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A San Francisco Bicycle Thief Gets App-Rehended

Suzy Safdie knew the risks that bicyclists take in San Francisco, one of America’s most bike-friendly cities—and one of the friendliest cities to bike thieves. Almost 5,000 cyclists were victimized in 2012, up 70 percent since 2006. That’s one stolen bike for every 15 daily riders, according to Harvey Rose, the city’s budget and legislative analyst.

Safdie had two mountain bikes swiped from her own garage in the city’s Richmond District and never saw them again. Her third heist had a different ending, thanks to another consumer product that distinguishes Northern California. On a drought-dry December day, she and her nephew pedaled down Market Street to visit her daughter in the financial district. They bundled their bikes in the freight elevator to the fourth floor and left them unlocked in the hallway of the 1904 Beaux-Arts building, just outside the frosted-glass door of her daughter’s office.