Your Bicycle’s U-Lock on the Mean Streets of San Francisco: A Thermite Cutter or a Plasma Torch Just Might Do You In

Thusly:

Click to expand

Don’t know what did this kind of damage.

Anyway, that’s the evidence, as found on Oak Street north of SoPA and South of NoPA, so it’s up to you to figure the M.O.

[Oh, an angle grinder - that also could explain the burning. See comments.]

[Oh, it could have been an  oxy-acetylene torch as well. See comments.]

Or it could have been Arnold – he has the equipment, anyway.

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4 Responses to “Your Bicycle’s U-Lock on the Mean Streets of San Francisco: A Thermite Cutter or a Plasma Torch Just Might Do You In”

  1. jeff says:

    i know what did…it’s called an angle grinder

  2. sfcitizen says:

    All right. Well, seemed a lot of burning in there.

    I know that angle grinders are just the thing for Denver Boots but I’ve never seen one in action…

  3. PC says:

    Since the cut surfaces are bubbly, not straight, I say it’s a portable oxy-acetylene torch. The remaining rubber on the U looks burnt too.

  4. a welder says:

    angle grinders are slow – at least a minute to get through that is my guess – and you can hear them 2 blocks away. one of the loudest machines in existence.

    plasma cutter is expensive and not very portable. Energy hogs, they have to be plugged into power grid, most want 220 power. plus, slower to set up, more dangerous to operate, and easier to bung up the tip. It also needs electrical conduction, so plastic would likely have to be cut w/something else before it could be used.
    and its also true, as somebody else pointed out, it’d be a cleaner cut than that pictured.

    It was an oxy-acet torch – the preferred tools of dismantlers bc they’re lo-tech, robust, easy to use. easily mounted in the back of a van, they could back it up to the bike, doors swung open to block glare from the sides, burn through *anything* silently, throw it in and go. pros could likely do it in about ten seconds.