Video: Office workers thwart bicycle theft in San Francisco

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If you've ever had your locked-up bicycle stolen from a bicycle rack in broad daylight, then you'll certainly appreciate the efforts of this young woman and her co-workers in San Francisco.

At about 25 seconds into this video, you'll see a guy saunter into the bottom of the frame carrying a backpack. He casually removes a set of bolt cutters and goes to work.

Before he can ride away, a designer identified as Kristen for the advertising firm WCG leads her coworkers out of the office to knock the guy down.

No more physical violence after that, as he gets away. But they did save someone's bicycle.

Score one for the good guys.

[A subsequent story by the Bay City News reveals the office worker was Kristen Bell. She said building security guards confronted the thief, but he escaped when he brandished a knife. Ironically he had locked his own bike at an improper location in the complex, but dropped his key in the scuffle. Security guards made the match and confiscated his bicycle.]

Besides having someone around to look out for your bike, a U-lock is generally the best protection against a stolen bike.

I can't tell from the video how the victim bike above was locked up, but bolt cutters are known to do a pretty good job on bicycle chains and cable locks.

We know from first-hand experience the strength of a U-lock, however. When my son locked up his bike at college with an old MasterLock U-lock that got jammed and wouldn't reopen, he tried bolt cutters and a car jack to no avail.

He eventually had to rent an electric grinder and get the assistance of mall security to run an extension cord out to the bike to do the work. The grinder did the job, but in a shower of sparks and loud noise.

Consumer Search reviews the reviews of bicycle locks, and found the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock received the best scores in tests.

In the event your bike is stolen, it's a good idea to have your serial numbers filed away. They're on the bottom side of the bottom bracket. The Stolen Bicycle Registry website uses the serial number as a way to publicize the theft and enables bike buyers to check to see if the bike they're buying is hot.

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