phone. Then I’d wait for it to get stolen and track it down to the source: some kind of crime kingpin guy with an eyepatch living in a mansion in Russian Hill. He’d know the jig was up and there would be an epic chase ending at the top of Sutro Tower. Then there would be a high-altitude fight scene involving crossbows and I think you can fill in the rest.
Unfortunately, thinking over this scenario further, it never seemed to make logistical sense. I mean yeah, maybe I’d track the bike to an intersection in Bayview, but then what? Knock on every door and ask, “uh, did you steal a bike recently?” then mace the dude on the spot if he answers yes?
Good thing the SFPD is teaming up with the SF Bicycle Coalition to do these sorts of sting operations for us. Sometimes it’s best to leave things to the pros.
The sting operation pilot program will begin later this summer and will target the Richmond district, according to Esparza. A decoy bike will be set up with a transmitter and once it is stolen, police will be able to track the bike to the person in possession of it. The SFPD will also continue keeping an eye out for stolen bicycles on Craiglist and in Bay Area pawn shops.
So basically if you want your bike to be safe, park it in the Richmond for the next couple of months.