Brazen Bike Theft Worries Fairfax Family

Someone stole John Griffiths’ bike while his family was in the middle of unloading their car on busy Bolinas Road Thursday evening.


John Griffiths wants his bike back.

His Cannondale road bike was taken from the top of his family’s Subaru Outback parked in front of their home, at 47 Bolinas Road, on Thursday evening around 6 p.m.

But Griffiths also wants to let his neighbors know about the theft, because it was quite a bold act, he said. 

His wife had just taken their children inside their house and wasn't done unpacking their car — which had the family’s four bikes on the roof — when someone appeared to have stolen Griffiths’ bike by cutting it free of the bike rack.

Griffiths' wife returned outside minutes later to discover the missing bike. 

“It was pretty brazen,” said Fairfax Police Srgt. Stuart Baker while discussing the theft. “It was half a block up from Bolinas and Broadway. It was dark but there is still a lot of people around at that time.”

There is no suspect information since no one witnessed the theft, but Griffiths said his wife was suspicious of a white SUV parked in front of their house minutes before the bike was stolen.

She also saw a tall man standing on their sidewalk in the same timeframe, he said.

“It’s kind of scary because it’s Bolinas Road, which is safe,” Griffiths said. “It’s pretty disturbing for us. We want to get the world out and hopefully warn other people.”

The family moved to Fairfax from the United Kingdom more than eight years ago and, until yesterday, had been “delighted with the lack of crime” in town, Griffiths told Patch.

His bike is estimated to be valued at $3,000, according to Baker.

“We always recommend people lock their bicycles, park them in a highly visible spot and don’t leave them unattended,” Baker said. “High-value bicycles are always a target.”

Fortunately, the theft doesn’t appear to be part of any kind of bicycle stealing pattern in town, according to Baker.

There was one other stolen bike reported this month in Fairfax, which occurred across town in the middle of a night when a locked bike was stolen from a carport.

“It was a totally different M-O,” Baker said.


Are you worried about bike thefts in town? Tell us in the comments.  


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John Ferguson December 29, 2012 at 07:49 AM
That sucks, but it's a bit surprising to hear that the bike was 'cut free' of the Yakima racks shown in the picture. Presumably the bike was locked to the rack so I'm wondering how it could be removed on a busy street in 5 minutes. Sorry John, that really sucks. Hopefully your insurance will cover it.
pdog December 29, 2012 at 02:29 PM
True, that sucks, man. Thankfully no one was hurt and Fairfax is still a safe place to live, considering the alternatives. If we see your bike, we know who to call and appreciate you getting the word out about this.
Annie morris December 29, 2012 at 04:29 PM
The bike wasn't locked on the roof, because we hadn't left it anywhere unattended for any length of time - it was just in our driveway while I was unloading the car. The guy on the sidewalk mentioned in the article got out of the white SUV/jeep that I described.
Barbara Petty December 29, 2012 at 05:02 PM
We had that happen to us on Forrest Ave several years ago. We put the bike on the carport while we were unloading. Between trips to and from the car it disappeared. Very brazen and surprising. We don't leave any bikes out unlocked for any period if time now. Definitely stinks.
caroline morris December 29, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Just so disappointing and SO unlike the Fairfax I know! Caroline Morris, (Wales, UK) John's mother-in-law
Paul Renn December 30, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Be persistent in checking craigslist. My friend recently got a very expensive camera back in a sting operation with police (although this was in Hawaii, maybe easier). I am new to Fairfax, and have my guard way down after living in Oakland. I hope the bike finds it's way home.
Jessica Mullins (Editor) December 30, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I just had to delete a comment from this thread. This doesn't really pertain to any of the other commenters on this article, but I just want remind Patch readers that I have no tolerance for personal attacks or comments that foster hate. If you see a comment that you think should be deleted, please don't hesitate to e-mail me at jessica.mullins@patch.com. Thank you to the rest of the commenters on this article for being so kind and thoughtful.
JOHN P GRIFFITHS December 30, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Just had another tip about avoiding bike theift. I heard that theirs are using public stava maps to find where you start from as a clue to where the bikes can be found
Gwynaeth Atwood-Petti December 30, 2012 at 07:40 PM
That sucks but crime can happen anywhere. People drive to towns they think no one will be suspicious of them.
Marinnativ3 December 30, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Jessica, The people of fairfax are not kind or thoughtful at all. It's a town full of entitled fake hippies that judge and attack people. Maybe do a story on the truth of fairfax and how they ganged up and bullied me as a small business owner in town and how they have done the same thing to many other people. The truth is out there,.
Paul Renn December 30, 2012 at 08:20 PM
@ marinnative3 I can not comment on your personal situation, I am new to town. But how does this pertain to someones bike being stolen? Which business did you own?
Marinnative666 December 31, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Oh it doesn't at all. I just can not stand fairfax. I have been robbed, extorted, harassed, ticked, assaulted, and insulted by politicians, police, and friendly town folk of fairfax so I just think it is funny that they are so upset that they got their mountain bike toys stolen. Kinda funny. Thats all.
Jessica Mullins (Editor) December 31, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Marinnative666, i'm sorry to hear about your general dissatisfaction with Fairfax, but please keep comments on this article on topic.
Julie Mozena January 02, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Annie - so sorry to hear this! What a bummer. I had a friend whose bike was stolen, and she found it on Craig's List...bought it back from the guy who probably stole it. :-( Her's was worth a lot less, though. Julie Mozena
Jessica Mullins (Editor) January 03, 2013 at 05:06 PM
While I was processing the Fairfax police log I realized another Cannondale bike was stolen within the same hour on the same day in Fairfax. When I called the police the day after the bike incident mentioned in the above article, they must have not had the report in for the other theft: http://patch.com/A-0LNc
Bike Shepherd January 03, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Sad to hear about these thefts. There are things victims can do to get their bikes back. Here's a 10 pt list put out by Bike Shepherd to recover the bike: http://www.bikeshepherd.org/stolen-bike-recovery.html
Bike Shepherd January 03, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Many Strava users have learned to hide their home location in their settings. Still I understand bike thieves now look out for cars with bike roof racks. The best defense is to reg, tag, and lock the bike with a D Lock when out and about and an anchor bolt when at home. http://www.bikeshepherd.org/bike-security.html


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