Craigslist Samaritan Returns Bikes
POSTED: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 2:27pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 20, 2012 - 8:40am
Man hands pricey bikes over to rightful owner after realizing they'd been stolen.
When Ryan Edwards bought his new mountain bike on Friday, he was like a kid at Christmas.
"It's like the Porche of mountain bikes," he says, a broad smile stretched across his face.
He found the 2011 "Specialized Enduro" on Craigslist.
New, the bike goes for about $4500.
Ryan was thrilled when the seller asked just $1,500 -- for not one, but two of the bikes.
"He said his cousin had died and he inherited the bikes and he just wanted to get rid of them," says Ryan. "I was just jumping up and down!"
Thrilled with his new toys, Ryan went to some local mountain bike websites later that night, when he saw a post that stopped him in his tracks.
"It was just like...ugh," he says. "Was it too good to be true? I guess it was."
There, on the screen, was a photo of the two bikes Ryan had just bought with a post telling how they had been stolen from a home in Carnation, Washington.
Ryan was devastated.
"I couldn't believe it. I never thought they were stolen."
It turns out the guy who sold Ryan the stolen mountain bikes was apparently one gear short of a 10 speed.
He left police quite a trail for them to follow, starting at the gas station where the deal went down.
Ryan says surveillance video that he's passing on to police shows the suspect in his camouflage hoodie, as well as his tan Toyota pick-up.
The scammer also left a cell phone number and e-mail address.
Ryan called the police, but first called the rightful owner of the bikes, offering to give them back.
The hardworking handyman is out $1,500 and his twin dream bikes.
But he says that's the price he'll pay for a clear conscience.
"The guy probably spent $9,000 on these bikes. I can't take that away from somebody. What if it happened to me? I want to sleep at night."
King County deputies are expected to take the bikes into evidence while they search for the thief.