Anti-Bike Theft Activists Help Cops Catch $1,000 Jeans Thief

Internet sleuthing piqued police's curiousity -- and sparked investigation.

By Chris Roberts
|  Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013  |  Updated 7:52 PM PDT
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Anti-Bike Theft Activists Help Cops Catch $1,000 Jeans Thief

Cops didn't catch the bikes, but they caught the thief.

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Credit the arrest to Detective Craigslist and Deputy Stolen Bike Registry.

Activists who dislike bicycle theft managed to use clues from the Internet to convince San Jose police to chase down a lead -- and the digital sleuthing led to the arrest of a woman who now stands accused of running an online, stolen goods reselling ring, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

While trying to track down a few expensive stolen bikes, members of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition noticed a Craigslist seller offering the $7,000 bikes at much less than the retail price.

They also found the same seller offering a $1,000 pair of jeans for less than retail -- suspiciously less.

San Jose police took a "very rare" interest in the case -- the understaffed police force has watched burglaries spike 23 percent, and most cops are on patrol rather than "pursuing thefts," the newspaper reported.

Cops set up a buy-bust, and nabbed Rochelle Vasquez, 38, and 18-year old Carlos Santellano, who was found to be in the possession of an illegal firearm.

The jeans, stolen from a Nordstrom on Oct. 2, were recovered. The bikes? Resold to someone else.

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