There are a lot of bike riders in my building. Some keep their bikes inside, some (like me) lock them to the railing or lamppost and traffic signs outside. It's always been a safe neighborhood. Few worry.
Lately, however, it's gotten very close just inside my front door. Everybody's brought their bikes inside. There are six or seven clogging up the ground-floor landing (including mine). Why? The word is out: there's a bike thief in the neighborhood.
I have heard of at least three stolen bikes on my block alone, one belonging to my neighbor. And the rash of robberies is not limited to my immediate area; it appears to be Carroll Gardens-wide. I went to the venerable Bike Shop on lower Court Street. This trusted business has been in the area for a couple decades. The owners said they had heard tell of many stolen bikes of late. And not just fancy new mountain bikes, either. Also old used bikes that many have assumed immune to robbery, given their limited resale potential.
We discussed possible culprits, and the Bike Shop owner made a suggestion that had never occurred to me: deliverymen. He said he'd noticed guys delivering food on bikes incongruously nice for their given duties. This seemed unlikely to me. Wouldn't people around the neighborhood notice them riding their stolen bike? The owner said bikes are easily disguised through paint jobs and such.
Who knows? But one thing's for sure. No bike is safe in Carroll Gardens at present.