Brooklynites have tried everything to stop bike thieves — locks, legislation, security cameras — but one Park Slope mom has a new approach: tears.
After having two bikes stolen in as many months, the Bergen Street cyclist mounted a framed sign reading, “Dear bicycle thief, you broke my heart” — a plea to the scoundrel who snatched the sturdy mountain bike she’s been pedaling for eight years.
“I need him to know that he made me cry,” said Dana, an actress who asked that her last name not be printed. “Somewhere, deep inside, that bicycle thief has a heart.”
Now, she wants the thief — and all those black-marketeers — to know that stealing a gal’s bike can be like kidnapping her best friend. And she hopes to shake loose enough pathos to make those jerks think twice.
Dana’s two-wheeled plight began in June when she parked her revamped vintage bike — which she rode to drop off her kid at school for years — in front of the Park Slope Food Co-op. She secured it with a U lock before working the late shift ,but “spaced out” and left it there overnight.
It was gone the next morning.
“I was heartbroken,” she said, explaining the bicycle — which she calls “she,” like a ship — is more than just transportation: It’s deeply linked her identity and personal freedom.
It got worse. After scouring Craigslist, she finally found a replacement bicycle that — like a puppy after the family dog dies — cheered her up: A cherry-red Diamondback hybrid with a pretty little basket.
She locked the new one inside the gate of her apartment near Fourth Avenue — but it was stolen three days later.
That’s why she penned the sign — complete with a hand-drawn red heart — and framed in the exact spot her ride was snatched, saying, “Odds are, [the thief] is going to drive by again and see it.”
The double-time swindle comes after a slew of Brownstone Brooklyn cyclists — ticked-off Brooklyn Paper staffers and editors among them — have had bikes gershed right in front of their homes and offices, especially in warm weather months, when the illicit bike trade booms.
Workers at Ride Brooklyn on Bergen Street have heard plenty of those sad stories — and sometimes even morph into impromptu therapists when bike-jacked neighbors walk into the shop the verge of tears.
“I can’t think of many things more hurtful to steal,” said Aleksandr Usherenko, who works there. “Your bike is with you everyday — it’s easy to get attached.”