At MoBo, we have had to occasionally ban folks from the shop over the years. It has never been a big problem, but it has happened. I don't recall a time that we have ever called the police (though we probably would if we caught someone in the act of stealing something significant). Most of the incidents I know of have involved disrespectful/threatening behavior or habitual disregard for shop rules and community expectations. I don't think we've ever had an incident of retaliation.

My advice is to have a policy in place before you need it. Specifically, I'm thinking of a Safe Space policy and/or set of community guidelines for using the shop. These should be posted in the shop or otherwise accessible for everyone. You should also have the process for removal in writing. Doing this takes the pressure off of organizers/volunteers, who often need to feel supported by the group or a policy to take action. It also helps keep everyone on the same page about how to deal with these situations. Finally, it allows the offender to clearly see the line they have crossed, which I imagine could lead to more acceptance of the decision on their part.

One last thing: it's my personal opinion that organizations should be forthright and open with their members or community about these incidents. It's definitely important not to slander someone, but especially if your group is a cooperative or a collective, then this person has acted against everyone, and everyone should know about it.

MoBo Bike Co-op

On Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 1:16 PM, Joshua Muir <> wrote:
At the Bike Church in Santa Cruz, we "86" (ban) individuals who either steal or otherwise abuse the space.  If the situation warrants it, we call the cops.

Generally, we say "your behavior is not working for the shop, and you are no longer welcome at our facility.  If you would like to discuss the situation and attempt to make ammends, you can come to our collective meeting."  Until they come to work things out, they are not welcome.  The tough thing is, for us, keeping track of who has been banned.  It is important to keep a list and make sure all the mechanics are on the same page.  We have different mechanics working all the time so this can be tough.  Photos of people help, but that can be tough.


On Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 9:59 AM, Leslie Peteya <> wrote:
Police + we've banned people when they've clearly escalated beyond the scope of our control.  We've taken away keys and permanent banishment with board approval.

Durham Bike Co-op

On Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 12:49 PM, Andy Greif <> wrote:

Please get the police involved.

Take care,

Andy Greif


From: [] On Behalf Of Tim Buckingham
Sent: Friday, June 07, 2013 12:44 PM
Subject: [TheThinkTank] Theft, punishment, etc


Here at Broke Spoke we have had an individual who has been stealing on a regular basis and who is more self-fulfilling than actually contributing to the mission of the space. It is to the point where we think we need to ask him to leave the shop and to not return.


Anyone have any experience with situations like this? Any retaliation? 



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Joshua Muir

Frances Cycles
Handbuilt cycling framesets
Touring, Track, Road,Cross, and Cargo
203 Cedar St  Santa Cruz, CA  (831) 469-3369

The Bicycle Church Collective 
Community Self-Service Cycle Repair
3pm to 7pm everyday except Sunday
703 Pacific Ave  (enter on Spruce St)
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 425-2453

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