A Colorado woman took matters into her own hands when her bike was stolen from outside of a Boulder sports bar. She tracked down her stolen bike on Craigslist, pretended to be an interested buyer and stole back her own bike.
Kathryn Lucas, 25, parked her bike outside of a bar where she went to watch a University of Colorado football game on the night of Oct. 4, according to ABC News’ Denver affiliate KMGH.
When she left the bar to head home, she discovered that her black Trek 1.2 road bike was missing. After filing a police report, she and her roommate began searching Craigslist to see if the thief was trying to sell the bike.
Sure enough, Lucas found a posting with a photo of her bike. She immediately recognized her bike’s red handle-bar tape and her water bottle holder.
Lucas responded to the Craigslist ad, pretending to be an interested buyer. Minutes later, a person using the name “Lance Robinson” responded with his phone number and instructed her to text him so he could send her his address.
On Sunday, Lucas went to the man’s apartment complex and asked if she could test ride the bike.
“I started riding it and knew it was my bike, so I just kept riding it,” Lucas told KMGH. “I rode it to my car and then threw it it in my car and then drove away.”
Watch this “Nightline” report on the burgeoning business of selling stolen goods online.
Lucas said she had not been planning on getting the bike back that way, but took advantage of an opportunity and made a spur-of-the-moment decision.
“They were a lot bigger than I thought they were,” Lucas said. “I thought it’d be like a little person that stole bikes and I’d be like, ‘Hey, I called the police and that’s my bike and you’re trying to sell it to me,’ but I just took it for a ride and went with it.”
After she had recovered her bike, Lucas called the police and gave them the thief’s address. “Lance Robinson” turned out to be 18-year-old Denzel O’Neal Crawford, who did not have a prior police record.
Crawford was arrested, confessed to stealing the bike and was released on bond. Police also told Lucas that, though her recovery mission was successful, it was not a tactic they recommend, according to KMGH.
“They told me for future reference that I probably would not want to do that by myself,” Lucas said.
”Nightline” report on how to recover stolen items from Craigslist