Earlier this week, someone stole the emergency tire pump off my bike, while it was locked up outside my office. My bike was otherwise unmolested. The six lights still attached; the first aid/patch kit still attached; the tires, the seat, the basket, the fenders, all in place and functioning. As I had just been engaged in an on-line conversation about best practices leaving gear attached to your bike, it was a little ironic to come out and find my pump missing. I chose to believe someone had simply borrowed it to fix a flat and was hoping to get it back to my bike before I left.
More likely, of course, it was a random, meaningless, nuisance crime–the pump was taken not by someone in need, but someone in malice or at least mischief. I wonder if there is any motivation to take it, other than “it was there and not locked down.” It’s not valuable–the pump will cost about $20 to replace, but I bought it on clearance for about $4–It’s not pretty, interesting or unusual. It has a pretty limited use.
I just can’t quite understand why you’d take it, unless you needed it. So, I suppose I’ll go back to believing someone had a flat and just didn’t leave a note. That’s rude, but more comprehensible than random, truly petty theft, completely meaningless crime.