Danny Lesh's Cannondale hybrid was stolen early in May 2012 while it was being borrowed by a friend. It was secured with a cable lock but the thief brought a bolt-cutter to the party.
To his surprise Lesh found the stolen bike online after spotting it in a Craigslist advertisement. Lesh recognised his bike since it still had a prominent sticker on it.
One-way test ride
The bike was advertised for $100 while Lesh had paid $600 for it in 1998. He contacted the authorities but was told it could take some time for police to respond. That's when he took matters into his own hands and arranged to "buy" his bike back from the thief.
Lesh said: "I knew I had to do it that day, or else I'd never see the bike again."
Once he arrived at the rendezvous he asked to test-ride the bike and simply rode away. The baffled criminal contacted Lesh and threatened to call the authorities unless he paid the $100.
Lesh has since posted on Craigslist, warning other users of the thief.
"This guy finally started calling me and left a message saying he was going to call the police," Lesh said. "Honestly I couldn't help feeling bad for all the other people he'd stolen bikes from. "I'm glad his business is interrupted a little bit."