Police are searching for a velocipede vandal who rented two bikes from a Seattle bike share company last week, only to return them hours later covered in paint and scrawled messages.
The suspect first rented one of Pronto’s bright-green custom-made bicycles from a bike station at 3rd Avenue and Pike Street around 5 AM on November 13th. Six hours later, he returned the bicycle to the same location, after scrawling messages and strings of numbers in permanent ink on the bike’s frame.
Around 2PM that afternoon, the same suspect rented a second Pronto bike at Westlake Ave N and Republican Street and spent two hours coating the bike in silver paint. The suspect then returned the repainted bicycle to the Westlake and Republican station.
The two incidents caused an estimated $1250 in damage.
Police believe both bikes were vandalized by the same man, as it appears he used his credit card to rent both bicycles. Detectives are still working to locate the man.
While the suspect’s motivation remains unclear, SPD Graffiti Detective Chris Young says he doesn’t believe the suspect intended to make an artistic statement.
When asked whether he believes crime and art can ever be the same thing, Det. Young paused for a contemplative moment. “It’s all about permission,” he said.