To Catch a Bike Thief

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The story of how a Washington, D.C., cyclist who recovered his stolen bike isn't the biggest news of the day, nor the most dramatic, but it's an absolute inspiration to those of us who love our bikes and fear having them stolen.

See, even though bikes are eminently replaceable for a few hundred bucks, it's easy to become attached to them because we work on them a lot and customize them to our liking. Unlike, say, a phone, the value of which lies in the information it contains, a bike's value exists in the thing itself -- you can't back up that set of wheels you spent hours building or the vintage saddle you scored at a junk sale. But if you're lucky, you can capitalize on the quick-and-dirty bike resale process to get your stolen ride back, as Danny Lesh did when he found his $600 Cannondale advertised on Craigslist for $100. NBC Washington's Richard Jordan explains:

He arranged to buy his bike back. A man came out of an alley at 5th and Longfellow streets NW with the bike, and Lesh took it for a "test ride."

Lesh simply rode off without paying.

"This guy finally started calling me, and left a message saying he was going to call the police," Lesh said, laughing.

And that's how you do it, folks. Simple as changing a flat.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.