That’s not how you park a bicycle.
Quincy police are investigating after officers from the department’s Marine Unit this week pulled two Ofo dockless rental bicycles from the waters at Houghs Neck Maritime Center, a public boat landing near the Quincy Yacht Club.
Captain John Dougan said in a telephone interview that the department Tuesday received an anonymous phone call about several of the bikes submerged at the bottom of the landing.
Officers from the Marine Unit who were clad in diving gear were already conducting drills in the area, so they “modified their training” and instead retrieved the bright yellow bikes, he said.
On Thursday, police tweeted a picture of the officers plucking the bikes out of the ocean and bringing them onto land. One of the bikes had a string of seaweed wrapped around its handlebars. The tweet said there were two bikes involved. “One was corroded beyond repair,” the tweet said. “The other was cleaned off and put back in service.”
Within a short period of time, police said, “it was scanned and ridden away by a local youth!”
Police had earlier said four bikes were found, but a spokesperson later clarified there were only two involved.
The company is like Boston’s own Blue Bikes bike-sharing system. However, users aren’t required to return Ofo bikes to designated docks — they can leave them anywhere for the next person to pick up at their convenience. Riders can track down a bike using an app. Rides cost $1 per hour.
Dockless rental bicycle companies like Ofo have been cropping up all over greater Boston recently, setting off something of a bike-sharing border war. Similar systems include LimeBike, Spin, and VBikes.
This wasn’t the first time an Ofo bike or ones like it ended up in a bizarre place. On a Facebook page for Quincy residents, people have recently posted pictures of the dockless bikes in trash cans, dumpsters, and in random locations.
Dougan said police will ask Ofo to tell them who the last people are who rented the bikes, but he pointed out it could well be that someone found the bikes parked and decided to chuck them in the water.
Police are also trying to track down video surveillance footage from the area, he said.
Dougan said the suspect or suspects could face a range of charges, including larceny — the bikes were not returned to Ofo’s system as intended, he said — or malicious damage.
In a statement, Ofo spokesman Jordan Levine said that while the company has seen the occasional bad actors, “We are glad to have the Quincy PD and our community partners as eyes on the street.”
Our Marine Unit recently recovered two #Ofo bikes from the waters at Houghs Neck Maritime Center.— Quincy Police (@quincymapolice) June 28, 2018
One was corroded beyond repair. The other was cleaned off and put back in service. Within a short period of time, it was scanned and ridden away 🚴♂️ by a local youth! pic.twitter.com/7ZOndubXpc