On Christmas Day, an East Villager Gets… His Bike Stolen

stolenDaniel Maurer

If you’ve ever woken up on Christmas day to find a brand new bicycle by the tree, you can imagine how Evan McKnight must’ve felt when he walked into his East Village apartment building on the morning of Dec. 25 to find his bike – valued between $1,100 and $1,200 – missing from a stairwell where he had left it the day before. He’s now taking his search for the bicycle to the streets, by posting flyers offering a $300 cash reward.

Mr. McKnight, 27, a piercer and body-jewelry buyer at New York Adorned, said he bought the frame of the 1997 Uno bike for about $850, and this year, sunk somewhere around $1,200 into converting the track bike by installing a 3-speed gear system, breaks, and other accessories. When he locked his bike outdoors, he used two Kryptonite U-locks. When he stowed the bike indoors, he locked its wheel to its frame; but that wasn’t enough to discourage someone from entering the building at 420 East 10th Street sometime on Christmas Eve or early Christmas morning (while Mr. McKnight was out of town) and swiping the bike.

Mr. McKnight went into the Ninth Precinct’s Avenue C outpost to report the incident, but was told to go to the East Fifth Street stationhouse since it was considered grand larceny. There, he got a chilly reception.

“I said, ‘My bike was stolen, I’d like to file a report,’ and the woman working in the front said, ‘Who sent you here?’ and got really snotty with me.” Mr. McKnight said the woman grilled him about the value of the bike and whether or not he had kept his receipts.

“It was a little stressful to say the least,” he said. “It just sounded like no one really cared what I had to say.” He added, “I just came to file a report. I didn’t expect to be berated.”

Finally, however, he was passed on to a detective who, he said, was “very polite,” if not all that assuring. “He didn’t say someone’s going to be looking into it,” said Mr. McKnight. Still, the detective assured him that filing a report would make it easier to recover the bike if he spotted someone riding it.

Mr. McKnight said he had been trying to maintain a positive outlook this year, but admitted the theft of the bike had gotten to him: “I was very late paying rent this month and I don’t have money to buy a new bike, so it sucks.”

If you know anything about the bike, call the number on the flyer that Mr. McKnight has left at bicycle stores in the neighborhood. And if you’d like to report a similar incident to The Local, please e-mail us.