Victim takes drastic measure to recover stolen bike 0
After Kayla Smith's bike was stolen, she took matters into her own hands. (SUBMITTED)
When Kayla Smith returned from the PNE to the Olympic Village Wednesday evening to find her $1,000 Masi road bike stolen, she cried. When she found it for sale on Craigslist the next morning, she decided to steal it back.
“The cops have enough issues to deal with every day, a stolen bicycle is definitely not on the top of their priority list,” the 33-year-old bartender told 24 hours. “I took matters into my own hands.”
Posing as an interested buyer, Smith arranged to meet the seller in the parking lot of a McDonald’s at Main Street and Terminal Avenue later that day. She says she immediately recognized the custom brake levers, mismatched bar ends and stickers she had pasted on the bike being offered for sale at $300.
“It all happened so quickly, my heart was pounding,” she said. “But it was my bike. I know my bike.”
When the seller agreed she could take it for a test ride around the block, she simply kept pedalling and didn’t return.
“On my way home I was so amped I called him back and left him a really nice voice mail with tons and tons of swear words on it. It felt really good to do that,” she said.
Vancouver Police say they’re happy for Smith, but would have preferred she took a more conventional approach for safety sake.
“We’re thrilled that she got her bike back, but we would have liked to be able to speak with the individual who was selling it,” said Vancouver police Const. Brian Montague. “People love their bicycles, but it’s just a dollar figure attached to this. And you can’t attach a dollar figure to someone’s safety.”
Smith has now shared a suspect description with police, who have promised to follow up.
In 2012, Montague said around 1,700 bicycles were reported stolen in Vancouver and about 800 reports have been filed so far this year. He couldn’t say exactly how many of those bikes police have since recovered, but admits unless the victim knows the bike’s serial number it’s difficult for officers to reunite seized rides with their owners.