Bike thief arrested, was carrying a .357

By Alex Thompson

A few weeks back I wrote about my disdain for vigilante action proposals (1, 2) for dealing with bike thieves.  “MS”, who had just had his bike stolen, disagreed in the comments.  Since then, he found his bike on Craigslist, and worked with LAPD to set up a sting operation:

UPDATE: I found my stolen bike posted on Craigslist. I reported it to the LAPD. They set up a sting. A week later, I’m picking up my bike at the LAPD Property Dept. Amazing. The seller was arrested. He was armed with a 357. If you ever see your bike on Craigslist, don’t even think of getting it yourself. (emphasis mine.)

Whoa.  I think this is what I was trying to say.  Don’t mix it up with bike thieves – they might be carrying.  Anyway, props to MS for retrieving his bike, and double props for sharing his story.

Image by Jonnyboy:

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4 Responses to “Bike thief arrested, was carrying a .357”

  1. Whoa! That’s awesome that he got some justice! My bike was recently stolen and there is footage of the theft, but the police haven’t even done their follow-up call for me to give it to them. (They have to request it from my employer because they won’t release it to me.) I probably should be pushing them harder myself, but I’ve been busy getting a new bike, etc.

    I know when my bike was stolen I really wanted some sort of revenge, but I also knew that I was upset and that to take any action on my own would be ridiculously stupid. I don’t know if those vigilantes are just blowing hot air or what, but I hope it’s just talk to vent some steam at a problem that will always persist.

    I have been checking Craigslist everyday to see if my old bike shows up. Then I make the call to the police. Thieves are stupid.

  2. My bike was stolen from Venice and showed up on Craigslist 24 hours later. I made the mistake of flagging the post (because I didn’t want someone else to buy it) and the guy got spooked and didn’t reply to me when I attempted to buy it.

    I realized he was selling a different bike so contacted him about that one, hoping I could see or get info about my beloved bike. LAPD was busy, so I got a detective friend of mine to go with me with another undercover guy for backup.

    Things didn’t go as we hoped. This thief was tricky. A total tweaker. I didn’t get my bike and in hindsight I wish I had done things differently. He even admitted to having a storage unit full of bikes that he supposedly buys from the police. I still want some justice.

  3. You gotta wonder who can really make the money off this stuff. Tweakers – that makes sense. I can’t imagine bike theft really turning that much of a profit. And stealing bike lights – I had mine stolen twice in 10 days! How well does that pay? They don’t call it petty crime for nothing, but when it’s your transportation, it’s a problem.


  1. Streetsblog Los Angeles » Bike Thefts Becoming a Growing Problem in Los Angeles. What Can Be Done? - November 23rd, 2009

    [...] September of this year entitled, "Stupid bike thefts lead to stupid fantasies," and "Bike thief arrested, was carrying a .357." Turns out the bike thief in this story was packing heat, which is one reason to avoid [...]

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