After finding his stolen $1,000 bike for sale on Craigslist, Matt Avolio discovered he had to get it back himself.
The bike was stolen in late May from a rack outside a friend’s West End apartment.
“I was devastated,” said Avolio. “I use it for everything. Groceries, recreation, exercise. It’s my baby.”
He filed a report with Vancouver police and called them back five days later to say someone in Coquitlam was selling his bike online.
Vancouver police told Avolio they couldn’t help him because the bike was outside their jurisdiction.
Coquitlam RCMP told him they couldn’t help either because the bike was stolen from Vancouver.
So Avolio pretended to be a buyer and confronted the seller.
He discovered it was being resold after being bought from Bike Rescue, a local organization that claims to look for “too good to be true” bike deals and either return them to their owners or resell them.
Despite claiming to give bike owners 30 days before reselling bicycles and to check with police to verify if they’re stolen, the company sold Avolio’s bike in less than five days.
Avolio finally got his bike back when, armed with the serial number, he challenged Gord Blackwell at Bike Rescue.
When contacted by Metro Vancouver, Blackwell refused to comment.
Arno Schortinghuis, president of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition, said if the city is going to encourage people to cycle more it needs to provide secure bike parking.
“The city has taken steps to improve the situation,” he said. “They have a bylaw that new buildings have to provide secure bike parking.”
He added that bike lockers are being built at many transit stations, and Pacific Centre might do the same.
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