... if you live in New York, you're able to get yourself a free bike pretty much anytime you want!
don't use power tools and work quickly?
so if you get caught stealing a bike just say you're doing a social experiment
OK, put your hand up if you would approach a guy in a hoodie carrying a crow bar, irrespective of what he was doing.
Hmmm, thought so!
I reckon you'd get pretty much the same response with cars. People either don't want to get involved or assume it's your car not someone else's. Maybe so they can feel better about doing nothing…
Act like a thief get caught. Out in the open, with bravado, get ignored.