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First some table setting. All 4 mountain bikers I know in Bernal have had their garages robbed in the last 3 months. All four were home at the time. I knew this was coming and began to prepare.
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I secured my garage more and bought industrial chains - much stronger than normal bike locks - to anchor my bikes to the ground inside the garage. Anchoring them to the floor required that I buy a hammer driller and sink steel loops into the concrete.
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Drilling through concrete took forever and I only had 2 of the 3 loops installed when the bad guys came. Had to do the work at night after work and after kids went to sleep.
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Fast forward to Saturday night. My wife and I were asleep after an awesome day. The rain was falling and we had the windows open to hear it. We are on the 3rd floor directly above the garage.
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My wife woke up around 230 to the sound of power tools. She looked out the window and saw people taking one of our bikes out of the garage. She woke me up and without thinking I ran downstairs.
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I opened the garage door and the garage was full of smoke and the whole place smelled like molten metal. My mountain bike was hanging by my industrial chain.
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I then burst out the front door - stark naked - and saw two people at the end of the block. I started running after them and quickly realized that I was not about to play naked Batman in a rain storm.
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I went back to get clothes on and get in the car. My wife had called the cops. I started driving around the neighborhood looking for them. I met up w/ a cop while driving and we did some laps, saw nothing and returned home.
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When we got home I remembered that I had an AppleAir tag on bike. I pulled it up and it still showed the last location at my house. AirTags work by connecting with people's iphones. On a rainy night at 230am there are not many people out with phones.
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Then a location popped up in Bernal. The cop and I drove in his car to the location and found nothing. Then another location popped up in SOMA. We went there, nothing.
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We played this game for a while and it was pretty clear it was hopeless. We were always a few minutes behind and they were moving. After a good faith effort the cop drove me home.
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Then the location disappeared entirely and showed its last known location at my house. I know the AirTags have an anti stalking feature. If you get to your house and a foreign AirTag has been following you, it alerts you. My guess was the person was alerted and dumped the AirTag.
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I tried to sleep. Could not. Looked at the location at about 5am and it had re-appeared in the Tenderloin. My wife was not into the idea of me going down there but I promised not to do anything without cops.
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I got to the intersection and looked around. Lots of small apt buildings. It was still raining really hard. AirTags don't give you a precise location. I wandered around a bit. It was still dark and raining really hard. Some sketchy homeless people occasionally milled about.
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I could not get a precise lock on location and stood back on the street to look at all the available buildings. I found the worst looking one and went up to it. I got a lock!
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I looked inside the building and, sitting in the lobby, was my yellow bike bag w/ the AirTag in it. No bike though. I called the cops and got a fairly rude response. Then I sat and waited longer.
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After 2 hrs people began to wake up. A nice couple came out of the building and handed me the bag. They gave me the landlords number and I called him. There were 12 units in the building but he would not help me. "I can't knock on every door."
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The bike bag was in the lobby behind a locked steel gate and a locked door. The Apple AirTags activate the anti-stalking feature when people get home or to a regularly used location. My guess is that they got alerted when they got back, panicked and ditched the bag.
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So it's HIGHLY likely that the perpetrator is in one of the 12 units. Police: "I can't knock on every door." At this point it was 9am. I had been up since 230 and my wife was dealing w/ two small children running wild in the house on a rainy day. It was time to call it.
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I got home and saw that they had used an angle grinder to cut my mountain bike lock. They almost got through. The door logs showed that the entire event from door opening to me opening the door was 6 minutes.
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