Vigilante justice: Man sets up sting to catch bike thief
PORTLAND, Ore. - A local man came face to face with the man who he says stole his bike and tried to sell it on Craigslist, and along with two friends he took matters into his own hands to get it back.
Not only did Jake Gillum drive from Portland to Seattle to get his bike back, but he spent dozens of hours tracking him down and setting a sting operation up.
He locked up his bike in Southeast Portland earlier this month and when he got back it was gone.
Gillum was pretty defeated after his $2,000 Fugi Team bike was stolen from 36th and Hawthorne. But he started searching Craigslist. First in Oregon, then in Washington. Then bingo!
"I was home alone, I started yelling really loud, and I scared the dog," he said upon seeing his bike on Craigslist.
Because of all the nuances, he knew it was his bike listed for sale in Seattle.
"I've got a scratch on my top tube here. I've got scratches (on the forks), and I kind of know everything about my bike," he said.
Gillum wanted to call the person who posted that listing, but he didn't want them to be tipped off by his Oregon phone number. So he used the Burner app which changed his area code from a Portland one to a Seattle one.
"The guy the whole time thought I was calling him from Seattle. I couldn't have done this without that," Gillum said.
He convinced the guy to meet him under the guise that Gillum was an interested buyer. And along with two friends they recorded the confrontation.
"You're under citizen's arrest, stop right now!" someone can be heard on the video yelling as the man bolts.
"I thought I was going to throw up. I was really scared. I was very nervous," Gillum said later.
But he was also determined. When the man, who police say is Craig Ackerman, ran, Gillum chased him.
They gave police a heads up, so they swooped in and arrested Ackerman.
"I think that it's a lesson for thieves that they need to be afraid of people like me, because they don't know who they're stealing from, and it's a lesson for victims that they don't need to lay over and take this," Gillum said.
Ackerman's address is listed in Southeast Portland. Police say he's no longer in jail but no one answered at his home Tuesday.
He is facing a felony charge of trafficking stolen property.