Along with the threat of physical attacks such as the recent sexual assault incident on the pathway to Greenbelt Metro, riders from our neighborhood face another problem – stolen bikes. The bikes that many rides park at the north side of the Metro are often stolen from the bike stands.
I’ve been hearing this problem for sometimes, but never knew that the problem was so widespread.
This week, I happened to meet Fawaz Oteju, who was interviewed last week by the NBC Washington on the assault incident. Fawaz has recently moved to the neighborhood and currently lives on 51stAvenue. He used to live on the other side of the Metro and take the train from College Park Metro station. We spoke for some time on the train on this issue of safety at the Metro station. Fawaz told me that just last Sunday, his bike was stolen from Metro. Before this happened, he lost two other bikes in the College Park Metro station.
Recently both of the wheels of my bike were stolen – making it completely unusable. The thief could not take the frame because it was locked, but that frame I guess, doesn’t have any value any more.
I met a rider very recently who also said his bike’s wheels were stolen. The other day, I saw another bike locked at the bike stand – the bike doesn’t have any wheels.
Another resident – a victim of this bike theft incident writes:
Of everyone I’ve talked to who bike to that metro stop, then park their bike there, they’ve had a bike stolen from them. I say “a bike” because they obviously had to get it replaced. My roommate got his bike stolen there a couple weeks ago, another housemate got her motorized scooter stolen there as well just last week. One of my friends had his bike stolen a couple months ago.
Given the number of incidents on stolen bikes, many residents think that these are acts of members of an organized gang. I’m not however sure how often these incidents are reported to Metro Police.