Urban Velo

The Community Spoke Broken (into)

Dag. The Xmas decorations go up around the country and the same day someone breaks into The Community Spoke and runs off with lots of product, to the point they have to close indefinitely. Way to ruin Xmas just as soon as it gets going.

The theft was pretty extensive as a representative from the shop explained that tools, parts, bikes, and an unspecified amount of cash was stolen. Most community shops run on a frayed shoestring budget as it is, so a blow like this can totally disrupt the operations to a debilitating degree, but it looks as if their spirit is not broken and they hope to open back up next season. Also, a beautiful ANT cargo bike was swiped, which will be pretty difficult to conceal/resell.

The shop is currently asking the public if they know anything about who did this to come forward. Barring that happening, I hope some benefit shows and goodwill donations get them back upright and rolling.

Check out their facebook page for all the good info.

Also read their unique take on refusing police involvement in this matter.

About Scott Spitz

Commuting, touring, kid hauling, couriering, mechanic work, sales, advocacy, fixed, free—Scott has had his hands in it all over the years.

View all posts by Scott Spitz →


  1. JacobNovember 16, 2012 at 10:06 am

    >The simple answer is that involving the police is at odds with our established points of unity. We have written and agreed that “we seek to challenge the root causes of social and environmental injustice by creating community-based alternatives and fostering a spirit of mutual aid” and that “our community workshop and mobile repair stations are safe spaces free from oppression, violence and weapons.” The police are an organization that doles out oppression and violence and we as a community can do better.

    “The police are an organization that doles out oppression and violence…”

    Wow, generalize much?


  2. drinkslingerNovember 16, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I applaud TCS! for their community activism. I have to respectfully disagree with their stance on police involvement. I can understand TCS! not wanting to create tension in their community, although from my own experiences with burglary and bike thefts, the perpetrators tend to be a part of the community they have victimized and have done so on more than one occasion.
    The only problem with asking for info on who is responsible for this without law enforcement involvement is what happens when those responsible are caught? Vigilantism? U-lock justice?

    That having been said, while I don’t agree with TCS! choice in the matter I do understand their reasoning and hope that the bikes, tools, and whatnot are recovered with a minimum of fuss.

    Sometimes the best way to monkeywrench the system is from inside it.

  3. scottNovember 16, 2012 at 11:27 am

    To really get at their untraditional reasoning for avoiding police involvement would take an extensive essay that isn’t suitable for a comment section, but I think they lay out a pretty solid perspective in their blog post, coupled with the spirit of their actions. I don’t think we could assume they are looking to resort to vigilantism (why is that bad anyways?) or “U-lock justice”. From what I gathered, they just want their stuff back and aren’t looking to necessarily establish some form of punishment. Hell, they encourage people NOT to resort to violence if the perpetrator is caught.

    Ultimately, they are continuing their partnership with the surrounding neighborhood and not relying on the police to do the work they can do with the help of the people they serve. I see that as highly commendable…and more effective in not only getting their property back, but also sticking by their communal ideals.

    Again, there are so many other points to be made about not involving the police, but it’s probably best to read through their post and do some deep consideration on the issue.

  4. Scott NNovember 16, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    The easy response. If the police are there to help and you are paying, through taxes, for their services whether you like it or not. Take the help and appreciate the fact that they are able to do so.

  5. scottNovember 16, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Scott N, you didn’t read their post did you?

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