Another wild tale of a recovered stolen bike

Watch out bike thieves, it looks like Seattle has had enough.

Shortly after we wrote about how Matt stole back his stolen bike, we get this tale of Gretchen’s ride and the vigilante, online-research-heavy sleuthing Point 83 members went through to get it back.

From Capitol Hill Seattle:

In this latest case, Gretchen’s beloved Raleigh was stolen from in front of St. Mark’s earlier this week:

My beloved bike has survived a lot a dark, dark experiences. Getting molested and stolen today from in front of St. Mark’s Cathedral/Gage is the latest of its growing pains.

Please keep an eye out:
57cm white Rainier themed Raleigh fixed gear
Easton fork
white saddle
red bull horn handle bars
red front wheel, black rear
front brake
Scabies covered leper with early diagnosis of testicular cancer and a bad case of karma blues is probably riding it.

The bike lovers at forum Point83 swung into action. Their investigation — documented in full here — reveals just how much public information can be quickly gathered by a motivated, computer-savvy group.

The stolen bike — or one that matched it every conceivable detail — was tracked to a Capitol Hill man. The details of how Gretchen and friends traced his identity, found out where he lived and documented the whole process including his name, location and pictures from social media are now part of a permanent, publicly accessible record of his alleged activities.

We’re not naming the man. But the Internet already has.

It’s a risky proposition, this vigilantism. The 12th Ave guy who recovered what he believes is his bike says he might face a civil lawsuit brought by the person who was trying to sell it.

Gretchen’s friends say their guy willingly gave the bike up. Still, any prospective Capitol Hill bike vigilantes may want to consider lawyering up.

KUOW’s Conversation will talk about people getting their stolen bikes back Friday around 12:40. Tune in.

About Tom Fucoloro

Founder and Editor of Seattle Bike Blog.
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7 Responses to Another wild tale of a recovered stolen bike

  1. Robin says:

    Great To Hear! the Kuow was Great also makes me happy to hear the good stories!

  2. Byron says:

    Another strange angle to this story is the photos the thief used are from our blog and was reported to Craigslist. I was getting calls that my bike was stolen, but it wasn’t.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      So what you’re saying is this guy wasn’t very smart, right?

      • Scott Gamble says:

        Yeah, it was evident pretty quickly what was going on. I mean, we sorta know you Byron, we read your blog, you’ve been “in our house”. We recognize your bike for being your bike and we were pretty sure you weren’t suddenly giving your whip away for $350, coincidentally at the same time Gretchen had hers stolen. There wasn’t any math in that.

      • Byron says:

        yes and I want you to give photo credit to those photos! Mark V.

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