A father and son in Bethesda, Maryland got revenge on a suspected bike thief after they spotted the bicycle on Craiglist.
Michael Katz's 18-year-old son briefly left his Raleigh road bike unattended and it was swiped in a flash. Katz had a hunch it would pop-up on the online classifieds website Craigslist – and he was right. The bike was advertised on Thursday night for $290.
Katz contacted Montgomery County Police and officers set up a sting at the White Flint Metro station, where the suspected thief would meet an undercover officer.
The Craigslist seller showed up Sunday with Katz's son's bike, only to learn the eager buyer was a police officer.
"He actually told the officer, 'Hey, to seal this deal, I need a ride back to the Metro,'" Capt. David Falcinelli said. "And sure enough, he did get a ride, but it wasn't to the Metro, it was to jail."
A 22-year-old was arrested. Police are investigating whether he's connected to other bike thefts in the area.
In response to complaints about online classified swindles, police in Rockville have declared their station a "safe haven" for Craigslist transactions.
"Our parking lot is available 24/7. The parking lot is well-lit and it's under 24-hour video surveillance," Lt. Brian Paul said. Transactions can also be made in the lobby of the 2 W. Montgomery Ave. station.
After his family's experience, Katz said he would be leery of online classifieds.
"I think people don't appreciate how much bad stuff goes on on Craigslist," he said.