CDNews: After posting security footage, bike thief caught in police sting

Remember the Judkins Park residents who posted security footage of a young man stealing a bike from their garage over at CDNews? Well, they got it back, and the suspect was arrested.

After posting the photos, they spotted the bike for sale on Craigslist and arranged a meeting at 12th and Jackson. When the 17-year-old suspect showed up with the bike, police arrested him. Obviously, he doesn’t read CDNews or Seattle Bike Blog…

More details from SPD:

On February 5th, a victim reported that his expensive bicycle had been stolen from his residence in the 1100 Block of 21 Avenue South. The victim informed the officer that images of the suspect were captured on the victim’s security camera and those images were turned over to the officer.

On February 11th, the victim contacted officers again after seeing an online post offering to sell his stolen bicycle. The victim knew it was his bike because the post included photos of the bike. The victim replied to the ad and arranged to meet the seller at 12th Avenue South and South Jackson Street. Officers coordinated with the victim in an attempt to recover his stolen property and arrest the suspect.

The suspect arrived with the stolen bicycle and was taken into custody by officers without incident. The suspect is 17 years old. The bicylce was recovered and returned to the owner after it was verified that it was the stolen bicycle. East Precinct detectives will handle the follow up investigation.

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5 Responses to CDNews: After posting security footage, bike thief caught in police sting

  1. On your left! says:

    Nice work!

  2. Brian says:

    Is this a new policy from the police regarding stolen items stolen on Craigslist? A couple of years ago I had some items stolen from me and I spotted them on craigslist a few days later. I contacted the police but was told to meet the thief on my own and to call 911 once I had the items in hand again. Obviously that is ridiculous advice. It would be great to know that the SPD is getting more proactive about this sort of thing.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      The bike was likely worth enough to put it into felony range. That might have been a factor. Also, it got a lot of press, both on CDNews and Kiro. It was also linked on the Seattle Times homepage. So that might also have been a factor.

      In general, yes, meeting with a known thief with the intention of confronting him/her and reclaiming property is a bad idea without police help.

    • Shane Phillips says:

      A friend of mine had his bike stolen and ended up meeting with police to confront the seller after finding his back wheel on Craigslist. So yeah, maybe they’re moving in that direction.

      The wheel by itself was only worth several hundred dollars though, so I don’t think the felony aspect had much to do with it — honestly I doubt it did here either.

      My suspicion is that part of the interest in this case was that they could actually match the thief with the seller, thanks to the video. In almost any other case like this, the thief can say they bought the bike from someone else, a pawn shop, etc. and you can’t really prove that they were responsible for the theft. This kid obviously didn’t have that option once he was caught.

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