Bike thief caught when victim improvises sting operation

Bike thief caught when victim improvises sting operation

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man is facing felony charges after stealing a bike and putting it on Craigslist, thanks to a sting operation set up by an intrepid cyclist.

Jake Gillum had his secured, $2,500 custom bike stolen in Portland earlier this month. Five days later, he saw the bike listed on Craigslist — in Seattle.

He said he contacted the poster under the alias "Simon Jackson" and set up a meeting, which he filmed using his cell phone and later put on YouTube.

"Now me and a couple of friends are gonna go up there and hopefully get my bike back, and get this guy busted by the cops," Gillum said. "I don't think he stands a chance."

When he got to their meeting place — a Starbucks in Seattle — Gillum said he saw his bike around the corner. His original plan was to talk to the alleged thief and stall him until the cops arrived.

After more than 40 minutes, though, the cops hadn't arrived, and Gillum felt like he was running out of options. He asked the man, reportedly named Craig, why he had stolen the bike.

Is a citizen's arrest legal in Utah?
From the Utah Code:

A private person may arrest another:

  1. For a public offense committed or attempted in his presence; or
  2. When a felony has been committed and he has reasonable cause to believe the person arrested has committed it.

"I don't know what you want me to say," Craig said.

Eventually, the confrontation turned into a small scuffle, during which Gillum and his friends attempted to put the man under citizen's arrest. Gillum chased the man down the street for some time, based on video of the event, before the cops caught up to the two.

The man was arrested for trafficking stolen goods, a class B felony.

Video edited for vulgar language.

--- neither supports nor advocates activities that could endanger yourself or others, including confronting alleged criminals. If you have been the victim of a crime, contact local authorities.


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