Man finds his stolen bike being offered for sale, lets undercover cops meet with 'seller'

SEATTLE -- Evan Luckey bought his bike several years ago for $1,500 for a fundraising ride for

“I rode it from San Francisco to L.A., 549 miles over nine days, so this is why it was really important to me,” said Luckey.

It was the sentimental loss that bothered him the most when his bike was stolen out of his garage in Capitol Hill.  He’d listed it on and was lucky when he got an anonymous email from someone who saw it for sale on He contacted the seller, who wanted to meet him at a parking lot in Burien.

“We were gonna come out here and test drive the bicycle so I could check the serial number to it and we were gonna do that alone,” said Luckey, who planned to bring a friend along but he had second thoughts.  “Aw, man, I’m getting really nervous about this. This could be a really bad idea.”

So instead, he went to the Burien Police Department.  Detectives agreed to handle the meet for him. Luckey watched from a nearby Starbucks.

"The detective, who now is acting as me, walks up there, introduces him, kind of flips over the bike. You can kind of tell he looks at the serial number. I think he kind of does a hand signal and then the other detective comes up in bullet-proof vest and then they put the handcuffs on the guy and arrest him,” said Luckey.

Police say you should never meet a thief in person to recover your stolen property. Instead, bring the serial numbers for your valuables and any photos you have to the police department and ask to speak to a detective.

Luckey is sure glad he did. Officers returned his bike to him right after they made the arrest.

“It went extremely smoothly and I really think that’s a hats-off to the Burien Police,” said Luckey.