Someone stole my bike.

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Last night someone walked off with one of the bikes from my flat. It’s one of three bikes we have in the flat that are shared between my flatmate and me. One of the ones I built.

We’re not 100% sure how it happened yet, but someone entered my flat, saw the bike on the stand by the door and then ran off with it.

This feels like a good example of how we think about routines and support. How we respond to events like this and try to prevent them in the future.

What happened.

Last night was a unusual evening. We finished routine as normal. But the support folks didn’t lock the door as they left. My flatmate was running late (he’d watched the Mars landing in a lay-by driving home) so we left it unlocked.

When my flatmate got home, he was carrying a pizza box. So I let him in then follow him into the flat entirely distracted by the pizza.

I definitely didn’t lock the door. We’re not 100% sure yet if I even pushed the door closed

At some point I’d wondered to my bedroom and fallen asleep. With the lights on in the lounge and one of the curtains open.

Someone seems to have seen the bike and either tried the door, or walked through the open door. We heard them knock the bike stand over but they where gone by the time we’d gone to the lounge to investigate the noise with the lounge door wide open.

Measures and procedures

More or less the root cause of the theft is my impairment. I am not very good at keeping myself safe. It’s one of the ways I am vulnerable. With the new meds my impairment in the evening is more significant than ever. Walking away from an open door is the sort of thing I do.

With this in mind I’m not that worried about the security of the flat. The failure was in the procedures (what we do) rather than the measures (locks etc).

Rather than adding more locks and complexity. We’re going to change the routines to ensure that the procedures are more robust.

We’re currently considering the following changes.

Door locking routines.

The first change is having the support folks prompt me to lock the door when they leave and confirming it’s locked before they head home. I made need to replace the door to do this as I often can’t use the key in the lock, which is why they lock the door for me.

This will hopefully help develop a door locking routine so I get into the habit of locking the door whenever I close the door.

Locked by default

Another idea is that we will keep the door locked even if someone is expected later in the evening. This sounds simple but it has a knock on effect. As mentioned above I often can’t unlock the door which presents a fire risk.

This won’t be a problem most of the time as my flatmate is around or someone is supporting me. However It will mean that I won’t be able to be home alone in the evenings. This shouldn’t be to big an issue.


We need to think of a mechanism in order to ensure the procedures are kept too. For example this could be a daily check list to be completed as the support person leaves the flat. Something external to act a reminder and track progress.

Final thoughts

It might surprise people that I am not at all angry or even annoyed about the bike being stolen. I don’t blame the support folks or my flatmate.

The reason it happened was because there’s recently been a change in my impairment and we had not accounted for it in the support routine yet.

We’re going to keep moving forward and iterating on the routines. They are always a work in progress. I hope that by sharing this it helps other people to see how we respond to things and how we try to use the routines to keep me safe.


Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

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