First and foremost, we here at Consumerist would like to warn our readers that while taking matters into your own hands sounds like “Hurrah! Vigilante justice is so awesome!” it might not be the safest idea, so just exercise caution. That being said, one woman pulled the same trick a DC fellow did last year, after locating her stolen bike in a for-sale post on Craigslist. She simply took it on a test ride… and didn’t stop pedaling.
The Canadian’s woman story is showing up all over the Internet after a Facebook post her pal originally put up relaying the details, and she’s since explained how it all went down on Reddit.
Her bike was stolen from outside a friend’s house last week, she says, and the next morning she woke up and called the police to make a stolen bike report, and the other to her bike store to get a copy of her serial numbers.
Lo and behold, her friend calls and tells her, “Dude, I think I found your bike on Craigslist.” She looks up the post and sure enough, it looked like her bike and was located two blocks away from where it had been stolen. She called the police and told them what she’d discovered, but says that they told her someone would call her back, but maybe not today.
She decided not to wait for the cops to take action, since the guy is selling the bike at that very moment. She calls him up and agrees to meet him in a half hour at a McDonald’s parking lot, without knowing what she was going to do.
Once she arrived, she writes that she knew it was her bike, because of the bike store’s stickers on the frame and other details — basically the description she’d given to the cops.
“Here is where I started thinking on my feet,” she writes.
I asked the guy if I could take it for a ride around the parking lot. He was weary and said “yeah but don’t take off…” I said not to worry that I would even think of it! My heart was pounding and I had no idea what to do so I just got on the bike and was like fuck this guy and started to ride. As I was riding away, I called my friend who was driving to meet me as backup. I rode to the adjacent parking lot where she was pulling into as I was riding. We watched the guy start to look for me and he got super freaked out and he suddenly just took off running.
She adds that later she called the apparent thief and said hey, sorry for not sticking around to pay for the bike… that you stole from me. She also checked the serial numbers which did, indeed match.
In order to prevent him from selling other stolen bikes, she writes that she called authorities and gave them all the information she had and pointed out that he was selling other bikes, as well as iPhones, on Craigslist.
“I called the police back to let them know I didn’t need to file that report after all. The lady and I had a great laugh about the day’s events.”