Justin Jouvenal

Chasing my stolen bicycle

Enter the urban underworld of open-air chop shops, steal-to-order thieves, and brazen fencing networks, where San Francisco's most pervasive crime is ignored by the authorities
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I stalked across the parking lot of the Mission District's Best Buy. Like the hordes of people that streamed into the store, I was there to do a little shopping, but it wasn't for a flat-screen TV or an iPod. I was in the market for a stolen bike.

I bypassed the aisles of buzzing electronics and headed around the back of the store to a trash-strewn alley. It was empty except for a beat-up white van with its side door ajar. Read more »

Bollywood dreams

Former Oracle employee and San Francisco resident moves to India to pursue a career in the world's largest film industry
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It was the proverbial phone call every aspiring actor waits for. An agent for a TV producer rang Raj Vasudeva in 2003 to say he would be perfect for a role in a new show that needed a dynamic lead.
Vasudeva, 33, eagerly invited the agent over to view his modeling portfolio and acting tapes. The agent flipped through a book that featured shots of the former Mr. India California crawling through the surf seductively with a dress shirt fluttering open. The agent said he was impressed. Read more »