Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that police seized the bicycles. In fact, they were hauled away by their owner, and police only ran the serial numbers on the bicycles to determine if any had been reported stolen, which they had not.
Neighbors of a building on Folsom Street near 24th Street were baffled by the sheer number of bicycles pulled out of a garage on the block on Tuesday.
At least one truckload of bicycles and bike parts was hauled away from a multifamily building — workers at two nearby businesses said the bikes numbered in the hundreds.
SFPD Public Information Officer Grace Gatpandan said officers had been called to the scene to respond to a civil dispute between the owner of the bicycles and the owner of the building where they had been stored. Police checked the serial numbers of all of the bicycles, and found that none had been reported stolen.
The owner of the bicycles then transported them away for storage.
A photo of one truck piled with bikes in the driveway to the building circulated on Reddit after the incident.
William Velez, who works at Sidewalk Juice next door to the building where the bikes were housed, said the activity went on for hours, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. He said notice had been posted some two days in advance of the seizure, and that someone may have been living in the garage.
A visiting cyclist who arrived at the building while this reporter was knocking on doors said he knew nothing about any police activity or bicycles at the building. A resident of the building said he’d been at work and was also unfamiliar with what had happened.
“It was crazy,” said Ali Mohammed, who lives nearby and works at the corner store across from the building — he watched as more and more bikes were pulled from the garage. He said it took hours for them all to be removed.
Gatpandan emphasized the importance of registering bicycles by serial number so that, if they do get stolen, they can be returned to their rightful owners.