News

Should police protect Facebook's bikes?

Baby-blue bike thefts trigger tough questions for Facebook and its neighbors

An abandoned Facebook bike, stripped for parts, lies in a marshland along Bayfront Expressway in Menlo Park. Facebook recently announced that it has "at no time" asked law enforcement to stop or detain people found to be unlawfully riding company bikes. (Photo by Magali Gauthier/The Almanac.)

Local law enforcement officials have been stopping people riding Facebook bikes, questioning them, and in some instances, arresting them and confiscating the bikes if they find that the cyclists stopped don't work for the giant social media company.

A group of about 50 people gathered at East Palo Alto's City Hall on Feb. 7 to discuss the implications of this practice. The meeting's organizers, who are mainly longtime East Palo Alto residents, said one of their biggest concerns is that young people of color seen riding Facebook bikes are being targeted by local law enforcement agencies, specifically the Menlo Park Police Department and the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

In introductory remarks presented before a community discussion at the gathering, the organizers summarized some of the perspectives on the matter that they've heard. On one hand, they said, people shouldn't be taking bikes that don't belong to them. That's stealing.

On the other, they asserted, there hasn't been clear outreach about the company's expectations for the bikes, and whether it is permissible for non-Facebook community members to use them. And given the ubiquity of the bikes around town, that it is generally a low-income area, that local teens need to travel to other towns to attend school, and that there is a strong precedent of adults in the community also using the bikes, some people argue that these are complicating factors that should be taken into account by law enforcement agencies as they address bike thefts from corporations.

The Menlo Park Police Department has an entire police unit funded by Facebook as the result of a development agreement approved in October 2017. When asked whether the source of the department's funding affects how the department sets priorities, Police Chief Dave Bertini said, "Facebook is not getting any special treatment."

As evidence, he said, Menlo Park police treat people found riding Google bikes the same way they have approached people on Facebook bikes: They ask riders if they are employees, and if they are not, detain them and confiscate the bikes. Both companies' bikes, he explained, are "extremely easy to recognize." Police do not need "probable cause" of illegal activity to stop someone and ask whether he or she works for the company the bike belongs to, he noted, and it can be obvious if an underage person is seen in the community riding a Facebook or Google bike that the rider is not employed at one of those companies.

Facebook told The Almanac that it loses an average of 60 bikes per month, noting that many are eventually recovered.

Cases

At the meeting, East Palo Alto Planning Commissioner Kyra Brown described a Dec. 10 incident in which she drove past a cluster of police and emergency response vehicles at the edge of Menlo Park near the Stanford Shopping Center. Curious, she turned around and approached the scene.

She said she saw that a young African-American man was handcuffed, questioned and asked for identification. The man told her he had been arrested for riding a Facebook bike. "It's very hard to 'verify' who on a Facebook bike is actually a Facebook employee without resorting to racial profiling," Brown said in an email.

"These arrests are happening," she told the group. "Young people are the ones being arrested."

Police Chief Bertini, who did not attend the public meeting, said he was aware of that incident, but described it differently. He reported that Menlo Park police stopped a man riding a Facebook bike in downtown Menlo Park on El Camino Real. When asked if he worked for Facebook, he said no, and police detained him. He became uncooperative and was temporarily put in handcuffs. He was later cleared, then released, and the bicycle was taken and returned to Facebook, he explained.

"Technically, if you're riding a bike that's not yours, it's theft, or the misappropriation of a lost object," he said.

In another incident, which the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office on Jan. 29 publicized on Facebook under the headline, "Facebook bike leads to drug arrest," a deputy was reported to have been patrolling an unincorporated county area and stopped to talk to a man riding a Facebook bike.

"Turns out the man was not a Facebook employee and he also had needles that were loaded with (heroin) in his pockets," the Facebook post stated. The man was then given a citation and told about resources to help with drug addiction, the Sheriff's Office stated.

The Sheriff's Office did not respond to requests for comment about this incident or its bike policing practices by The Almanac's press deadline.

Response

Several Facebook employees attended the public meeting, and Ashley Quintana, a member of the community engagement team, told attendees that Facebook has "at no point" requested that law enforcement officials in Menlo Park or East Palo Alto stop, detain or arrest people or confiscate bikes from people riding the company's bikes. Facebook has not requested charges filed against people for stolen bikes.

"Our only goal for bike recovery is to ensure that our employees are not abandoning our bikes on sidewalks, or in public places outside of campus, creating a public nuisance," she wrote in a public Facebook post.

Facebook has set up an email account and hotline where people can report misplaced company bikes, she added. It also has a dedicated staff to pick up bikes in the community. In addition, Facebook hosts bike workshops, has donated bikes to local nonprofits, and is working to provide local youth with bike access.

After Quintana's announcement, Bertini told The Almanac that the police department no longer plans to arrest people caught riding the bikes unlawfully.

"It's been an evolving issue," he said. "We have finally been given a pretty clear opinion by Facebook, which is that they do not want to prosecute anybody who illegally has (their) bikes."

"We will be operating under the premise we are not stopping anybody riding a Facebook bike 'just because,'" he said.

One caveat, he added, is that the police department may still stop people caught violating traffic rules while on Facebook bikes, whether that means riding at night without a headlight, going through a stoplight without stopping, riding the wrong way down the street, or, as a juvenile, riding without a helmet. In those situations, traffic law violators will still be warned or cited.

Moving forward, he said, he doesn't plan to use police resources to deal with who should or should not have Facebook bikes. For a police officer to have "probable cause" to make an arrest, there has to be a victim, he said. "If Facebook is not willing to be a victim, (we're) no longer able to do that."

But the bikes, he added, wind up all over the place, and in East Palo Alto, he said he understands that the biggest complaint is that bikes are being dumped on people's property.

"That's not very good stewardship," he said. The East Palo Alto Police Department doesn't have the resources to send people out to pick up abandoned company bikes, he said, adding that Facebook should take more responsibility to make sure employees don't leave the bikes in adjacent neighborhoods.

Mountain View and Google bikes

In nearby Mountain View, the problem of Google bikes in the community has strong parallels, but the city has adapted to the bikes' presence over time, explained Nate Baird, the city's in-house bike transportation guru. He said that Mountain View has developed procedures for dealing with Google bikes in the community.

"I'm pretty sure Google bikes are used by non-Google employees," he said, adding, "We're kind of hands-off with it."

When bikes are found in bad locations such as in positions blocking sidewalks or abandoned in Stevens Creek either Google or the city's municipal operations center goes out and collects them. They then let Google know and company representatives pick them up.

Both the city's bike share program and Google have created hotlines where people can report problems, or they can contact the city, he said.

Bertini said that the Mountain View Police Department continues to detain people for illegally riding on misappropriated Google bikes, and his officers will continue to do the same when they come across people riding Google bikes unless the company comes forward with a policy statement indicating it doesn't want police to do so.

Next steps

East Palo Alto residents planned to bring the matter before their City Council for discussion at a meeting set for Feb. 19.

East Palo Alto Mayor Lisa Gauthier, who attended the public meeting, acknowledged the complexity of the problem. On one hand, she said, "We can't condone young people taking bikes. We don't want them to think it's OK."

Yet, she added, there hasn't always been clear instruction from Facebook about what to do when people find company bikes in the community. Also, she's heard anecdotally that Facebook bikes have been found parked at Menlo-Atherton High School, and doesn't want teens overly penalized for using the bikes to get to school. She said she is hoping to get more data and information.

The meeting was also attended by Menlo Park City Council members Cecilia Taylor and Betsy Nash. Nash told The Almanac she planned to ask the Menlo Park Police Department for data about police stops of people riding Facebook bikes.

When The Almanac requested this information, Bertini said there is no way to parse out which police interactions have been triggered by Facebook bikes. Short of doing an incident-by-incident search of police records, he said, "we have no way to do that."

He added that people are invited to discuss that and other matters at a "Meet the Chief" event scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25, at the Belle Haven Neighborhood Service Center at 871 Hamilton Ave.

People who find abandoned Facebook bikes are encouraged to email lostbike@fb.com or call (650) 542-0167. For abandoned Google bikes, email lostgbike@google.com or call (650) 214-9003.

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Comments

18 people like this
Posted by It's Come To This
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Feb 20, 2019 at 12:48 pm

Seriously? With all the other problems going on, the police are focusing on who is riding Facebook bikes? Holy crap. With Facebook's record of "honesty," I don't for a minute believe they didn't ask for, or perhaps encourage is a better word, this kind of special treatment. I don't see the police focusing on anyone other company's property. Will I be arrested for carrying a Houzz tote bag?

Also, what the hell are they doing examining the presence of Facebook bikes at MA High School, or any high school? Trying to figure out if, perhaps, those bikes are being ridden by, I don't know...minorities? Kids of color? People they perhaps think might not be associated in some way with Facebook? Bike profiling? Ugh. Here's a question: are kids of Facebook employees allowed to be riding the bikes? What if a kid borrows one from a parent who works there? And why is this on the police's radar to begin with? Focus on actual crime.

So sick of this kind of thing.


9 people like this
Posted by the law is the law
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 20, 2019 at 1:02 pm

@It's come to this,

so you condone theft. anyone who has one of these bikes (and the Google Bikes Too) off campus and is NOT a Facebook employee, stole it. not sure of the bikes value, but it could be felony theft if it's worth enough.

criminals the lot of them.


60 people like this
Posted by Look to Mountain View
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2019 at 1:30 pm

They have a progressive, can-do attitude for many things in MV. They get stuff done in that town, instead of the regressive politics of endless studies, hand wringing or only looking to blame when a problem arises.


24 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 20, 2019 at 3:08 pm

Are black Facebook employees more likely to be stopped by the police than white Facebook employees?


9 people like this
Posted by Lockemup
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Feb 20, 2019 at 10:23 pm

We all hate bike thieves. Black, Brown or any color. These criminals account for most of the crime in our neighborhoods. It's the broken windows method of cleaning up our city. These scofflaws are being locked up and we applaud the police for doing so. They rob and steal and contaminate our neighborhood. Young and old they need to do time.


11 people like this
Posted by Bananas
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 21, 2019 at 5:50 am

This really is a discussion of changing the Supreme Court's decision in Terry v. Ohio. In Terry v. Ohio, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a person can be stopped and briefly detained by a police officer based on a reasonable suspicion of involvement in a punishable crime.

Assuming the bike is being ridden, the detention would be considered a traffic stop. A brief, non-custodial traffic stop is considered a "seizure" for the purposes of the 4th Amendment and must therefore be supported by reasonable suspicion or probable cause. The investigating officer must weigh the totality of the circumstances to determine whether sufficient objective facts exist to create reasonable suspicion that the rider is engaged in criminal activity.

The bikes are clearly identifiable, distributed near the corporate headquarters, and are supposed to be used by employees. The bikes are 1-speed and generally not intended for long commutes. If the cops see someone riding these bikes far away from campus, is it reasonable to investigate whether the rider has committed a theft? Would the age and dress of the rider enter into the calculus?

The proponents of this changing this landmark ruling would have you believe that somehow these bikes cannot be stolen, as the property owner has no interest in pursuing prosecution. If the officer knew in advance that the corporation did not want to be a victim of theft preclude them from investigating a prosecutable crime? I don't think so.

Another premise is the cops use possession of these bikes as a pretext to detain people whom they suspect are committing more serious crimes. Or, the detentions are really not made because of the color of the bicycle, but rather the color of the rider's skin. I consider these assertions speculative. Moreover, pretext detentions are permissible and good police work. Racial bias is not acceptable, but throwing out the Terry v. Ohio decision at a local level does not make sense merely to overcome this possibility.

If the rider is too young to be employed by the corporation, it is reasonable to investigate. If the rider's attire and cleanliness is not on similar to the general population of the campus, then those are objectively reasonable facts as well. The distance from campus for these bikes is also a factor; they can be used off campus, but are not intended for commuting.

Society cannot create exemptions to constitutional law because vocal interest groups feel someone's rights might be violated. The correct process is for one of these riders to assert their civil rights were violated and let the 9th Circuit Court review the matter.


8 people like this
Posted by Reality Check
a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2019 at 7:27 am

Facebook policy is that their bikes are for “on-campus” use only.

Any employee riding a FB bike off campus would be in violation of company policy.

Any non-employee on a FB bike is presumably in possession and misuse of lost or stolen property.


10 people like this
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2019 at 9:33 am

One of the obvious dangers is the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office incompetence of simple pedestrian stops.

Chinedu V. Okobi in custody death on October 3, 2018 on El Camino Real in Millbrae, California. He was walking down the street when he caught Deputy Wang's eye. A short time later after being tased a known amount of times (Wagstaffe & Bolanos) but not disclosed to the public, struck with extended Baton a known amount of times (Wagstaffe & Bolanos) but not disclosed to the public, OC sprayed a known amount of times (Wagstaffe & Bolanos) Handcuffed and dog piled by 4 deputies until he stopped breathing. Was he turned on his side per policy? Was CPR provided yes or no? answers known by (Wagstaffe & Bolanos) but not made public. It's been 5 months.

Excessive & Unnecessary Force in a Walking While Black in custody death.

We have learned that 5 SMCSO Deputies are not enough to safely conduct a pedestrian stop in the middle of the afternoon on El Camino Real. San Mateo Police Department could do this.

San Mateo County Sheriff Office is not the same as a Local Police Department


10 people like this
Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 21, 2019 at 10:33 am

I can understand why Facebook doesn't want to play the "bad guy", and have a number of people arrested for riding their bikes; but I am tired of seeing them dumped all over the place. I think there's another bikeshare program for the nearby business park - unrelated to Facebook - you see these bikes being abused as well. I've had the impression that the police has been particularly passive in this regard. I don't feel sorry for people who take the bikes because they're "low income" - that's condescending; people know when they're stealing, and there should be consequences. Has a Facebook employee been improperly detained? Every time I've seen a Facebook bike south of Hamilton Avenue, it has appeared to be non-employee.


18 people like this
Posted by BH Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 21, 2019 at 12:30 pm

Why isn't FB responsible for making sure their bikes remain on their campus? These bikes are abandoned in Belle Haven--I've had to step around and/or over many of them. I've also seen them abandoned on the pedestrian path right in front of FB buildings and in front of their security people. There seems to be a general disregard for the welfare and value of their own bikes. As residents, we should not be responsible for making sure FB bikes are returned to their campus. Their bicycle people should ensure that their property remains on their campus.


12 people like this
Posted by FB fiend
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Feb 21, 2019 at 12:46 pm

FB is so good at keeping track of every website we visit and (if we've got FB on our phones) everywhere we go and everyone we talk to. They can't track their own bikes? Doesn't pass the straight face test.

As for living in MP while black -- my beliefs about ours being a progressive, inclusive community were blown out of the water after a black friend (20s, ex-military) stayed with us for two months last year. He was stopped repeatedly by MP police while engaging in the most benign activities, like walking his dog around the neighborhood. They'd tell him that he "fit a profile." So those of you patting yourselves on the back and believing that Menlo Park is better than that...it isn't


3 people like this
Posted by RanchGal
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 21, 2019 at 1:32 pm

RanchGal is a registered user.

Let’s then commit to arresting the numerous panhandling vagrants pushing Safeway, Draeger’s, Lucky, and numerous other business-owned shopping carts which have clearly been stolen. I witnessed a plump haggard woman who was already pulling one stolen cart nab another from Draeger’s. Now she had 2. What is the difference of theft inside the store or outside the store of the merchants goods? Theft is theft. If the police confiscated all the shopping carts and returned them to their stores, perhaps these vagrants would really seek help instead of hanging around the streets panhandling.


11 people like this
Posted by OMG!
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 22, 2019 at 10:07 am

MP police checking M-A campus for FB bikes? Are you kidding me? Why would MP even consider wasting small-town police resources on this behemoth?

This brings to mind the myriad problems FB expansion causes in our community, (dramatically worsened traffic), for which there is no accountability.

FB should manage their own bike fleet! They have the resources. Chip the bikes, or something. Lock them down on campus property.

Here's a thought: Maybe MP should fine FB for 'littering' each time city resources are used to remove abandoned FB bikes from the city.



8 people like this
Posted by ParentOfColor
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 22, 2019 at 11:35 am

First, people need to learn the law. Do you call it theft because we are taking about a community of color? Theft requires as an essential element of the intent to deprive “permanently.” This is what makes grand theft of an auto vs. just a joy ride. Different laws people. Read a little more!!! No one really intends to keep the bike permanently. Thus, the dumping of the bike or trading it in for a newer one. Facebook created the problem. Why do billionaires who don’t quite think out the consequences get away with creating social problems???? Hmmmm....seems we have a lot of that in this country. It’s a tech company. They don’t have the technology or resources? All the scooters cluttering SF and SJ work off a credit card and a validation system. One cannot gain access and thus usage without being a confirmed user. Use face recognition, employee ID #, fricken thumb print to release the bikes from a rack or release the wheels. It’s completely their responsibility to secure their property. So we target the kids and community of color for sharing resources to decrease pollution and the manufacturing carbon foot print? There are much bigger problems to solve and whomever is going after these kids are just pure racists! You are outraged over environmentally sound bike sharing but ok with how we are getting screwed and ripped off by the billionaire class? Fake outrage at bike theft. Keep your eye on the prize - the tax coffers. All those broke MAGA hat wearers get exactly the economic hell they deserve. AGREED! Make FB solve the problems they unleash. That includes messing up elections, data breaches and sharing our info with govt.


6 people like this
Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 22, 2019 at 2:46 pm

@ParentOfColor:

"First, people need to learn the law. Do you call it theft because we are taking about a community of color?"

No, it's being called that because it involves someone taking something that isn't theirs. I believe the great majority of people of color understand and respect this.

"Theft requires as an essential element of the intent to deprive “permanently.” This is what makes grand theft of an auto vs. just a joy ride. Different laws people."

I don't know the fine points of what distinguishes theft from joyride, but according to this legal advice web site (Web Link ) "It may be tempting to "temporarily borrow" someone else's bicycle, boat or other vessel without their consent, however the unlawful taking of a bicycle or vessel is considered a theft crime under California Penal Code Section 499b PC." From this, it appears to be theft.

"Thus, the dumping of the bike or trading it in for a newer one. Facebook created the problem."

This appears to be blaming the victim. (Although - as the article states - Facebook does not choose to take the role of victim, which is why the police are not prosecuting this vigorously.)

If you don't want the police involved, please - if someone you know is using a Facebook bike without being an employee, please make it clear that this is not appropriate. Thank you.


7 people like this
Posted by OMG!
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 22, 2019 at 3:18 pm

@Alan,

Surely, with respect to FB, you see the irony of your comment?:

"No, it's being called that (theft) because it involves someone taking something that isn't theirs."

Indeed, by that definition, it is theft, but forgive me if I don't see FB as a victim. What they have taken from Menlo Park residents and from their users world-wide, is theft on a scale never seen before.


5 people like this
Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 22, 2019 at 3:37 pm

@OMG: "Indeed, by that definition, it is theft, but forgive me if I don't see FB as a victim. What they have taken from Menlo Park residents and from their users world-wide, is theft on a scale never seen before."

Facebook is in trouble for its handling of people's private information; governments should investigate, and, when the law is believed to be broken, prosecute.

That has nothing to do with stealing bikes. Regardless of who is being stolen from, it's still a crime, and there is still a victim. Taking bicycles does not address Facebook's improprieties; it's just someone else doing another bad thing. Furthermore, I see as many bikes taken from the local business park's bike-sharing problem as from Facebook (they're both light blue, but many don't have a Facebook logo.) What have they done to deserve this?

This justification of taking Facebook's property is ethically confused.


3 people like this
Posted by OMG!
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 22, 2019 at 4:07 pm

@Alan,

'This justification of taking Facebook's property is ethically confused.'

Truth be known, I don't believe it's okay for people to steal bicycles, just amused by the irony...

My point---FB can and should take care of their own bicycle fleet. They have the resources. They have the know-how. Frankly, it's their responsibility, not MP's responsibility. Same for any business providing bikes, scooters, whatever for exclusive use by their employees travelling within or between campuses.

It's simple. If you want to provide bikes for your employees with the expectaion that they're to be used within or between business sites only, secure them.


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2019 at 4:07 pm

People of color must be avoiding El Camino if the police have this much time on their hands. If FB had a problem with the bikes they would solve it.


Like this comment
Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 22, 2019 at 4:07 pm

For the record - if a kid is caught taking a Facebook bike for a quick ride around the neighborhood - I don't want them charged with a crime. But I do want them to be embarrassed about it, so they don't do it again.


1 person likes this
Posted by ParentOfColor
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 22, 2019 at 5:59 pm

You do not get to redefine theft and case law. There is already a definition and permanent taking is the essential element.

“Theft (also called larceny) is a crime against property in California. To prove theft, a prosecutor must establish the defendant's intent to permanently take or withhold the property owner's possession or right to the property -- in other words, the specific intent to steal. “

Again, why do you assume theft - because they are people of color? You know for sure these kids and community members walked over to the FB campus and entered the property with mal intent to take something? Is it possible it was laying around in the community after changing hands several times? If you are going to criminalize a whole community you might as well learn the law and understand they definitions before you assign yourself judge and jury.

FB needs to take care of their own property like a loose dog. Why should our taxes be used against our own community? Is there not some white collar criminal to investigate? In a world of trump and corruption at the top there is no right and wrong when dealing with the rich and unethical. We need to survive in our world and if a kid gets to school this way - good on them. We are in the era of “its more of a crime to own a bank than to rob one.” So screw zuckerburg. Read what he took and stole (yeah to keep permanently) from the native Hawaiians. Your ethical arguments are vestigaes of white privileged. You really want to be ethical? Give your land back to native Americans and pay for slavery. Until you do that you have no moral leg to stand on.


2 people like this
Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 22, 2019 at 6:26 pm

The exact wording of the law:

CA Penal Code § 499b (2017)

(a) Any person who shall, without the permission of the owner thereof, take any bicycle for the purpose of temporarily using or operating the same, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding four hundred dollars ($400), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding three months, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

Web Link

Call it stealing or joyriding, it's against the law. Sometimes, the best way to deal with it is not the law, but a parent who takes these things seriously, not making excuses for the kids action.

Of course - Facebook simply locking up the bikes is a very good course of action.

'nuff said on this topic.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 22, 2019 at 7:02 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

For the record the "Menlo Voter" in central menlo is not me. I am a registerd useer and have been using this handle for years. To the other "Menlo Voter", please stop using my handle. Thank you.


5 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 22, 2019 at 7:12 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"Is it possible it was laying around in the community after changing hands several times?"

In that case it would be misappropriation of found property. Also a crime.

485 PC: "One who finds lost property under circumstances which give him knowledge of or means of inquiry as to the true owner, and who appropriates such property to his own use, or to the use of another person not entitled thereto, without first making reasonable and just efforts to find the owner and to restore the property to him, is guilty of theft."

The bikes are labeled as Facebook property, so the person taking the bike clearly has "knowledge of or means of inquiry as to the true owner". It's theft pure and simple and your continuous attempts at justifying illegal behavior are telling. It also seems you need to learn the law.


Like this comment
Posted by Bannanas
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 23, 2019 at 7:38 am

I found this article from the Duke Law Journal helpful in better understanding the real issue, selective enforcement:

Web Link




2 people like this
Posted by What the fuss
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 23, 2019 at 11:35 pm

Very few officers stop Facebook bikes. This whole subject is a red herring. Most that have commented have no statistics to back any of this up. If Facebook does not care their bikes are stolen then the police are happy to wash their hands of it. Don’t call the police for abandoned bikes. Complain to the city and Facebook. This uproar is a fabricated mess. Case closed. Take all the bikes you want.


4 people like this
Posted by Wait ~ what??
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 24, 2019 at 9:10 pm

@ParentOfColor: I'm not aware of this fine distinction you draw between temporarily borrowing someone else's property and permanently stealing it.

If I went out to my driveway in the morning and found that my car was gone, only to have it turn up later that day across town, would I say, "Oh, no worries! The people who took my car only temporarily borrowed it ~ let's let bygones be bygones." No; I'd consider my car stolen, and would file a police report. I'm guessing you would do the same.

People who take things that don't belong to them, whether "temporarily" or "permanently," are thieves. Full stop; end of.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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