The Bicycle Tool Thief

POST NOTE, 10:35AM: Since going live with this post late last night, I have received about a dozen emails and phone calls from people that have been victims of Gregory White. People whose lives have been truly damaged. Suppliers who are owed thousands of dollars in a tight market. Even people who almost became his victim. Many of these people are in businesses where they can’t speak out. I am far from an exception here, I am the rule.

POST NOTE, 9:30PM: I have my fixture back. There’s so much more to the story.

I can’t believe that it has come to this…

Growing up, I learned that there were two types of thieves that have a very special place in hell; tool thieves and bicycle thieves.

Think now, how bad it is to be a bicycle tool thief!

Gregory White of Magic Cycle Werks in Bend, Oregon turned out to be on that low of a level. Like, holy cow what a lying snake in the grass dirtbag this guy turned out to be. (After this post went live, I’m hearing many stories about him. It turns out that he’s pulled a lot of shit like this.)

I met Greg at NAHBS back in 2016? He was a novice framebuilder trying to get a business going. I talked with him for a while at the show. He knew nothing about bike design and certainly less about mountain bikes and I was giving him a lesson. In the weeks following the show, I tried to help him with a design on BikeCAD for his girlfriend’s mountain bike. I like to help people when I can, this is a common thing for me to do. I think he ignored everything of what I did to help and built some junk pile instead.

The years go by. He pops up here and there on message boards and facebook. Not much of note but we flow in different circles.

Then, about a month ago, I put my Anvil Journeyman 3.1 jig up for sale. I’m building an entirely new frame fixture for myself and I needed to sell this to raise the funds. Selling what I have to make what I need.

This is a really nice fixture. Almost in new condition as I build very few bikes with it and by TIG. The demand for these tools is huge as they aren’t being made any more.

Greg reached out to me about the fixture, eager for me to ship the tool to him in Bend from the Bay Area where I live. I wasn’t interested in shipping it. It’s a real pain in the ass to ship things like this. It’s also expensive to do that. Pickup only.

He pressed me about how bad he wanted it and there had to be some way to make a sale happen as he couldn’t do the 20 hour round trip drive and keep his job. I decided to give into charity. If he met me in Redding, CA, about halfway between us, I would deliver it that far. The price would be $4000 with a nice rolling stand that I made. I needed half the money in advance to commit to the drive 10 hours of driving I was going to have to do.

It took some doing, according to him, to get $2099 to me by Venmo before the trip. This was sent from ‘Kathleen Branch‘. Apparently, Greg doesn’t know how to move money via the internet. He blamed this for most of the issues here.

How does someone in the modern era not know how to use PayPal, Venmo, or any of the other services that are common online. This should have been a major red flag. Instead, I just figured he was a fool.

So I drove up to Redding on June 15, 2020. Things were going smoothly until just out of town, I got a flat tire. Passenger side front. Slow leaking. Sucks. I pull into the meeting spot with some air left and grab a burger. I’m early so I get to thinking about fixing the flat. A plug should do it for now. I try to drive to a local tire shop but it’s too far gone at this point. I don’t want to cause more damage, so I pull to a side road, just about 1/8th a mile from where we were to meet. I get out the donut and jack that was stuck under all the fixture stuff and go to work.

Fuck. The wheel was stuck to the hub. I couldn’t get it off. I struggle for about 40 minutes. Finally, I’m under the car banging the inside rim with the iron to get it to move (yes, I tried rolling it loose) when Greg calls asking where I was. I sent him a pin to come to me. I kept banging. The rim actually started to move. Greg shows up and I continue to bang and bang, slowly working the wheel free. Once it was, I bolted the donut down and we made the deal.

Of course, he wasn’t able to get to a bank for cash in time so he ‘had’ to write me a check. I didn’t want that but I figured that he was in business, in this community, and it would be a silly thing to do to rip me off.

We exchange the fixture and the check. This was the exact moment that I was violated. He drove off. I drove off. I had just boarded Greg’s crazy train.

I take the check and drive home. We deposit it when I get home via internet banking.

A few days later we are notified by my bank that the check was returned. Account not found.

Of course, that’s his business phone number he wrote on the check and he’s no longer at the street address.

I figure that there was an issue with the scan of the check as we did it via a phone app so I went ‘in person’ go to the bank where it was drawn, US Bank, and attempt to cash it. At the window, it takes a while. The cashier started having problems. He calls over his manager. They spend about 10 minutes searching data bases. They can’t find the account. It no longer exists.

This was now larceny by check.

He clearly didn’t make a mistake. He past a bad check from an account that doesn’t exist.

The thing is, when we were meeting up in Redding and I wasn’t where we were supposed to meet, he called me via his personal cell phone (626-373-5475). This was important as it was my only way to really get in touch with him after the fact.

I contact him via text. 

After days of false promises and discussing the matter via text and trying to keep forward momentum, he promised to FedEx a proper cashiers check to me, next day. He missed a day sending it but a tracking number meant that it was on it’s way. On 6/25/2020 the envelope shows up. I open it….and it was empty. An empty Fedex envelope! I’ve never experienced anything like this. Who sends an empty FedEx envelope?!
Mixed in with all of this has been about dozens false promises and bullshit stories. I now know that he is an obvious liar and a thief.
On June 25, I demanded my fixture back or the balance due of $1901, in my possession by this Sunday, June 28, 2020. He would have to bring the fixture to my home in Fairfax, California. If neither of these conditions were met, I would begin civil and criminal cases against him for larceny/grand theft and the return of my property. If he failed to make me whole, I promised that everyone I knew, from Bend to Boston would hear about this. Others that just know me on the internet would hear about it. I would keep a link and blog post circulating about what he’d done. I would make sure that it’s the first thing people start talking about when his name or face shows up. If he imagined that this wouldn’t come at a cost, he was very wrong. This would begin on Monday (6/29).
How much is this much negative advertising worth?
I knew that it was in both of our interests that this didn’t happen. I’ve lived long enough to know what this means:
“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”― Confucius

I really tried everything. I gave Greg every chance. My action is not rash or without cause. It’s been weeks. I warned him several times what I would do. In return I was gifted one lie and bullshit story after another. It was time to carry through. I gave him a hard deadline of 6pm on July 4th before I went live with this. He, again, blew me off. But more lies.

After the last lie, on July 7th, that a 3rd party would be sending me money ‘ASAP’ fell apart like all of the other lies, I fully gave up. After talking with this 3rd party on the phone (2020/07/10), it turns out they had no idea what had been promised in their name.

Greg has shown that he has no interest in making me whole. That he prefers to lie about anything to get through life. Warned of what I would do, he blew me off.

I didn’t want any of this in my life. I put doing this off as long as I could have. I didn’t want to loose $1901 dollars. I didn’t want to get ripped off when my fixture should have gone to someone that deserved it. Greg did this. He’s a dam dirty thief. Spread his negativity into my world. Fucking asshole.

Of course, I’ve begun legal action. Him being in another state with an unknown address makes things extremely hard. He’s also got several judgments against him collecting dust that I’ve heard about.

If you know Greg, you should let him know that you read this. That tool thieves go to hell. That bike thieves go to hell. And the bike tool thieves go to the lowest level of hell.

Not knowing his actual address, even harder. I can’t even go to Bend to retrieve the fixture as he wouldn’t show up or work to make that happen. His last known workshop address, he has since move maybe two more times. His whereabouts is unknown:

19879 8th St
South Unit
Bend, OR 97703

There’s even a facebook group for folks that have been victimized by this guy:

What really kills me is how much negative energy that this has brought into my life and how distracted that I’ve been from my real work. I made a mistake of trust and I’ve been punished. I’ve been depressed with this on top of what is happening in the world. It’s hard to get stoked. Getting robbed sucks. What a huge waste.

Losing half of the value tied up in this fixture is now leaving me scrambling to get the money to pay for my new version. He’s essentially, putting me out of ‘business’. WTF?!

Greg’s failed photography blog, HERE. I bet he did this in the photo world also.

Better Business Bureau complaints

U.S. First Strike
U.S.S.R. First Strike
NATO / Warsaw Pact
Far East Strategy
U.S. / U.S.S.R. escalation
Middle East War
U.S.S.R. / China Attack
India / Pakistan War
Mediterranean War
Hong Kong Variant
SEATO Decapitating
Cuban Provocation
Atlantic Heavy
Cuban Paramilitary
Nicaraguan Pre-emptive
Pacific Territorial
Burmese Theaterwide
Turkish Decoy
NATO (obstructed)
Argentina Escalation
Iceland Maximum
Arabian Theaterwide
U.S. Subversion
Australian Maneuver
(obstructed) Diversion
(obstructed) Limited
Sudan Surprise
NATO Territorial
Zaire Alliance
Iceland Incident
English Escalation
Zaire Screen
Middle East Heavy
Mexican Takeover
Chad Alert
Saudi Maneuver
African Territorial
Ethiopian Calamity
Canadian (obstructed)
Turkish Heavy
NATO Incursion
U.S. Defense
Cambodian Heavy
(Warsaw) Pact Medium
Arctic Minimal
Mexican Domestic
Taiwanese Theaterwide
Pacific Maneuver
Portugal Revolution
Albanian Decoy
Palestinian Local
Moroccan Minimal
(obstructed) Diversion
Czech Option
French Alliance
Arabian Clandestine
Gabon Rebellion
Northern Maximum
(obstructed) Sabotage
(obstructed) Paramilitary
SEATO Takeover
Hawaiian Escalation
Iranian Maneuver
NATO Containment
Swiss Incident
Cuba Minimal
Chad (obstructed)
Iceland Escalation
Vietnamese Retaliation
Syrian Provocation
Libyan Local
Gabon Takeover
Romanian War
Middle East Offensive
Denmark Massive
Chile Confrontation
South African Subversion
U.S.S.R. Alert
Nicaraguan Thrust
Greenland Domestic
Iceland Heavy
Kenya Option
Pacific Defense
Uganda Maximum
Thai Subversion
Romanian Strike
Pakistan Sovereignty
Afghan Misdirection
Thai Variation
Northern Territorial
Polish Paramilitary
South African Offensive
Panama Misdirection
Scandinavian Domestic
Jordan Pre-emptive
English Thrust
Burmese Maneuver
Spain Counter
Arabian Offensive
Chad Interdiction
Taiwan Misdirection
Bangladesh Theaterwide
Ethiopian Local
Italian Takeover
Vietnamese Incident
English Pre-emptive
Denmark Alternate
Thai Confrontation
Taiwan Surprise
Brazilian Strike
Venezuela Sudden
Malaysian Alert
Israel Discretionary
Libyan Action
Palestinian Tactical
NATO Alternate
Cyprus Maneuver
Egypt Misdirection
Bangladesh Thrust
Kenya Defense
Bangladesh Containment
Vietnamese Strike
Albanian Containment
Gabon Surprise
Iraq Sovereignty
Vietnamese Sudden
Lebanon Interdiction
Taiwan Domestic
Algerian Sovereignty
Arabian Strike
Atlantic Sudden
Mongolian Thrust
Polish Decoy
Alaskan Discretionary
Canadian Thrust
Arabian Light
South African Domestic
Tunisian Incident
Malaysian Maneuver
Jamaica Decoy
Malaysian Minimal
Russian Sovereignty
Chad Option
Bangladesh War
Burmese Containment
Asian Theaterwide
Bulgarian Clandestine
Greenland Incursion
Egypt Surgical
Czech Heavy
Taiwan Confrontation
Greenland Maximum
Uganda Offensive
Caspian Defense