NYC Woman Plays Amateur Detective, Busts Bike Thief

Robber Unknowingly Tried To Sell It Back To Rightful Owner

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — When a bicycle is stolen in the city the story often ends there — gone for good.

But a Brooklyn woman got her bike back in less than a day, after a wild adventure. She shared the remarkable story with CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

“I was like ohhh how could you take this thing that I love so much?” Jami Attenberg said.

While Attenberg was at Madison Square Garden for a concert by her favorite band “Arcade Fire” her bicycle was being stolen from a spot near Marcy Avenue Station in Williamsburg, where she had it chained up and locked.

“I got off the train and I was so happy because I’d gone to this great show and I was just really exuberant and then my bike was just gone,” Attenberg said.

Gone for good, or so she thought. She went on the Internet to find a replacement bike on Craigslist, and there it was for $75.  However, it wasn’t just any bike; it was her bike.

“When I saw it it was like that is exactly the kind of bike I want and then I was like that is my bike,” Attenberg said.

“Would anyone be this dumb to have stolen the bike and then put the ad on Craigslist? But that’s where it was so I called him up and he was kind of weird and sketchy on the phone.”

She called police and said they were delighted to get involved.

The sting operation was set up at the intersection of Driggs Avenue and Broadway in Williamsburg, with two undercover officers and an unmarked car.

Sure enough the man with the bike walked up.

“He immediately tried to sell me the bike and tell me like, oh this needs a little fix here and this needs a little fix there and I felt like I was going to laugh ’cause I was like this is my bike. You have my bike. This is the most ridiculous thing,” Attenberg said.

She said as officers took the man away in handcuffs they praised her detective work.

Thrilled to have her bike back, she makes sure it spends every night, not on the street, but right in her living room.

Attenberg is a published author of three books and said this bike story could form the basis for an upcoming one.


One Comment

  1. stray cat says:

    my buddy actually CAUGHT a thief stealing his bike. He waived down a passing patrol car and the officer asked him for proof of ownership. basically, accusing my buddy of lying so the men in blue so they left.
    a few days later my friend was alerted by a neighbor that the thief was actually a delievery guy and the bike was down the block. my buddy went and took the bike back. this time telling the thief to call the police, which never happened!

  2. Frankie says:

    Yes,she is quite clever!
    Uncle Frankie

  3. Perry Allotta says:

    This guy will learn that crime does not pay. Keep him in jail for some time, he deserve it.

  4. Renee Wilcon says:

    Does`nt surprise me. I always knew how clever she was.
    Aunt Renee

  5. Tamara Whittier says:

    I can’t wait to see how she develops this story into another book.

  6. Bill in Virginia says:

    It’s still detective work. She found the thief. Cops get unexpected breaks all the time. It doesn’t matter if you got the break in the case while you were not actively looking for it. Plus, who knows how much other stuff this guy has stolen and sold in the past. At least they got him for now.

  7. best detective ever says:

    Could someone explain how this is really “detective work?” All she did was go on craigslist to buy a new bike and happened to get lucky and find her bike there. If that’s detective work, then I’m not surprised cops rarely recover stolen property.

  8. fellow new yorkers everywhere (with bikes and such) says:

    you go girl! and inspiration for us all!

Comments are closed.

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