Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Bicycle thief pillory

park 'em
  (+17, -3)(+17, -3)
(+17, -3)
  [vote for,

People who steal bicycles, in the unlikely event that they're caught and convicted, shall be put on public display in special stocks that are attached to bike racks. To avoid cruelty (if not unusualness) these will be sheltered and enclosed against physical assault. (Two exceptions: 1. Passersby can operate a built-in egg dispenser to drop eggs on the offender. 2. There is a small grill at knee level, pre-treated with pee smell to attract dogs.)

But this is no ordinary public humiliation: the villain must watch Tantalus-like all day as dozens of sweet, sweet bikes are parked right there, just out of reach.

This project has the side benefit of encouraging public investment in bike racks, since people seem more willing to pay for things in general if law & order or revenge are involved somehow.

(Coincidentally, my bike was just stolen)

hob, Jan 28 2010


       They should also be required to dangle over the bike tires and hold them upright in between their legs until you get back.
leinypoo13, Jan 28 2010

       Having grown up in a rural area, I am immediately envisioning an adaption of this idea for cattle rustlers.
swimswim, Jan 28 2010

       I had a bike stolen once. My friend found it and got it back. :) I was amazed, and still am, that he was able to find it. A bun for you!   

       My other friend had his awesome expensive bike stolen because his dumb sister left it outside without a lock! Now he can't find a job because he has no car, or bike, and lives too far from any real workplaces.
EvilPickels, Jan 28 2010

       // avoid cruelty //   

       We are having difficulty with this concept. Please explain.
8th of 7, Jan 28 2010

       I suggest rotten tomatoes instead of eggs--less risk of food poisoning.
DrWorm, Jan 29 2010

       I stole someones bike when I was a bad adolescent. I should have been publicly humiliated. +
blissmiss, Jan 29 2010

       Hello there stranger! Haven't seen you around since... I joined the bakery. In 2004. Nice to see you back.   

       I think that after three strikes, a thief should be sentenced to become one of [rcarty]'s abandoned bikes. Chained up for months in the cold, lying horizontal half on the pavement and half in the street, legs run over and bent, shoes stolen, bell broken.
wagster, Jan 29 2010

       Excellent idea - and nice to see you back, [hob]. I see this idea as a pair of steel cage 'shoes' firmly fixed to the ground which the evil miscreant has their feet locked into. Then, their legs become the bike rack, which you lock your bike to.
hippo, Jan 29 2010

       I once stole a bike and after I had dropped something off somewhere I came out and my new stolen bike was stolen! I was furious.   

       More bikes were stolen from me than that I stole so I bun your idea.
zeno, Jan 29 2010

       I know a chap that had his bike stolen. He came across it in the town centre, chained to a railing. Whomever had stolen it had been using it and was obviously shopping (or such) at the time. Quick as a flash the aggrieved former cyclist bought himself a new top of the range bike lock and then applied his lock to the bike. He also appended a note saying: "This is my bike, you thieving b*****d!".   

       Not sure how it panned out but he did get his bike back (I think after pointing out that he had reported the previous theft and that the police had the bike ID number on file).
Jinbish, Jan 29 2010

       //I was amazed, and still am, that he was able to find it.//   

       I'm not, [EvilPickels]. Your friend stole your bike.
MikeD, Jan 29 2010

       Pillory: rather like a pillor.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 29 2010

       zeno, where did you grow up? If you say the midwest of US, we could be stealing buddies. Hmmm, stealing buddies, sort of like a duo of thieves, or a pair of pilferers...etc.
blissmiss, Jan 29 2010

       The Netherlands, more bikes per head than even china, stealing bikes sort of comes with the territory. (but I'll steal anything with you as a stealing buddy)
zeno, Jan 30 2010

       I had a mountain bike stolen from me as a child by someone who worked as a team. One person called my parents to distract 'em, the other ran off with the bike. I loved that bike.
RayfordSteele, Jan 30 2010

       hmmm, I've never stolen a bike, but I didn't feel much guilt about building my own from the discarded parts of ones that my brother and his friends had stolen though.   

       So there's the question 'o' the day;
Is it immoral to steal from theives?...

       //Taking your property back from thieves isn't stealing, however. That's repossession.//
//Possession is 9/10ths of the law//
So when the repo man comes, tell him he's only got 1/10th of the law on his side.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jan 31 2010

       It's always amazing and amusing in equal measure to see how arguments begin and progress here. From bicycle theft to sex offenders in 36 annos!   

       There ought to be a game in this, in which the first person to spot an incubating flame war makes a prediction as to where it will go, how, and how quickly. The problem would be how to make the prediction without its distorting the outcome.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 31 2010

       I once stole a bike. It had been locked up at school for a whole year, because the owner (Whom I knew) had gotten a top of the line lock, which then jammed, and didn't think he could get it removed.   

       At the end of the year, the school "legally" confiscates abandoned bicycles, and donates them to charity. So the day before they did that, I took a hacksaw, went over to the bike, realized the lock was just looped over the handlebars, came back with an allen wrench, and got it free in fifteen seconds. It then took me three weeks, fifteen emails, and a threat to lay "Salvage claims" to the bicycle before the owner came to collect, without so much as a hug by way of gratitude.   

       And just this Friday, I repossessed a scooter. It said "Hyunwoo Ha, ELSP student" on the bottom, in big bold letters. I had given it to my korean roommate as a christmas present. Apparently somebody grabbed it "by accident" and "never looked" at the bottom.   

       Plans are underway to discover who the thief is. Sadly, it may require the purchase of another scooter.
ye_river_xiv, Jan 31 2010

       Nail 'em up, I say!
Nail some sense into 'em! [+]
Parmenides, Feb 01 2010

       //It's always amazing and amusing in equal measure to see how arguments begin and progress here. From bicycle theft to sex offenders in 36 annos!//

Apparently Hitler started out as a bicycle thief.
hippo, Feb 01 2010

       And what if I were to say I didn't really steal a bike when I was a teen, that I only *said* I stole a bike to look cool, amoungst you all, my peers? Would that still make me a sex offender? HUH???
blissmiss, Feb 01 2010

       In the UK, [rcarty] might have the law on his side as anything "obviously discarded" is free for the taking. It's a question of judgment in the end as to what is "obviously discarded" - and the final arbiter will be the law. One caveat - in order to be free for the taking, discarded objects must have been discarded by their original owner, as stolen objects always remain the property of the original owner, even if later discarded by the thief.   

       So: taking an old bike from a skip makes it yours. Unless it has been stolen and dumped there by a thief. Liberating a rotting bike that has been chained to a lamppost for six months makes it yours unless someone disputes your claim - then the law can make a judgement call.   

       There were a nice bunch of old drunks in Camden who would spend Saturdays drinking cider and fishing old bikes out of the canal to sell for scrap so they could buy more cider. I thought it was an excellent service to the community.   

       Keep up the good work [rcarty].
wagster, Feb 02 2010

       Actually it's illegal to take stuff from skips without asking the permission of the person who's hired the skip.
hippo, Feb 02 2010

       In the UK, property which is abandoned is goes to the Crown, which is right and just. I do not think that it would be too much of a stretch to argue that the Colonies which now form the USA were, in actuality not lost in what the Americans rather charmingly refer to as their War of Independence but instead can be more properly characterised as having been abandoned by Britain, a nation that had, at that time, rather more pressing issues to deal with and accordingly the Colonies (and all the property that the Colonies have acquired by accretion) fall properly to the Crown. This renders moot 21 Quest's dogmatic "Law of Property" objections to rcarty's civic waste management activities, being as the bicycles, locks, racks and, yes also 21 Quest him or herself, belong to Her Maj, the Right Royal Queen of Britain, and are hers (God bless her) to do with as her whim dictates.
calum, Feb 02 2010

       ^ *hoot*
skinflaps, Feb 02 2010

       //Coincidentally, my bike was just stolen//   

       I suspected that from the title. But, as much as people might agree with the punishment, this is advocacy, not an invention. So, [marked-for-deletion].
ldischler, Feb 02 2010

       Well I vote we take up a collection, starting with Her Royal Highness herself, and get him a sparkling, new shiny one. Because I've met him and he is shiny and sparkley. There.
blissmiss, Feb 02 2010

       [ldischler], with all due respect, I believe a sheltered pillory with built-in bike racks and an egg dispenser is in fact a new invention. If I'm wrong, please point out the prior art.
hob, Feb 02 2010

       Dear [Parmenides] this the first I saw that you joined the halfbakery. Welcome! Would you like to team up with me and steal [Aristotle]'s bike?
zeno, Feb 02 2010

       Hey, I thought we were stealing buddies, you crook.
blissmiss, Feb 03 2010

       But, yeah, I have been giving 21 Quest's position on the violation of property rights some thought. My conclusions are predicated on the idea that, as far as the law is concerned, property is not the item in question (the field, the bike, the copyright) but the bundle of rights that you have in respect of the item. The best example I can think of of the abstraction is a stock certificate: the certificate is not itself your share in the company (though I realise that it can be regarded as legal tender); it is the representation of your rights (to vote, to dividend, to a share in the capital) in respect of the company.   

       Taking this key abstraction, the next point is the fact that property rights are not absolute. Sure, theft is defined in terms of property rights - specifically, the deprivation of the right to peaceful possession and enjoyment of the stolen item - but this assumes that the property rights infringed exist in full. But property rights are mutable and subject to alteration in the face of circumstances. As such, steps must be taken to ensure that you are preserving them because if not preserved, they melt away and without property rights in the object taken, you suffer no theft. The steps required differ with the type of property. With heritable property, all you really need to do is register your title to the land and swing by yr smallholding every 19 years to ensure that no positive prescription has happened. At the other end of the scale, if you want to preserve your right to the bit of chewing gum in your mouth, you should not put it in the bin. The bike exists somewhere between the two: to maintain the robustness of your property rights, you must show possession, and actively use and secure it*. Leaving your bike locked up, yes, but rusting and rotting like the ones in rcarty's link, is evidence that the "owner" has consented (or at least acquiesced) to the erosion of his or her property rights in respect of the bike-carcass. I should goggle mightily - perhaps even splutter into my breakfast martini - if any charge related to the infringement of the "owners" property rights were successfully brought against rcarty for his work. Therefore, assuming rcarty takes care, as he says he does, to ensure that the bikes are long abandoned in public places, then it is not theft. At least, not from the "owner" of the bike, though it does rather seem that he or she would be picking the Queen's pocket. For that he will face the consequences.   

       I suspect that the fact that the concept of property is pretty much the underpinning keystone (take that, structural engineers!) of the hazily defined agglomertion that is Western Legal System means that people tend to clutch Property Rights close to their ample bosoms, without considering the interplay of rights and circumstances. It's perfectly understandable, but it leads oft to illogical conclusions.   

       [* "actively use" here can include leaving it in your back garden with the becobwebbed garden hose coiled round it, dripping onto the derailleur: it's shades of grey. ]
calum, Feb 03 2010

       ooh, it's worrying when someone who knows what they're talking about annotates...
hippo, Feb 03 2010

       //property is not the item in question....but the bundle of rights that you have in respect of the item//   

       I am quoting almost every English-speaking philosopher, lawyer, judge and common man when I say "No!".   

       OK, I may be quoting some of them out of context.   

       Anyway, bollocks. My left shoe is *my* actual left shoe. Neither you nor anyone else has the right to deprive me of my left shoe, even if you preserve my rights to use my left shoe. It's my left shoe, end of.   

       Or, to summarize: bollocks.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 03 2010

       Key qualifier to that statement is "as far as the law is concerned", meaning that if (as the law does) you take theft to mean the deprivation of the right to (enjoy) property, it is the right that is of interest, not the item of property itself. True, I have finessed (to put it mildly) a great deal of jurisprudence, but my comment holds, at least in the narrow circumstances involved (specifically, the explanation for the fact that rcarty's bike acquisition is not theft from the "owner" as the "owner" has abrogated his right to the property [and therefore also his property] by his (in)action).   

       So, if you were to get drunk and throw your left shoe onto the roof of a bus-stop, under 21 Quest's formulation it would still be your shoe eight months later, say. In the real world, it would be bona vacantia, and therefore property of Liz II (assuming the clenny didn't get to it first).
calum, Feb 03 2010

       I think that, when all other options have been explored and found wanting, we might try common sense.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 03 2010

       /we might try common sense/   

wagster, Feb 03 2010

       Good grief.
skinflaps, Feb 03 2010

       This is wrong. I believe in karma, not rotten tomatoes and spoiled eggs.   

       BTW: HOLA, everyone!
Pericles, Feb 04 2010

       PERICLES. PERICLES? Que Pasa? How the hell are you? You have been so missed!
blissmiss, Feb 04 2010

       //At the very least, you have a moral obligation to contact local law enforcement to find out if the bike has been reported stolen\\   

       The police here would laugh in my face.
zeno, Feb 04 2010

       Nice to see you back, [Pericles]. We saved your seat.
wagster, Feb 04 2010

       //property which is abandoned goes to the Crown, which is right and just//

Ah, but where does 'abandoned' start and 'dumped' begin? Simply abandoning property in a public location because you can't be bothered to dispose of it properly can lead to disappointing legal consequences for the owner. So, assuming for the moment that rcarty is indeed acting out of philanthropic goodwill, you could argue that although he is not commiting an act of theft, he is removing evidence from the scene of a crime and helping to cover up the nefarious activities of fly tippers.

Hola, Pericles!
DrBob, Feb 04 2010

       I just removed a half-dozen annotations that contained direct insults that weren't funny. They have been donated to the freezing wasteland of Lower Slobbovia, where people are always happy to see flames.
hob, Feb 04 2010

       [duckdodgers] First, Holland isn't the whole country, just part of it. Second, "Dutch" is just an English word that's derived from the same root as "Deutsch" (German), originally loosely referring to everyone from that general area. The Dutch refer to their language and themselves as Nederlands / Nederlanders... which I'd imagine is a little confusing for people who speak Dutch in other countries (Belgium, former colonies, etc.). How's that for a digression?
hob, Feb 04 2010

       Hi Pericles!   

       I don't really believe in rotten eggs and spoiled tomatoes either. However, I'm sure they believe in me.
hob, Feb 04 2010

       Oh, I have sure missed you and the bakery very much, too. Hope to pop in more often, now.
Pericles, Feb 04 2010

       Hi [Pericles].
Ever wonder how Orville and Wilber got their first bike parts?...just sayin.

       Bicycle thieves should do community service of pulling a rickshaw for those who have had their bicycles stolen at any point in their lives. Perhaps a special card could be issued to those who have been violated (such as a handicap card). The riders would be given a lash to use at their "discretion". Of course there must be rules, but they would be very loosely written and the police would have no authority over the said rules.
Thinkaboutit, Feb 05 2010

       Wo ist der bahnhof? do ist der bahnhof Und wo ist mein fahrrad? Always a good laugh with the gerries.
zeno, Feb 06 2010


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