A Boulder woman found her stolen bike on Craigslist, met the seller for a test ride and stole her bike back.
Kathryn Lucas parked her black Trek 1.2 road bike outside the Lazy Dog at 14th and Pearl Streets in Boulder on Friday night. She went into the sports bar to watch the University of Colorado football game against the University of Southern California.
"(I) came back out to get my bike to go home and my bike wasn't there," said Lucas.
She went online to fill out a Boulder police report. While online, she also started to search for her stolen bike on Craigslist.
"I knew that it wasn't uncommon for things to just show up," said Lucas.
She and her roommate searched the keyword, "Trek" and searched through the posts, looking at the photos of the bikes for sale.
"My roommate had seen it online. He said, 'I see your bike, it's on Craigslist,'" said Lucas.
The photo showed a bike with red-taped handle bars and a tail bumper of the rear tire.
"The red tape and the only one water bottle holder
yeah, this is definitely my bike," said Lucas.
Kathryn Arranged 'Test Ride'
She responded to the Craigslist ad. A Westminster police report obtained by 7NEWS identified the seller as a person using the name "Lance Robinson." The seller was actually 18-year-old Denzel O'Neal Crawford.
Lucas emailed Crawford, who then gave her his phone number.
"He said, 'Yeah, here's my number and I'll text you my address once you text me,'" said Lucas. "I thought, maybe that he would get nervous about meeting me. He had just stolen the bike."
Lucas said she never got an exact address, only an apartment complex. She called police, but without an exact address she didn't have them go with her.
"Once I got the address, I figured I could meet them and maybe the police could come later," said Lucas.
When she got to the apartment complex, she met Crawford and his brother near the pool.
"I didn't really say much to them. All I said was, 'Oh, this is the bike?" And they said, 'Yes.' And I said, 'Well, can I give it a test ride?' And they said, 'Yeah,'" said Lucas. "So, I started riding it and I knew it was my bike, so I just kept riding it. (I) rode it to my car and then threw it in my car and then drove away."
"Was that your plan the whole time?" asked 7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger.
"No," said Lucas. "They were a lot bigger than I thought they were. 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 just took it for a ride and went with it."
She called police after she got her bike back to tell them the exact address.
"They told me for future reference that I probably would not want to do that by myself," said Lucas.
Man Admits To Bike Theft In Handwritten Admissions
In handwritten statements to Westminster and Boulder police, Crawford admitted to the bike theft.
In his voluntary statement to Boulder police, Crawford admits stealing the unlocked bike and then advertising it on Craigslist. He also describes watching the woman ride the bike to her car, throw it in the car and drive away. He told police he thought the woman had just, "stolen their bike back." The next thing he described was an officer knocking on his door.
Police said Crawford does not have a police record and was "extremely cooperative" during the investigation.
Craigslist is becoming a handy tool for recovering stolen bikes -- and other hot property -- and arresting thieves.
In September, a Denver woman found her stolen bike on the popular online marketplace.
Posing as a prospective buyer, the woman arranged to meet the Craigslist bike seller, but had an undercover Denver police officer meet the man instead.
Police arrested a 21-year-old man and recovered the woman's stolen bike along with three other suspected stolen bikes from the man's car. The man quickly pleaded guilty to theft.
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