Mar 31, 2023
Royal Johnson and Timberwolves Cycle Recovery
In this episode, host Jonathan Maus welcomes members of Timberwolves Cycle Recovery into he Shed. Also known as the Sith Lord Vader Squadron Timberwolves, they're a grassroots group of Portlanders who are taking the law into their own hands to recover stolen bicycles. They are led by Royal Johnson, who is the main voice you'll hear in the episode. Royal and Jonathan were joined by Laura Dallago, the group's treasurer, and Rich Baker, who coordinates their events and rides.
Royal started the group in Austin, Texas in 2011 and he maintains a chapter of the group there, as well as one in Los Angeles, Colorado, and Houston. Their MO is to enlist people to help them spot stolen bikes, research online to find out of it the bike is indeed stolen, and then if it is, they hit the streets and try to recover it.
On March 18th, Royal went on a recovery mission in the South Waterfront district that was first reported as a robbery by gunpoint. Alarmed by the initial reports, we did a story immediately based on details from an OHSU campus alert and a police report that said someone flashed a gun and robbed someone of a blue electric bike near the intersection of SW Sheridan and Moody. It was only after we published that we figured out Royal was involved and that perhaps the person who reported the gun wasn't telling the truth. It all turned into a mess, so Royal and I agreed he should come over to the shed so we could hash everything out.
* What really happened with that bike theft confrontation in South Waterfront? - (BikePortland, 3/22/23)
* Updated: Stolen bike recovery leads to confrontation in South Waterfront (BikePortland, 3/18/23)
* ‘Timberwolves’ look to hunt down and recover stolen bikes (BikePortland, 10/24/22)
* SLVS Timberwolves on Instagram