Well, this is just great news for anyone who’s ever had a bike stolen in San Francisco (which is everyone with a bike in San Francisco, basically): The San Francisco Police Department has started a new Twitter account intended to help victims get their trusty steeds back. What’s more, they’ve just started outing known bike thieves with the twitpic version of Wanted posters.
The photo above came from a concerned cyclist who spotted the guy armed with a backpack and a cordless angle grinder and posted to his Instagram account: “Bike thief? He insisted it was his and then insisted he would kill me if I continue to argue with him. What does a witness do in this situation?”
Although it took them a few days, SFPD’s Anti-Bike Theft Twitter responded with the known thief’s identity and a strong course of action: “Charles Vogel This person is a recidivist bike thief. Call 911 if you see him near a bike.”
SFPD recovered more than 850 stolen bikes last year, but only managed to return less than 150 to their rightful owners, leading officer Matt Friedman to create the account a few weeks back. In addition to the new thief-shaming campaign (which we love!), SFPD is also creating a citywide bike registry and running a bike baiting program to catch brazen thieves like Charles up there in the act.