2 Men Stole My Bicycle

It’s the season of setbacks for me. In the wee hours of 23 February 2024, two men, one of them half my age, entered my residential society and decamped with my bicycle, a geared mountain bike that I had bought just over a year ago. It would be incorrect to say that I wasn’t attached to it as I had only started to regularly use it. I thought I was not too dramatic to have feelings for a mere bicycle – which could be replaced with an immediate swipe of a card – but I was wrong. The theft moved and troubled me so much that it has taken me weeks to write about it.

cycle stolen from Kopar Khairane
My bicycle that was stolen

I remember my whimper as I climbed the stairs to my apartment and broke the news to my mom. Even as I was climbing those stairs, my mind had involuntarily registered that the bicycle was gone, perhaps forever, and there was no way it could be brought back. I also remember how my mom responded, asking me how were we supposed to bear the loss.

The CCTV footage proved the theft but was rather useless as evidence. The police refused to file a report, the residential society committee denied responsibility and skirted around, while the sole security personnel gave excuses.

More than the shocking theft, it was the aftermath that troubled me more. As a privileged individual who doesn’t need a bicycle, its loss was purely financial. However, the helplessness surrounding the theft is what I have struggled to come to terms with. It gave me a chronic headache that has only recently abated.

That the police was casual about the incident didn’t surprise me. While technically they should have filed a report as a crime was committed and the loss was in the tune of tens of thousands, I understand that the police is grossly understaffed, and inundated with cases of much mores severity, and that going behind two fiends who stole a bicycle is the least of their worries. This makes me wonder what will happen when tomorrow my motorbike is stolen, or worse, someone breaks into my apartment and commits a larger crime. Will the police react as per law?

I have since visited the police station thrice and I was told the same story: Many cycles have been stolen in and around your area, so a special unit has been set up. If we find your cycle, we’ll give you a ring.

The callous response from my society committee gave me the chills. That anything that you keep in the society premises is your own responsibility. A member gave me the example of how even when you pay for parking anywhere, the vehicle’s theft doesn’t remove you from being held responsible. Another chap told me that if the society committee gets involved in this incident or the arrangement of its compensation (from the security guy), they would be forced to do so even when someone’s wife or kid gets taken next. It felt like I was talking to a group of people who did have common sense but had recently lost it to a similar kind of theft. It was clear that I was not going to get any resolution because I was the victim.

Some people in my family and friends suggested I take the legal route and involve the Cooperative Society Registrar. My anger also compelled me to do something, but it soon waned, partly consciously, as there is no specific law that I could go behind. If you have a bicycle, it’s best to fasten it against a stationary pole or something. It’s also a good idea to use multiple locks to make it difficult or time-consuming for thieves to steal.

The bottom line was that the cycle was stolen because of two reasons: one, that it was not fastened to something stationary, and two, a collection of external forces that is beyond my immediate control. Since I was too pushy in the meeting with my society committee and they agreed (as pittance) that they had a moral responsibility for the incident, it was suggested that the security guy compensate for the bicycle as it was collectively accepted that the theft could have been avoided had he guarded the society properly. He has agreed to pay in two tranches and has already paid one, giving a corollary to this incident. Even when the rich is looted, sometimes it’s the poor that bears the loss. Honestly, I’m not sure if I should take the second tranche.

One response to “2 Men Stole My Bicycle”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *