Watch this Video of Citibike Thieves Caught in the Act in Brooklyn Heights

BHB contributor/reader Peter Kaufman caught a gang of alleged Citibike thieves red handed Friday night as they returned to retrieve their stolen booty from the service entrance of 62 Pierrepont Street. And he has the video to prove it.

Kaufman recounts to us what happened (via Twitter):

Last night some kids stole 4 Citibikes and put them in a basement stairwell. We called Citibike and as we were helping load them kids came back

By time i got downstairs, Citibike guy was there.

I was helping him take bikes to the Citi-van when the culprits returned to claim stash.The chase was on.

Here the two I caught up with at corner of Clinton and Montague. Past 2 cop cars. No cops inside.

RELATED: Where Was the 84th Precinct While Vandals Devastated North Brooklyn Heights and Beyond

“Why you taking pictures of me?” Why do you think, mother-f*cker? The other guys – like 3 others, 1 on bike, had split down clinton.

After our little tete-a-tete, a cop car did come by, but they had lights on, and were on run. Couldn’t give a shit about this minor issue.

When i got back to 62 pierrepont, the citibike guy had gone around the block looking for me. couldn’t believe how fast i had taken off.

i said, ‘not bad for an old man, (i’m 49). He said, “Old man, like Hell.” I credited good living and citibike charter membership.

kicking myself for not using one of the citibikes to tail them, but again, what could i really do when i ‘got’ them? Citibike guy said..

this wasn’t an infreq. occurrence. people don’t dock bikes properly, and kids test for it. he picks quite a few up in BX. even one in NJ.

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  • Joey Boots

    That video was worthless to watch and I am annoyed slightly that you wasted my time with it.

  • petercow

    Sorry, Joey. Next time I’m running down the street, I’ll hire you as my videographer. Just as an FYI, this is the kind of shot I’ll be looking for…

  • Joey Boots

    not gonna watch a 30-second commercial to see what i know that is already – beautiful piece of cinema – i was friends with the late Henry Hill btw – ok having said that – yes, you might be better off using me as your cinematographer next time you choose to run after a bunch of young rascals – i’ll need time to put my flack jacket on first though.

  • Jorale-man

    My question is, what would someone do with a stolen Citibike, other than use it as your personal ride? There can’t be much of a black market for them, unless some of the parts have some minor value.

    Glad this ended well for the bikes anyhow.

  • Heightsman

    Think I saw an abandoned bike on Montague this morning. It was in front of 68 Montague or so…..

  • LeMondLawyer

    Nothing here proves guilt. While I have little doubt of their guilt, from the evidence–you are more guilty of libel than they are of theft.

  • David on Middagh

    He libeled two knapsacks?

  • Reggie

    The question, if I may, isn’t whether the quality of the video is reasonable given the circumstances of how it was taken. The questions to ask are whether the clip adds anything to the story, whether it provides information in a way that a moving image is uniquely qualified to present. In this case, the answers are no.

  • petercow

    yeah. i was disappointed in the output of the video too. I had only brought my camera downstairs to take a pic of the bikes.. didnt’t know there’d be a chase. Next time, I’ll strap on the GoPro.

  • petercow

    Really -well I saw them with my own eyes. But hey, reach out to them, lawyer-boy, and sue away.

  • Jarrett Scott

    I had my 4-year-old daughter in my lap while I played this video and I don’t need her hearing f— this and f— that! I’ve been reading this blog for years and the quality has gone down the tubes. I do not live in Brooklyn Heights to read about pornography. Consider me unsubscribed!

  • LeMondLawyer

    He has published their images with the assertion that they are guilty of a crime. In the age of the internet, it does not take long to attach names to faces–well, if it were actually newsworthy enough to be circulated.

  • LeMondLawyer

    Lawyer-boy, really? The stupidest thing you did was follow them, not post something dumb. I doubt you were armed with much more than your camera and there was no way you could have known what they had on them. I could understand following at a distance and trying, as you did, to find nearby law enforcement. However, you, inanely got confrontational and followed right on their heels. I might think you are a twit but I would prefer you not to get assaulted or worse, just the same.

  • Joe A

    You don’t live in Brooklyn Heights to read about pornography? What neighborhood would you have lived in if you wanted to read about pornography? BTW, was there pornography I missed somewhere?

    I’m always amazed when some think the world revolves around their children’s tender sensibilities. I assume this blog did not think a 4 year old would be clicking on an embedded video but I guess some toddlers are quite precocious and have an unusual interest in neighborhood doings.

  • David on Middagh


  • BrooklynBugle


  • petercow

    Hey – as Homer said, “Don’t try this at home”. But fish gotta swim.

  • petercow

    Yeah – though actually truth is 100% defense against libel – and if they ever were to be deposed, that would all come out.

  • Martin L Schneider

    This video may not make “Caught on Camera” but Kaufman deserves the good citizen award for diligence and brave follow through.

    As to the 84th Precinct, once again they come up short. Basic issue: Why in the world aren’t they automatically notified by Citibank when a theft in process is called in? Duhhhh?
    And, of course, there are the two empty cops cars plus the one on a “run” … for Pizza??

    This is no minor matter…it is an organzed felony and the bike thefts story is all over the newspapers. Even the Captain at the 84th might have alerted his men and women to be on the lookout. Double Duhh!
    What do have 35,000 cops for?? And what are we spending billions on? Come on Mr. Mayor, the Heights and you can be sure dozens of other target neighborhoods need some reassurance that help is on the way.

  • petercow

    First – thank you. I may be more Elisha Cook than Alan Ladd, but you don’t know until you know.

    I agree about the 84. I often see a car parked on Montague, but rarely see a cop on the ‘main drag’ of the Heights.

    As for Citibike, I think they’re more embarrassed, than anything. I don’t know how many bikes get taken, nor how many are recovered.

    From talking to the guy who came to pick them up, it seemed it was more than a few a week.

    It may be related to the fact that people don’t know how to dock the bikes properly, which in turn leads to broken docks, which in turn leads to people just leaving them…

  • David on Middagh

    This is easily remedied. The video title should read, “Area Man Pursues Citibike Thieves (Language NSFW)”.

  • MonroeOrange

    84th precinct comes up short bc they aren’t chasing kids for bike thefts?! Maybe you should take a ride along and actually realize how difficult it is to be a police officer. They have more important things to do, such as preventing murders, rapes, etc…if the worst we have is kids stealing bikes from a program that just needed a bailout to survive, then we should all be so lucky!

  • William Spier

    The problem with most these comments is that they have nothing of analysis or helpful observations of their own. I noticed a few things recently: First, a scarcity of foot patrol officers in Brooklyn Heights, and none on this past Sunday in the BBPark, and I walked it up and back from Old Fulton. I may have missed one, but I don’t think there was one, not one when there had to be thousands moving in and out during the afternoon.

    If these kids were connected someway with 62 Pierrepont Street and had access to basement, It would seem likely that the video given to police would give enough evidence to apprehend the thieves. Citibike should have been notified also to lend some weight to the whole thing.

  • petercow

    You are exactly right! Due to the park, BH now has thousands of people passing through, as compared to before. But as far as I can tell, the 84th has made no changes to its coverage of the neighborhood.

    As for 62P, they had stashed the bikes in the stairwell from the basement to the street. Out of plain sight, but the gate is at bottom.

  • petercow

    Guess you’re not a believer in ” Broken windows” . That puts you on other side of both DE Blasio AND Giuliani, no small feat.

    As to the Citibike dig – idiotic. By that “logic”, we shouldn’t care if people rip off the subway system, – it gets bailouts too. Though of course, Citibike doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime.

  • Eddyde

    Good riddance

  • peter

    has anyone noticed the increasing rif-raf in the neighborhood since the july 4th Fireworks?

  • peter

    concerns for the basketball courts and those lockers and who is hanging out there. Suggestion close the courts or start charging.

  • peter

    citibikes are not my concern..

  • HicksOnHicks

    “People don’t know how to dock the bikes properly”. Not sure how much training and education should be required. Rather than blaming the users, you may want to blame the technology. Me and fellow Citibike users frequently have challenges docking the bikes completely. Returning the bikes to their docks so that they are secured shouldn’t require special knowledge.