Seattle police are looking for info on a suspect who has been cutting the brakes on shared bikes in the city. And they've got video.
The suspect appears to be male, a fan of basketball shorts, and a giant sociopath. This incident occured in SoDo on June 14, but someone or someones have been cutting the brakelines on these bikes elsewhere too. Last night, I ran into intern Jamie, a video producer in Seattle who once helped me make an air conditioner out of a 5-gallon bucket, on Capitol Hill. Jamie, on his way to Montana, had hoped on an e-Lime bike and started cruising downhill, only to find that the brakes on his bike had been cut. Jamie managed to hop off before careening into any cars/sidewalks/other people, at which point he gave up on the Lime bike and walked.
"I reported the bike by email and on the Lime app," Jamie told me today. "But when I came back a few hours later, the bike was a block away with a note that said 'brake lines cut' taped to it—someone else had ridden it! I tried unlocking it to see if Lime had disabled it, and it unlocked! I ended up going home and getting some electrical tape to cover up the QR code in case anyone tried to ride it. I got an email from Lime this morning saying they’d taken care of it." (I reached out to Lime to find out why the bike wasn't immediately taken offline when Jamie reported it, and I'll update this post when they get back.)
Jamie got lucky. But the next person to get one of these damaged bikes might not. It makes you wonder, WHO THE FUCK WOULD DO SUCH A THING??? What does our vandal and/or vandals have against bike shares? Sure, the colors could be better, but c'mon. Is it the sidewalk-cluttering he objects too? Or maybe he's a car advocate or a real cyclist who resents to all these bike n00bs clogging up the bikelane. If you are the bike vandal, please, A) stop it, and B) send an email to email@example.com and let us know what the fuck is going on. I'm worried about you. And all the bikes you come into contact with.
For more on the surprising history and potential future of bikeshares (did you know they were started by anarchists?!), check out this video—made by our Lime bike survivor, intern Jamie.