Sarah Wren during a dandyhorse bike spotting. This photo was used as evidence that the bike was hers when it turned up for sale on a Kijiji post. Photo by Claire McFarlane.
by Amelia Brown
Sarah Wren was understandably upset when her Giant Rapid bike was stolen from her Leslieville home on Friday, November 27.
The thief had cut through both her cable and U-lock to get to the bike, which she used as her main wheels to get around.
Wren took to Facebook on the following Sunday morning, posting the only photo she had of her bike –taken during a dandyhorse Bike Spotting at Sherbourne and Adelaide– in a Leslieville group, asking her neighbours to keep an eye out for her bike.
Wren's Facebook post asking her neighbours to watch out for her stolen bike.
An hour later, someone commented on the post with a link to her stolen bike for sale on Kijiji.
"OMG that's it!!!" Wren posted, and called the police to file a report.
Sarah Wren's stolen bike turned up on Kijiji.
The same seller had many other bikes and parts for sale on other pages. Wren posted on Facebook "I know it's just a bike, but it's sickening to see it up there posted online, with the other components s/he is selling fingers crossed they get caught." Once the official report was filed, it was in the hands of the Toronto Police to process the report and get the bike back.
Wren considered meeting the thief herself, but decided against her better judgement that it wasn't "worth risking personal injury to reclaim it."
Later on Sunday evening, the thief dropped the price of the bike, and the police case was escalated to the major crime unit.
But the next morning, the Kijiji post of Wren's bike had been taken down, along with the other posts by the same seller. "Update. I was informed a police officer did in fact call the seller late last night. Shortly after that all of the listings were removed by the seller," Wren posted to Facebook on Monday evening. By this time, the thread had amassed many followers who shared stories of their own bike theft experiences, and eagerly anticipated the outcome of the police's involvement.
"It would be awesome if I get it back, but I'm not feeling hopeful!" Wren told dandyhorse. The story has been picked up by Newstalk 1010, and Wren has been approached by other media outlets about her story. "I think media attention would be good to pressure the cops to take bike theft more seriously."
And dandyhorse played a small part in the discovery of her bicycle: "I'm thankful for the photo provided by dandyhorse, it wouldn't have got me as far without that as proof!" Wren says.
We at dandyhorse hope that Wren gets her bike back! Stay tuned for updates (you can follow the original Facebook thread that Wren started here.)
Related on the dandyBLOG:
Bike spotting: Adelaide and Sherbourne bike lane extension (feat. Sarah Wren!)