File this under “Stupid Bike Thief Tricks.”
Mr Titonidae Wilden of Aptos, CA allegedly stole an $1,800 Surly Moonlander bicycle, registered it with Santa Cruz police as the owner, and then posted the bike for sale on Craigslist for $1,550.
The owner of the bike later reported the theft. Because Wilden registered the stolen bike, police knew exactly where to find him.
From the Santa Cruz PD blog:
This is Mr. Titonidae Wilden, 32 years-old and lists an address in Aptos.
We found him riding a stolen bicycle that had been taken about two weeks prior. After some follow up work, we knew he would be riding a stolen bicycle, we just had to find him.
The bike is an $1,800 Surly Moonlander.
The victim did not report the theft until several days after the theft occurred. Between the date of the theft and the date of the report, we learned our suspect had listed the bicycle on Craigslist for $1,500. Not only that, but he came to the police department and registered the bike in his name! He used that to add “legitimacy” to his Craigslist ad.
Had the bike been previously registered, or the theft reported immediately, we would have arrested Mr. Wilden as he rode up to the self-service “please arrest me” window.
Fortunately, all ended well with the bike recovered and returned to the victim and Mr. Wilden off to jail.
If you see Mr. Wilden in your neighborhood, his history shows he is a thief. He also has a history that includes drug violations.
Please register your bikes and report any thefts to help us in getting your property back to you and avoid scenes like this in the police department property room.