Citizen repossesses stolen bike in Ocean Beach

Fight ensues after homeless people try and keep it

Michelle's bike
  • Michelle's bike

Ocean Beach resident Michelle had her third bike stolen on September 9. Three days later, her boyfriend Jay found it. But he had to fight to get it back.

At about 8:30 a.m. on September 12, Jay was walking two of his vacationing neighbor's dogs. He lives on Muir and was strolling on the Brighton Park grass when he noticed his girlfriend's bike lying in the bushes, partially covered up with a blanket and with some clothes in the front basket. Several homeless people were nearby. He picked up the bike, took out the clothes, and started to walk away with it. That's when the trouble started.

Two of the homeless, a man and a woman, started yelling at him, asking him what he thought he was doing. He told them it was his girlfriend’s bike and that he was taking it back. The woman started spitting on him and kicking him. At that point, Jay said about nine homeless people came over and started saying, “Why are you taking their bike? They’re homeless, you’re not.”

By then, 6’5”, 280-pound Jay said he was holding on to Michelle’s bike, the two dogs, and allowing the barrage of kicks and spitting to continue; he said he wasn’t fighting back. At some point during the melée, the homeless woman who had been spitting on him asked Jay to give her $100 for the bike...and quickly lowered the price to $75.

Jay said there were several Parks and Recreation people watching, along with some people in their motor homes. He shouted out for someone to call the police and someone did.

The police arrived and Jay said they were somewhat unhappy to hear that he didn’t call them before the conflict escalated. He told them he didn’t have a hand free to do that.

According to Jay, the homeless woman, who was very small, was telling police that she was assaulted by him. A man in the parking lot said he videotaped the altercation and offered it to the police, but they said they didn’t need it.

The police then asked Jay if he had a serial number for the bike. He responded by saying he had pictures of the bike and that he could unlock the lock in the basket. He then unlocked it.

According to Jay, the police then told the homeless to leave O.B. No arrests were made and everyone moved on.

Reader poll

Have you ever had your bike stolen?

  • Yes — but I got it back 11%
  • Yes — and it was never recovered 66%
  • No 21%
  • I've never owned a bike 2%

94 total votes.

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"No arrests were made", huh? That's the SDPD way of dealing with larceny and assault. So, there's a lesson here. If you think the cops would help you and you call them, expect nothing from them but objections and inaction. Oh, then there's the order to the homeless to leave OB, a 19th century method of dealing with roaming riff-raff--kick them out of your town and make sure they know if you see them again they'll go to jail. That's pushing the problem off on someone else. Where will they go? PB? MB? Downtown?

It was probably a good thing he didn't fight back. If he had, HE would have been arrested, and the thieves would have taken the bike back.

And people wonder why OB is referred to as the sh_thole of SD. The cops certainly do their share to make it so.

Jay, you are to be commended for your patience and know how. As usual Visduh makes a valid and true point. Had he fought back then he probably would've been hauled off with the homeless. It would've been one thing if someone actually had the bike in their posession. However when it was found in the bushes only the vegetation was in possession. In my uneducated opinion this was handled the only way available. The homeless aren't going any where, I think we all know this. I promise you, the same subjects are still in OB. Its a fine line that is walked when dealing with the homeless as well. Otherwise they would've outlawed homelessness a long time ago. We all know what a bunch of jagoffs the boys in blue can be but you try to deal with all the things these people have to deal with on a daily basis. Especially in OB. Then criticize them as they perform a thankless job. Talk to Faulconer about getting the council to do something about it. Oh yeah, he only cares about the constituents that have the cash to get him to his mayoral aspirations and their agendas. Still we trudge on.

You know what? Police may not always handle things in a way that is to our liking. But just download the police app to your smart phone and listen for a little bit. You would NOT believe the crap they must deal with on a daily basis...not just in OB. It gave me a whole new respect for what their job encompasses....a bunch of crap!! You couldn't pay me enough to be a cop....anywhere! Props!

By trying to sell the man his own bike, the tramp admitted posession,and was commiting an act of extorsion. The cops should have hauled her off the the jail cafeteria for a few months. Justice should be tempered with compassion, but the cops failed to do their job.

If he would have called the cops first to help in recovering the stolen bike, chances are good they would have told them they were too busy. And if the cops took the homeless lady to jail she would be out in a day or two. No-win situations all around. At least the bike was recovered.

Mercy is on the money. These people only get to see the public at their worst. When was the last time that you called dispatch to invite the boys in blue to your party? We only dial 911 to report that Uncle Marty is drunk, nude and running down the street with a baseball bat. And yes Dodd, it was a no-win situation. They aren't judge and jury. More arbriter and peace keeper. You know, the voice of reason in an insane asylum. Sure Capt. there was an attempted extortion. You want to prove and /or litigate that one in a court of law? I may at times rant and rave against unjust and attitude driven cops but, as Mercy said, "You couldn't pay me enough".....

Yeah, San Diego's finest at work. They were a little upset he didn't call them when he first noticed the bike? They probably wouldn't have even responded if he had called. What a joke. The guy did the right thing, and he did have a right to defend himself once the homeless hag started spitting on him. Depending what diseases she's carrying, it could be assault with a deadly weapon or even attempted murder if she has HIV. The homeless have an increasing sense of entitlement, because society has classified them as victims. Most of them are victims of their own design and addictions. Good for you, Jay. You kept your cool and played by the rules. As for SDPD, worthless as usual. Keep up the bad work.

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