Menlo Park bike thief gets six months

A 42-year-old man has been sentenced to six months in county jail after stealing a bicycle from a Menlo Park parking garage in July of 2009.

Police apprehended James Durr after the owner of the bicycle saw an advertisement for her bike on the same day it was stolen, according to Steve Wagstaffe, deputy district attorney for San Mateo County. Police set up a meeting to buy the bicycle from the man, and arrested him.

Mr. Durr pleaded no contest to the theft in a pre-trial conference on April 13, according to Mr. Wagstaffe. He will receive credit for the four months he has already served in jail, and will be under probation until he pays the woman $700 in restitution.


Posted by Downtowner, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 14, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Does anyone else find it sad & wrong that the punishment for stealing a bike is greater than that for maiming or killing a human, outside of 1st degree murder? I'd go free if I hit a cyclist with my car, I guess, but spend 6 months in jail if I steal the bike.

Posted by kevin, a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Apr 14, 2010 at 4:32 pm

NO WAY! you would NOT go unpunished for hitting a cyclist and driving away. God would judge you when you die, and witnesses can also report you!

Posted by Leslie, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 14, 2010 at 4:58 pm

The punishment does seem severe for stealing something worth $700. Perhaps there were extenuating circumstances not reported in the article.

Posted by Downtowner, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 14, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Hey Kevin, Chill. Don't get 'em in a twist over something I didn't say. I didn't say "hit & run". There have been numerous cases of pedestrians & cyclists killed by motorists in Menlo Park who get NO JAIL TIME. Repeat, read what I wrote.

Posted by Marcy, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 14, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Hitting a cyclist or pedestrian COULD truly, be an "accident"; however, I don't think one could suddenly notice they have 'accidently' carried off someone else's bicycle and then decide,"oh, well! I guess I'll just sell it on Craig's List".
I am certain which ever incident happens or happened to you, the punishment would not seem like enough. Being "wronged" intentionally or not, injures one's sole. It is difficult to repair by the legal system.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 15, 2010 at 1:04 pm

6 months seems kind of stiff!

Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Six months isn't stiff when you consider he was given 4 months time served. With time off for good behavior that means he walked out after sentence was handed down.

In my experience, someone that gets six months for stealing a bike has priors, so sixth months probably wasn't that stiff.

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