May 14, 2012
Man Uses Craigslist Ad To Find, Steal Back Swiped Bike
A Washington DC man who had his bicycle stolen turned the tables on the thief, taking back the vehicle after seeing it advertised on a popular Internet classifieds website, various news outlets reported late last week.
The story of Danny Lesh, which was first reported by NBC Washington's Richard Jordan Thursday, "isn't the biggest news of the day, nor the most dramatic, but it's an absolute inspiration to those of us who love our bikes and fear having them stolen," Adam Martin of the Atlantic Wire said.
Lesh loaned a Cannondale hybrid bike he purchased for $600 back in 1998 to a friend on May 6, the Daily Mail said. That friend 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," Time's Samantha Grossman added.
Lesh saw his Cannondale listed on Craigslist for $100, along with several other (presumably stolen) bikes, which was identified by a prominent "Bike Winter" sticker just below the handlebars and its distinctive pedals, according to various accounts of the tale. He first contacted the police, but when officers told him they would be unable to respond immediately, Lesh took matters into his own hands and contacted the thief in order to set up a possible sale.
"I was furious, I was furious, but I was also determined at that point. I knew that I was pretty close to getting it back," Lesh told Sam Ford of WJLA ABC 7, describing that he took a cab, met with the seller, and asked if he could take a test ride. The man agreed, and Lesh took off“¦ and just kept on peddling.
"So, [I put] this into the trunk of the taxicab, and we were on the other side of the town before this guy realized what happened... I stole it. I stole my bike back from the thief," he added.
"I knew I had to do it that day, or else I'd never see the bike again," Lesh told Jordan in a separate interview. "This guy finally started calling me, and left a message saying he was going to call the police," he added, laughing. Jordan noted that Lesh also later posted a warning about the man on Craigslist, but Ford claims that the man is still operating, with at least a pair of bikes listed for sale as of Wednesday.