The Bicycle Thief
January 31, 2019 1:47 PM   Subscribe

 
He realized what kind of privilege he had in America as a good-looking athletic white man with an expensive bike and took full advantage of it...
posted by devrim at 1:59 PM on January 31, 2019 [3 favorites]


Also, I admire this bank teller so much:
On January 14, 2000, Tom pulled his third robbery: the LaSalle Bank in Evanston. The teller, a tall 50-year-old woman, was neither frightened nor cooperative. “Are you serious?” she said, cocking her head. She glared at Tom as he slid the bag across the counter. Reluctantly, she filled it with all the cash in her drawer: $2,599. “Thank you, thank you so much,” Tom said politely. She shook her head disapprovingly.
posted by devrim at 2:03 PM on January 31, 2019 [2 favorites]


Oh wow, I didn't realize Tom Justice was a real person! I only knew of him from this superb and devastating song by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone.
posted by The Minotaur at 2:27 PM on January 31, 2019 [5 favorites]


Me, upon reading a story of a guy with a lot of promise who not only threw it all away but even threw away his ill-gotten gains: wow, that sounds like it was a really sweet bike.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:55 PM on January 31, 2019 [5 favorites]


My one moment of incredulity in this story was that he left his bike unlocked when he went into the bank and it wasn't stolen when he came out... 26 times
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:07 PM on January 31, 2019 [14 favorites]


Is this a real life Thomas Crown or an odd mental illness?
posted by sammyo at 3:33 PM on January 31, 2019


Oh, in Flint, the bike is used in like 48℅ of getaway, drive-up robbery and a few drive-bys but not at drive-thrus or drive-ups.

I want a 'Bike of Folding'. +3 leather bag for storage. 70% save vs.magic.
posted by clavdivs at 3:51 PM on January 31, 2019 [1 favorite]


This guy seems like a candidate for the New Yorker cartoon caption.
posted by Scattercat at 3:53 PM on January 31, 2019


Tom, Tom -- why didn't anybody ever teach you that robbing shareholders is so much more lucrative? And they never even prosecute white guys for doing it.
posted by jamjam at 4:17 PM on January 31, 2019 [5 favorites]


Subject of a great Love + Radio episode in 2014 (which was adapted from a 99pi episode).
posted by stevil at 4:57 PM on January 31, 2019 [1 favorite]


Well, shit. That's certainly the most jaw-dropping 'where are they now?' story I've read. Tom and I shared a passion for cycling in high school, albeit my focus was multi-state slogs during summer break while he was tearing it up on the racing circuit. Bummer to hear that circumstances sidelined his true potential.

devrim and jamjam: your comments are inaccurate and invalid.
posted by prinado at 6:10 PM on January 31, 2019 [7 favorites]


Ride it like you stole it
posted by Pronoiac at 6:28 PM on January 31, 2019 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure what "circumstances" could have to do with this, unless perhaps "circumstances" is code for "getting off on the thrill of committing felonies"
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:19 PM on January 31, 2019 [2 favorites]


stevil, I knew I’d heard a podcast about this but couldn’t find it!
posted by a halcyon day at 9:29 PM on January 31, 2019


I want to see the Hell Or High Water meets Breaking Away movie adaptation of this story directed by All The Real Girls era David Gordon Green
posted by fidgets at 10:05 PM on January 31, 2019


Solipsism combined with nihilism, what a weird story.
posted by deadwax at 3:28 AM on February 1, 2019


Interesting story. What gets me is how little money there is to be had by robbing average banks. You'll basically have to be robbing them at a steady pace to keep up with expenses.
posted by Harald74 at 3:30 AM on February 1, 2019 [2 favorites]


The first time I saw Tom was on the second floor of the student center at SIU. I was reading and just about to leave when he sat down at a piano and started playing. He played well and I stayed to listen until he finished. He was in a few of my classes (I was a philosophy major) and we hung around with some of the same people.

Fast forward to Portland ten or so years later, and I saw him at a mutual friend's house. He had driven up from Oakland in his yellow Mercedes. He seemed really distracted as we tried to make small talk. A few months later, I found out he had been arrested.

The mutual friend is still in touch with Tom and swears he's a great guy.
posted by perhapses at 9:37 PM on February 1, 2019 [1 favorite]


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