Ex-DC Councilman Gets Back Stolen Bike With Help From Tipster

Social media and news reports played a role in the return of the pricey bike

The director of the District's environmental department got his stolen bike back after the thief tried to sell it and the would-be buyer recognized it from social media posts and told police, according to news reports. 

Tommy Wells, the director of the Department of Energy & Environment and a former D.C. Council Member, had his high-end folding bike returned to him Thursday by police. 

Wells told News4 one week ago, on June 23, that his forest green Brompton bike vanished after someone cut the lock.

"I came out of a meeting and it was gone, in broad daylight," he said about the bike he had locked up at North Capitol and H streets NE, near Union Station.

In a tweet, he said his business card was in the bike's frame.

Another Twitter user tweeted a photo of the bike from National Bike to Work Day, which was retweeted by several users and quickly picked up by the D.C. Bike Index. A description of the bike and the robbery were posted to the website's national registry and Twitter account.


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Brompton bikes start at about $1,500 and go up to about $2,400 before customization, the company's website says.

Wells said on Twitter his bike had a new back tire and a rack on the back. 

According to Hill Rag, police caught the bike thief after he tried to sell the pricey ride to a man who lives in Southwest D.C. The would-be buyer recognized the bike and contacted police, the paper reported.

The suspect admitted to stealing the bike but was not arrested or charged immediately, Wells told Hill Rag.

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