Author Topic: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it  (Read 5744 times)

shelivesthedream

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The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« on: October 21, 2016, 02:18:55 AM »
Got to admit, I am both impressed by their ingenuity and slightly creeped out: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/21/bike-lock-developed-that-makes-thieves-immediately-vomit

Counting_Down

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2016, 08:03:08 AM »
lol, what an amazing invention.  I hope they make money on this.

Sofa King

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2016, 08:08:17 AM »
Excellent!!!

Guses

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2016, 08:55:05 AM »
Can someone quote the article here?

Any chance the lock explodes in your own face if you fall or otherwise bump it?

deadlymonkey

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2016, 09:25:31 AM »
Lock is hollow and filled with pressurized gas.  Once it is partly cut through, the gas blows out in the direction of the cut causing any number of bad things.  Legal because it can't be set off until the lock is physically broken.  Thief could always return to finish the job after the spray but the spray sticks to skin and clothes.  I think they could add a dye to it as well.  Good idea overall, although I have never had a bike stolen.





A man approaches a bicycle, handheld electric saw at the ready. He powers it on, starts to drill, and is shot in the face with a noxious spray that makes him vomit uncontrollably. This is the dream of the inventors of SkunkLock.

“Basically we were fed up with thefts,” said Daniel Idzkowski from San Francisco, one of the inventors of SkunkLock. “The real last straw was we had a friend park his very expensive electric bike outside a Whole Foods, and then went to have lunch and chat. We went out and his bike was gone.”

Idzkowski’s friend had used two locks, each $120, whose inability to stop a thief outraged him. “I blurted out, ‘why didn’t it blow his balls off?’”




 


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He eventually landed on a less violent and more legal innovation. “I realized there really is no solution to this problem,” he said. “The biggest problem in this industry is that people don’t know that the lock that they bought for $20 is absolutely worthless. It costs at least $100 to have at least somewhere close to where you can at least curb the chances of a thief wanting to steal your bike.”

With the right tools, Idzkowski said, a thief could cut through most locks in less than a minute. Thieves, he said, “talk in seconds: a 15-second bike, a 20-second bike, and it goes up to 30-60-second bikes, with Kryptonite locks that require two cuts, each about 25 seconds”.

With his co-inventor, Yves Perrenoud, Idzkowski created a U-shaped lock of carbon and steel with a hollow chamber to hold one of three pressurized gases of their own concoction, including one called “formula D_1”. When someone cuts about 30% of the way into the lock, Idzkowski said, the gas erupts in the direction of the gash.


“It’s pretty much immediately vomit inducing, causes difficulty breathing,” Idzkowski said. “A lot of similar symptoms to pepper spray.”

The inventors have not yet tested the device on an actual would-be thief, but have tested it on themselves and volunteers at distances of two feet (60cm), five feet, 10ft and 20ft. “At two feet it was pretty bad. It was absolutely vomit inducing in 99% of people. At five feet it’s very noticeable and the initial reaction is to move away from it. At 10ft it’s definitely detectable and very unpleasant.”

Bike thieves have had virtually free rein around San Francisco and the Bay area for years, stealing thousands every year, turning warehouses and underpasses into chop shops, victimizing residents and city officials alike. Last year the thefts prompted a 20/20 news segment, and city police estimated that eight in 10 bikes in a chop shop are stolen. Anecdotal evidence supports the statistics: on Thursday, a Mission resident told the Guardian that thieves had recently strolled into his garage and cut three bikes from their locks on the wall.

Idzkowski said their chemical had passed compliance tests and was legal, and that its variants were designed to be compliant according to the varying rules of 50 states, major cities and EU nations.

He admitted the lock was not foolproof. It could be picked, for instance – and many bike locks can be picked with something as simple as a cheap plastic pen. Idzkowski argued, though, that the widespread use of advanced disc-cylinder tumbler locks, including in the SkunkLock, meant it might take even skilled lockpicks up to half an hour of tinkering – long enough to draw attention.

A thief could also simply return to the spent lock, though Idzkowski insisted this would not be easy, because the noxious spray clings to skin and clothing.

“You’re basically just puking on yourself the entire time,” he said. “They could change all their clothes, shower, if the bike is still there come out and cut the remaining 75% of the lock. You can’t prevent a theft 100%, so that’s why we call it a deterrent lock, not a solution.

“All you have to do is be better than the bike across the street.”

Like many Bay area entrepreneurs, the SkunkLock creators are crowdfunding for their future. Pledging $99 to their Indiegogo fund promises a customer their own SkunkLock in June 2017, pending risk assessment by their legal team.

Guses

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2016, 10:12:49 AM »
Lock is hollow and filled with pressurized gas.  Once it is partly cut through, the gas blows out in the direction of the cut causing any number of bad things.  Legal because it can't be set off until the lock is physically broken.  Thief could always return to finish the job after the spray but the spray sticks to skin and clothes.  I think they could add a dye to it as well.  Good idea overall, although I have never had a bike stolen.

Thanks for posting the details!

I have never had a bike stolen either. I drive a really old MTB so probably not very sought after.

It would be even better if the lock could be compartmentalized so that there are multiple pressurized chambers to cut through.

mskyle

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2016, 10:44:22 AM »
It's an interesting idea but personally I'm not willing to resort to chemical attacks for property crime...

Also, I suspect that in general, if your bike gets stolen while it's properly locked up (i.e. with a real lock to a real rack), it's because you left it there for a LONG TIME. And the skunk gas only comes out of the lock once... so what's the stop the thief from triggering the lock, barfing and feeling furious, then coming back an hour later and finishing the job? If someone's already serious enough about stealing your particular bike that they're using tools that will get through a high-quality U-lock I don't see why *this* is the thing that would stop them. And if they *do* just run away, your bike is all covered in skunk juice. Hope you didn't have a nice Brooks saddle or anything.

Just lock up your bike properly!

zephyr911

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2016, 10:46:53 AM »
OMG that's fucking hilarious. Want!
But I can't buy anything this week because MMM... ;)

No Name Guy

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2016, 01:05:27 PM »
As personally satisfying (in an uncivilized sort of way) as it would be to do this to a thief.......

Prepare to be sued.

This is a booby trap, no different that rigging a shotgun to fire when a perp kicks down your front door (well, the whole not catching a load of probably fatal buckshot thing is different) but a booby trap the same.

I can imagine some lil'-ole-lady just down wind of the perps gets a lung full of this stuff, tears out some muscles from the heaving and dies.

Just wait until someone abandons their ride at the grocery store with one of these....some time later the local grocery mart goes to cut the lock to take the trash away and.......

Metric Mouse

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2016, 11:20:25 PM »
Some civilized countries allow flamethrowers, not just smelly juice...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLhWzMOccTg

fdhs_runner

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2016, 06:58:25 AM »
Quote
Bike thieves have had virtually free rein around San Francisco and the Bay area for years, stealing thousands every year, turning warehouses and underpasses into chop shops, victimizing residents and city officials alike. Last year the thefts prompted a 20/20 news segment, and city police estimated that eight in 10 bikes in a chop shop are stolen. Anecdotal evidence supports the statistics: on Thursday, a Mission resident told the Guardian that thieves had recently strolled into his garage and cut three bikes from their locks on the wall.

That's a really sad commentary on SF in general.

Quote
Also, I suspect that in general, if your bike gets stolen while it's properly locked up (i.e. with a real lock to a real rack), it's because you left it there for a LONG TIME.

Even given that. I've lived in some places where you can park a bike for 1/2 the day and not worry about it. I've seen my boss leave his grill in the back of a pickup outside the office for 2 days and it didn't get stolen.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 07:02:26 AM by fdhs_runner »

accolay

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2016, 08:06:33 AM »
As personally satisfying (in an uncivilized sort of way) as it would be to do this to a thief.......

Prepare to be sued.

This is a booby trap, no different that rigging a shotgun to fire when a perp kicks down your front door (well, the whole not catching a load of probably fatal buckshot thing is different) but a booby trap the same.

I can imagine some lil'-ole-lady just down wind of the perps gets a lung full of this stuff, tears out some muscles from the heaving and dies.

Just wait until someone abandons their ride at the grocery store with one of these....some time later the local grocery mart goes to cut the lock to take the trash away and.......

Maybe. I doubt that people who would spend for this lock would leave it too long... But you do raise points for why electric shock should be the future.

scrubbyfish

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2016, 08:53:07 AM »
Love!

I live in an area where even bike sellers say there's no point to owning a bike because "it will just get stolen." Here was my sad story from this year, with some of what that theft cost us: https://financialtipsforthebroke.com/2016/07/30/the-cost-of-costly-possessions/

As much as I'd like to see, oh, an actual deterrent—since laws, etc are proving useless—I'm confused about how this is legal. At least where I am, property laws seem to favour thieves and their safety, comfort, and happiness.

And, if I died while out shopping and thus accidentally left my bike at a pole, I wouldn't want to count on police or others not recognizing it's a vomit-trap one...

shelivesthedream

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2016, 11:02:58 AM »
To be fair to the company, they do explain on their crowdfunding page that this lock's main aim is just to up the deterrent factor, not to make it literally impossible to steal your bike. It has black and white stripes and a big logo saying "SKUNKLOCK" so it ought to be obvious to anyone trying to cut into it that it isn't an ordinary bike lock, and that's part of the point - it looks obviously "dangerous". It just ups the ante in trying to make your bike more hassle to steal than the one next to it.

scrubbyfish

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2016, 11:06:53 AM »
It has black and white stripes and a big logo saying "SKUNKLOCK" so it ought to be obvious to anyone trying to cut into it that it isn't an ordinary bike lock...

Oh excellent!

Metric Mouse

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2016, 09:39:09 PM »
As much as I'd like to see, oh, an actual deterrent—since laws, etc are proving useless—I'm confused about how this is legal. At least where I am, property laws seem to favour thieves and their safety, comfort, and happiness.

And, if I died while out shopping and thus accidentally left my bike at a pole, I wouldn't want to count on police or others not recognizing it's a vomit-trap one...

I think society has generally determined that corporal punishment for petty crimes is not a fair way to treat people.

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2016, 10:17:15 PM »
Locks... locks... right, that's what you need if you live in shitty urban hellholes where scum tries to steal everything that isn't locked, and makes a good effort against stuff that is!

Can't say I miss that environment one bit.

I expect this is probably illegal in most states.  Just as you can't generally rig a shotgun to blow the guts out of someone who breaks into your shed in most states, this will probably land a few bike owners in jail, because Criminal Rights Matter.  It's probably going to be considered assault, though I can guess that a few other approaches might apply when the DA gets wind of it.

shelivesthedream

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2016, 02:47:25 AM »
Their crowdfunding page has a section explaining how it IS legal in the US. They're working on establishing legality for other countries, UK included, so they can sell internationally.

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2016, 03:40:26 AM »
Their crowdfunding page has a section explaining how it IS legal in the US.

Maybe.  Even if it is, I sure wouldn't want to risk the liability via lawsuit to my stache of owning one.  It being legal doesn't protect you from a lawsuit claiming damages.
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Metric Mouse

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2016, 04:52:19 PM »
Their crowdfunding page has a section explaining how it IS legal in the US. They're working on establishing legality for other countries, UK included, so they can sell internationally.

Meh - it's just a bicycle. Not really worth assaulting someone over.

Guses

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2016, 07:25:53 AM »
I have been successful in not having my bike stolen. I assume that the fact it looks like ass and the very recognizable nature of it has something to do with it.

Theft is one of the reasons I am not upgrading my bike.

On my local selling site, there are several legit bikes for sale for 25-50$. I would start with that.

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2016, 07:58:41 AM »
On my local selling site, there are several legit bikes for sale for 25-50$. I would start with that.

Yep, I ride a $50 special - no locks, no problem. Been riding it for 3 years now. Of course I'm not exactly in a high-crime area. I still think the real solution is to ride a bike that wouldn't be devastating to have stolen. Or perhaps a GPS tracking device of some kind, if you absolutely must have a fancy bike?

scrubbyfish

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2016, 08:08:30 AM »
I think society has generally determined that corporal punishment for petty crimes is not a fair way to treat people.

My note here will sort of bypass some of your point (i.e., we don't cause physical injury over mere physical objects), but I think in a lot of regions the bikes surpass the legal definition for petty. I mean, we had approximately $2k stolen from us in under two minutes. And, I was certainly sick enough, anxious enough, etc, for some time after, and put in a lot of compensatory hours after it, that I think it might be better if a thief had to vomit (or, better, declined to steal from us in order not to vomit).

I'd genuinely prefer to be a Buddha person who didn't mind if things came and went, but I'm not yet, and that theft sure had an impact on me. And the bike seller I mentioned gave up his amazing business and moved far away—the repeated thefts impacted him, too, and I don't mean only financially/business-ily.

My own extreme piece of crap was stolen before I owned my good one, so that strategy didn't work for us. I won't bother having a bike again, and my kid has a piece of crap now that he is thoroughly enjoying, and he knows we have $80 set aside for when this one is taken. So we, too, are definitely going that route vs locks, insurance, vomit, etc, but I'm still for the skunk for those who need (disability, etc) or appreciate a better bike.

rocketpj

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2016, 05:38:29 PM »
I've had several bikes stolen over the years.  A couple from in front of my old office.  A couple from inside my garage.  Now when I ride in Vancouver I tend to use bikes I don't care about - i.e. $50 consignment store 10 speeds.

I don't think I'd use this.  Bike thieves, at least around Vancouver, are typically homeless and addicted.  They often have a lot of other health issues as well.  I can see someone getting gassed and dying from some kind of seizure or heart attack.  And I don't own anything worth killing someone over, certainly not a bicycle. Even if I was legally in the right, and there was a giant flashing sign saying 'steal this bike and you will die' I wouldn't want to be in that position.

scrubbyfish

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2016, 10:36:05 PM »
...homeless and addicted.  They often have a lot of other health issues as well.  I can see someone getting gassed and dying from some kind of seizure or heart attack.

That's a very good point, rocketpj!

I was thinking a person whose body can handle drugs (mine sure can't) can handle vomiting, but your point is good: the same issue can make a person's body far more vulnerable to the effects of vomiting.

An irony in my most recent theft was that I was about to donate mine to a specific charity around homelessness, and when all was said and done, I did (obviously) have less available to give. That was part of what hurt. I did try hard to console myself with the indirect giving the theft was and resulted in.

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Re: The SkunkLock makes bike thieves vomit when they cut into it
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2016, 02:51:46 AM »
Wow I watched the 20/20 link nuts, guess I'm lucky I live in Germany and only had one bike stolen,my own fault but over all no issue