A Saanich police sting helped a university student get his ride back after the man spotted his stolen bike for sale on Craigslist.
On Jan. 5, the University of Victoria student contacted police about the theft of his mountain bike, which, despite being locked up, was taken during the Christmas break.
The man searched for bikes being sold online and found what he believed to be his bike.
After exchanging emails with the seller, including one with a photo of the bike, the victim was convinced it was his stolen property.
After contacting the police, they set up a fake email account to pose as an interested buyer. Officers contacted the seller and arranged to purchase the bike.
When the seller showed up with the Brodie mountain bike, he was arrested.
“This is not the first time we’ve done something like this using Craigslist,” said Sgt. Dean Jantzen. “Often times our guys will have a look (for a stolen item online) if it is unique. But we advise victims to look at pawn stores, look online, to try to find their item. In this case, the victim got the ball rolling and had a successful outcome.”
Police remind online shoppers, namely those buying secondhand goods, to be wary of a great deal.
“Ask a lot of questions about the item’s history. Use your Spidey-sense. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t’ go through with it. You are responsible if you’re in possession of stolen property.”
A 20-year-old Esquimalt man faces charges of possession of stolen property.