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Ballard man uses Craigslist to catch bike thief

Posted by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin on August 15th, 2014

By Joe Veyera

A Ballard man used the power of Craigslist to retrieve his stolen bike, thanks to the posting of a not-so-clever criminal on the site.

According to the post from the Seattle Police Department, the victim had returned home last Saturday to find a cut lock, and his red Specialized Hardrock bicycle missing. He filed an online report with the SPD, and headed to Craigslist, where he noticed an advertisement for a bike quite similar to the one he had stolen from him.

The victim called the person running the ad to set up a meeting for Monday, and notified police, providing a detailed description of his stolen bike (including the location of certain stickers) and asked police to come along.

When the victim and officers met with the person that posted the ad, it was confirmed that the bike posted for sale was the one that had been pilfered. The suspect was taken into custody for possession of stolen property and booked into King County Jail.

The SPD reminds residents that if their bike is stolen, check out SPD’s Twitter feed@Getyourbikebackwhich posts the descriptions of found and abandoned bikes around the city.

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9 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Elisa // Aug 15, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    This sounds a lot like the one that was left abandoned on our lawn, except it was stripped and had no tires. I wonder if it was the same one. We put an ad up on Craigslist to see if anyone would claim it. We left it out on the lawn and then one day it disappeared again. I wonder if it was the same bike. This happened a couple of months ago.

  • 2 Avatar of VeganBiker VeganBiker // Aug 15, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Elisa, look at the date on this info and it is Aug 15th, the theft happened last Saturday. Not the same bike.

  • 3 Mark // Aug 17, 2014 at 5:13 am

    I’m amazed the Seattle police dept have time for this. In Los Angeles, my friend had his bike stolen and saw it on Craig’s list. He called the police and they weren’t interested in helping. So he called the seller and had the bike brought to his work. A woman showed up with the bike and he told her it was stolen. She tried to leave but he forcibly detained her and took her license. Then he called police and told them she had admitted the theft. Because it was worth several thousand dollars, they arrested her

  • 4 David // Aug 17, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Did he get sued for battery and imprisonment as well as theft of the lady’s driver’s license? It is illegal for him to take the law into his own hands.

  • 5 Avatar of VeganBiker VeganBiker // Aug 17, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    David, it is possible that Mark’s friend incurred could have been a situation for a citizens arrest! One is legally allowed too use this function of our rights as citizens of this wonderful country.

  • 6 Avatar of JM98107 JM98107 // Aug 18, 2014 at 9:40 am

    I have noticed a bunch of bikes near those homeless vans on Leary Way. Just north of the Jack n the Box. Do the police ever investigate this activity? Its been going on for years.

  • 7 guesty // Aug 18, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    JM, of course not! the homeless can’t pay fines so why bother, says spd brains!

  • 8 Lady // Aug 19, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    I am so glad the spd took time out for this crime. Great detective work on the part of the victim

  • 9 Avatar of Salmon Bay Salmon Bay // Aug 20, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I’ve heard of many, many stories of victims of bike theft finding their bike listed for sale, and when they call the police, the police don’t assist. This is only the second time I’ve heard that the police actually responded. This is certainly the exception, the police usually can’t be bothered.

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