When a Washington, D.C., man saw his recently stolen bicycle for sale on Craigslist, his mission became clear: get it back, with or without the help of police.
Cyclist Danny Lesh had loaned the 14-year-old Cannondale hybrid to a friend, who committed the rookie mistake of securing the bike with a cable lock. Soon a thief likely armed with a decent pair of bolt cutters and a little persistence freed the bike and put it up for sale on Craigslist, NBC Washington reported. Lesh instantly identified it as his own, taking note of a prominent sticker near the handlebars. He’d purchased the bike for $600 in 1998, and the thief was asking for $100.
Lesh contacted police, but when they told him they couldn’t respond right away, he decided to reacquire the bike by himself before it was shipped off to a new owner. So he arranged a meeting with the seller, and, as a potentially interested buyer, took the bike for a little test-spin. And then never went back.
The seller began calling Lesh, threatening to contact the police, but Lesh continued to ride all the way home, where he promptly took to Craigslist to warn others about this man selling stolen bikes. Though Washington police warn residents not to recover stolen property without assistance, Lesh told NBC he was happy to have carried out the plot on his own. “I couldn’t help feeling bad for all the other people he’d stolen bikes from,” he said of the thief. “I’m glad that, hopefully, his business is interrupted a little bit.”