Craigslist ad helps return stolen bike after man makes emotional - KMSP-TV

Craigslist ad helps return stolen bike after man makes emotional plea via Craigslist

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A valley man had his bike stolen but after posting a message on Craiglist he got it back.

He posted a message on Facebook, but it was an emotional ad on Craigslist that got the attention of other people on the site.  So when his stolen bike came up for sale on Craiglist he was ready to act.

It doesn't look like something a thief would have his eye on, but with the garage left open, it was an easy target.

"Somebody, I'm assuming walked by, saw my bike sitting there, walked in and grabbed it. The rear tire was out of air, so they took it somewhere to fill it up," said Jesse Bates.

Jesse Bates rebuilt this decades old Suteki bike with an old friend. The value is mostly sentimental.

"It has got so many memories," said Bates.

Not long after the bike was stolen he put an ad on Craigslist titled "Dear Bike Thief," where he detailed how it happened, and then he got emotional.

"So this is me, random guy who was stupid enough to think leaving his garage door open in my neighborhood wouldn't lead to random things going missing. Shame on me, you got me. Please give me my bike back, it means a lot more to me than it could ever mean to you," said Bates.

The ad worked. "I immediately received a text from a completely random stranger saying there is an ad on Craigslist about your bike," he said.

He was able to get the bike back from a man who claimed to be a bike reseller. He posted an ad trying to sell the bike but instead gave it back for free.

"It was bittersweet, it was great that it came home, but seeing the damage to it and the parts replaced. I was so happy to get it back but now I have to do more work to get it back in order again," said Bates.

Some parts of the bike were missing when he got it back. Amazingly, this all happened in a matter of hours. He got the bike back the same day it was stolen thanks to the ads. He thought about getting the police involved but instead decided he just wanted the bike back as soon as possible.
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