UPDATE: The owner of the home had filed a report with police when they found pedicab. Police told them to put it in the driveway. The homeowner said the following in a note to me:
"This bike showed up on the sidewalk in front of our house one recent morning. We called the police and they told us to pull it up on the driveway and they would come to get it. When the policeman mentioned in this article came to our house, he asked where we got the bike. I asked if he came in response to our report but he said he was looking for the stolen bike and hadn't heard of our "found bike" report. He straightened it out, thanked us and said he would have the cab person pick it up."
ORIGINAL STORY: I received a call from Davis Pedicab owner Andrew Watters Thursday evening informing me that that last Saturday night had been located.
He told me that the rider, Paul Raffanelli, was waiting for police to show up to a home near Anderson Road and Villanova Drive. The pedicab was parked in front of a Prius in a driveway on Villanova.
A police officer arrived shortly after I got to the scene. The officer knocked on the door and spoke with the residents for a few minutes, and then called Raffanelli up to grab the pedicab.
According to the officer, the residents said the pedicab ended up in the neighborhood via somebody else. They said they did not take it from the original location, according to the officer.
I asked Raffanelli how it felt knowing that he wouldn’t have to come up with $2,000 to cover the cost of the missing pedicab. He looked at his friend (who was the one to locate the missing property in the driveway), and said he began singing when he found out. He was relieved.
He then rode the pedicab in circles, inspecting the damage. He said it had been treated roughly and would need some care, but that the damage was not serious. The advertisements had been removed from the pedicab as well, as you can see in the photo above.
We were told that at least one of the people who reported seeing the pedicab in the neighborhood learned that it was missing through Davis Patch. So, if you forwarded the original story, high-five to you.
HERE’S OUR ORIGINAL STORY. THANKS TO ALL WHO FORWARDED IT:
It was about 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning and pedicab rider Paul Raffanelli had just dropped off his last customers at a home near 3rd and B Streets.
Those final customers were regulars to whom Raffanelli had given rides often. Before heading home on the pedicab, he “put the bike up against the house, behind a hedge,” and quickly went in to fill some water bottles.
When he got out a few minutes later, the pedicab was gone. He immedately went into search mode.
“I rode around on a bike but couldn’t find it,” he said. “I called UCDPD, who sent out dispatch to TAPS. I called the City of Davis PD. I looked for an hour (that night) and then all of the following day.”
Raffanelli has no way of knowing whether the pedicab was immediately disposed of, stripped of its parts, quickly taken out of town or if it's still in Davis -- abandoned or being hidden.
He says it would be pretty unwise for someone to ride it around Davis, especially now that the community has its eyes open.
“My gut is that some drunk knucklehead jumped on it,” said Raffanelli. “Everybody wants to ride a pedicab. They don’t get that I’m personally on the hook for it.”
In hopes of turning up the missing property and avoiding having to pay for the missing pedicab, Raffanelli has put up a $200 reward for anybody who supplies information that directly leads to finding the property. Your identity will be kept anonymous, he said.
If you have information, contact 530-771-7405 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Davis Pedicab’s owner, Andrew Watters, said that the pedicabs are worth more than $2,000 and are insured at a cost of $1,200 per pedicab per year. He said that filing a claim would make their rates go up, though, so it doesn't make much sense to report it unless the pedicab was purchased brand new.
Raffanelli isn't sure which direction the thieves went after stealing the pedicab, but has a feeling they went west, into the housing area between B Street and the University. He reiterates that the pedicab could be anywhere, though.
You've probaby seen the pedicabs around town. If not: The stolen one is yellow and had several advertisements zip tied to the frame at the time of the theft. If you see any discarded advertisements or the bike itself, comment below or contact the phone number or email address above.
Feel free to share this story with anybody whom you think might be able to help.