Sometimes the cops (1) believe you when you tell them you found your recently stolen bike on Craigslist and (2) have the time and resources to catch the thief and return the bike to its owner. Unfortunately, only (1) happened for me last year, but a biker in Brooklyn just posted this uplifting recovered-bike story, and here’s my favorite part:
But one cop said, “Usually if you feel it in your gut you’re probably right.”
Last fall, when I called the police to tell them I saw what I believed was my previously reported stolen bike for sale on Craigslist, I got a similar “gut feeling” comment. However, the bike had been sold or permanently removed from the site before the cops could arrange a sting. (I had emailed cops a screengrab, just in case.) Everyone I dealt with at the police department was nice and helpful, but I was told that it would be several days before anyone could check it out (part of the reason for the delay was that it was taken off the street, not from my property). Of course, I still wonder if that was actually my bike. The photos were taken from too far away for me to examine it for tell-tale scratches.
The biker in Brooklyn lucked out. Most thefts don’t have a happy ending for the violated. I do feel in my gut that someone will be riding my stolen bike at CicLAvia this weekend, oblivious to the hell I went through when it was taken from me only eight months after I bought it. Or maybe it’s already been stolen from them. Bike theft is big business in L.A. I hope whoever owns it now is enjoying it for however long they can.