Peace of Mind

Intelligent Deterrence

Bike Theft, Drugs & the Homeless

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Updated: Saturday 23 July 2022

At least here in North America, victims of bike theft are quick to suspect perpetrators who are in homeless camps, or are drug addicts, or both. While I don’t think anyone is dumb enough to think the reverse (i.e. that if you are homeless, or a drug addict, then you must be a bicycle thief), the reflexive suspicion does not come out of thin air!

I spent much of my life in various counter-cultural fringes of society. People go there for a variety of reasons: beliefs, rejection, principle, interests, music, politics, lack of choice, belonging/community, status/credibility, support, friends, sex, drugs, discrimination, gender, sexual orientation, money/poverty, etc. But one aspect of the fringe is that, while it does attract those people, it is also home to a far smaller segment who find it a good place to hide their misdeeds in. (To do so in the mainstream, the norm is to employ a creative accountant.) The cultural and other such aspects are unimportant to them; the fringe is where they hide.
Add to this the very human trait of rationalizing our gains and advantages, and taking for granted our benefits and privileges, I have seen emergent group-norms and group-dynamics lead us to justify the unjustifiable.
Sitting here in one of the most expensive cities on the planet, frequently on the verge of homelessness, I know how easy it is to fall through the cracks of the safety net we’d like to believe exist. (This ain’t Europe; this is North America. Reagan did not have to cut like Thatcher, because there wasn’t as much to cut here anyway!)
But I also know who hides in North America’s increasing skid-rows. Shopping carts piled with bikes, and chop-shops in encampments, tell all, if your bike tracker won’t. Predators hide among the helpless.

The Capital spoke with an outreach worker who predicted the rise of property thefts, as those dependent on drugs had all of their income streams, like retail theft, cut off due to COVID-19.

Capital Daily
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