Thieves Chop Down Tree to Steal Bike: Owner

“I woke up and the tree was laying on the sidewalk,” the bike's owner said

A recent bike theft in Fishtown, Pennsylvania, has one owner scratching his head. 

The bike's owner told NBC10 he usually locks his bike up at the tree across the street from his house on Frankford Avenue near Susqehanna.

Thursday morning, he woke up to find it had been stolen – and the tree was chopped and thrown to the sidewalk. 

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“It’s pretty standard for bikes to be stolen,” he said. “This is the first time I’ve heard of a tree getting cut down to steal a bike.” 

The bike's owner, who preferred to remain anonymous, shared surveillance video with NBC10, showing the two thieves snapping the tree's trunk early Thursday morning to steal his bike. [[389926312, C]]

The timestamp on the video indicates the men stole the bike between 4:58 a.m. and 5:05 a.m. Thursday morning. 

“I woke up and the tree was laying on the sidewalk,” he said. 

To him, the tree damage was more disturbing than a stolen bike, which he uses as his primary means of transportation. 

“It’s definitely a destruction of public property.” 

The owner tells NBC10 while he usually locks both the bike frame and a wheel to the tree, he only locked the bike’s frame Wednesday night. [[389947131, C]]

He remained optimistic that those responsible would be found, citing identifiable features from the thieves in the video, like a tattoo on one man’s leg. 

“The odds of them being found are pretty good,” he said. 

A police report was filed and the owner was joining Fishtown community Facebook groups to get the word out.

“I’m not too torn up about it because it is a bike,” he said. “For the community, to be aware is my main goal at this point.” 

NBC10 reached out the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, the agency responsible for the tree. They said the tree is a city tree, but may be part of the business improvement district because it is enclosed in pavement. 

If it is a city tree, they said, the thieves would be subject to vandalism and destruction of public property violations. The department would then need to remove the remaining stump and determine whether a new tree can be added. 

Anyone with information about the stolen bike should call police.

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