A family in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood woke up to dozens of LimeBike rental bikes in their yard Tuesday morning.
The homeowner and a LimeBike spokesperson told KIRO 7 it was a 40th birthday prank. Some neighbors think it’s funny, but others are left unnerved, since the neighborhood has had recent car and home break-ins.
Forty bright green and yellow bikes were placed all throughout the yard. One was put up in a tree, and several bikes blocked the driveway. The sight was hard to miss.
“I thought it was pretty funny,” said Chris Maynor, who lives down the block with five other recent college graduates. “Swear it wasn’t us.”
Neighbors walking by stopped to take pictures, and most said they thought it was a funny prank, but others aren’t laughing.
“I would call the police right away,” said Doll Arntzen, who has been concerned with recent break-ins. “That's just a concern because we've got, like I said, so much going on in the neighborhood. You'd have thought someone would pick up on that, and we just all slept right through it.”
In the past, LimeBike officials have called incidents like this illegal and morally wrong. But there was a much different tone in their response to this case.
Here’s LimeBike's statement:
“We’ve been in touch with the homeowners, who were amused and surprised to wake up to a lawn full of bikes as a practical joke for the husband’s 40th birthday. The owners said their friends were the ones responsible for laying out the bikes overnight, all in good fun. While we do not condone bike vandalism of any sort, this was clearly meant as a fun, practical joke. We’re happy to see people embrace the fun nature and excitement of the LimeBike brand, and wish a Happy 40th Birthday celebration.
"As soon as we were notified, our local team was immediately dispatched to retrieve the bikes. They were able to successfully remove all 40 bikes, one for every year being celebrated, within an hour of notification.
"In Seattle and all our markets, LimeBike’s on-the-ground local operations team is constantly monitoring the bikes using their GPS mapping technology to ensure they are maintained. Our 24/7 customer experience team and an in-app reporting feature allows riders to easily and quickly report bikes that need attention. This helps us ensure we’re responsive in the communities we serve."