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Vigilante Justice of the Day: Interstate Bike Thief Sting

Vigilante Justice of the Day: Interstate Bike Thief Sting
dpwk/Flickr

In the '70s, the Death Wish franchise gave us Charles Bronson as a heat-packing CPA murdering muggers in the New York City subway.

Today's spokesman for vigilante justice, the bike-robbed Jake Gillum of Portland, Oregon, packs a bit less heat. After his $2,500 carbon-fiber Fuji was stolen, Gillum got mad, and then he got even. He found the seller on Craigslist, drove to Seattle - "land of the stolen bicycle" - and disguising his cellphone number (a Portland area code would have set off an alarm) caught the seller in a sting operation in a local strip mall. His friends provided back-up, calling the police as Gillum confronted the guy trying to flip his bike, identified in the NY Daily News as Craig Ackerman. A medium-speed chase ensued, and Ackerman ended up in the back of a police cruiser.

Most importantly, they filmed it all in the instant classic "Bike Thief Gets Owned." The closest thing to a catchphrase we could find was: "This is why you don't steal from bicyclists! Because we care about our rides!"

Source: Simon Jackson/YouTube.

Top image: Flickr user DPWK.

Henry Grabar is a freelance writer and a former fellow at The Atlantic Cities. He lives in New York. All posts »

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