Apart from all the amazing stuff they do at Google's headquarters, around 30 employees have been specially hired by the tech-giant to try and stop its friendly neighbourhood from stealing its employees' bicycles.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, between 100 to 250 bicycles are "stolen" from Google's campus every week. Or should "borrowed from Google" be the right way to put it? – It's a little complicated, you see.
The tech-giant maintains a fleet of around 1,100 colourful bicycles with yellow frames, red baskets and green and blue wheels (Google's colours) known as "Gbikes" for employees to move about the serene Mountain View campus. Each Gbike typically costs Google $100 to $300.
But of late, more Gbikes are found at local schools, neighbourhood lawns, at the bottom of the town creek and on top of a sports pub than in Google's parking lot. And the people who take them are often residents of Mountain View, a town that has become synonymous to Google's hometown.
Saying that the residents "steal" the bicycles would be incorrect, as they often view the bikes as a kind of a community service, something that they take as a gift or a souvenir from Google.
"The disappearances often aren't the work of ordinary thieves, however. Many residents of Mountain View, a city of 80,000 that has effectively become Google's company town, see the employee perk as a community service," the Wall Street Journal reported on January 5.
Meanwhile, the company has been trying to control its bicycles being "borrowed." The search giant is using rover teams to track and collect the missing Gbikes from around the town. The residents should have known that tech giant must have got GPS trackers pre-installed on its bikes.
About 10 years ago, Google started Silicon Valley's first corporate bike program, which was soon adopted by at least 16 other companies including Apple, Facebook and Walmart.
The report also says that Google recently equipped about a third of the 1,100 bikes with GPS trackers, which revealed that the residents took the bikes out on an average 12 trips a day and travelled at least six miles a day.
The company has now employed a team of 30 contractors and five vans whose job is to retrieve the GBikes. They carry waders and grappling hooks for pulling the bikes out of a creek.
Google is even testing bikes that only its employees could unlock with their smartphones.