The Facebook group Philadelphia Stolen Bikes puts a sizable community behind recovering stolen bikes in the city.

by Pete Mazzaccaro

This tale comes to us via the Philadelphia Police Media department, which sends us many releases every day about crimes committed throughout the city. Typically the releases contain descriptions of criminals the police are looking to catch.

This particular release however details how a Philadelphia woman managed to find her stolen bike on craigslist and brought police along to arrest the thief, who believed he was selling the bike to an interested buyer for $1,000.

What happened according to police was that the woman’s Cannondale road bike was stolen from in front of her home, somewhere in South Philadelphia’s 3rd police district. She posted a photo of the bike and details on a Facebook group page: Philadelphia Stolen Bikes.

Someone in the group saw the bike listed on craigslist and notified the woman who contacted the seller and set up a time to see the bike. She contacted the third district police who sent a plain clothes officer to the seller. After looking at the bike, the officer confirmed it was the same – including a matched serial number – and arrested the thief.

If you own a bike, it’s probably a good idea to record the serial number in case it’s stolen.

Perhaps Chestnut Hill could use its own Facebook group for all the laptops stolen from open cars.