Seattle man steals his stolen bike back



Posted on August 4, 2012 at 9:29 PM

It’s a story about a bike owner who took the law into his own hands.

Matt Goyer’s Ellsworth mountain bike was stolen a year ago.

“There was my cut cable lock and I was devastated,” Goyer said.

Shopping around for a replacement on Craigslist, Goyer couldn’t believe his eyes.

“I was surfing the Internet looking to buy a used bike and I said ‘Holy cow! That’s my bike!’”

How did he know it was his?

“A couple of weeks before the bike was stolen I had taken it to the store and replaced the rear tire with the Racing Ralph tire,” said Goyer. “I had a dent in the frame, a little smudge and you could see that in the photo. I had swapped out the bike seat with my old bike. It was a fairly unique bike seat. I was like, ‘This was obviously my bike.’”

So he called SPD and set up a sting. But when the guy named “David” showed up with the bike, police told Goyer they were too busy to respond.

“I stalled as long as I could,” said Goyer.

He played detective, asking David questions. Where he got the bike? What year was it built?
David had no convincing answers.

“So finally after a half hour, I really can’t drag this out any longer, I said ‘Hey can I go for another test drive?’ and he said sure. So I just got on the bike and never looked back.”

The 32-year-old marketing director said it was worth the risk.

He got his $5,000 mountain bike back - and he’s learned his lesson.

“Definitely going forward I will always keep my bike in the condo,” said Goyer.

Seattle police said they can’t always respond right away and that Goyer took a big risk. But they also said he had a right to take his own property.

Goyer said he sent a text to the alleged thief afterwards, telling him he knew the bike was stolen, it belonged to him, and he reported it to police. Goyer never heard from the man again.

If you want to read Goyer’s blog about the story, you can find it at