TRUCKEE, Calif. — Three people were arrested last week after “selling” a stolen bicycle advertised on Craigslist to an undercover officer, police said.
Rich Paul, owner of Velo Reno Bicycles, contacted the Truckee Police Department on Jan. 21 to report his shop at 3450 Lakeside Drive in Reno had been burglarized the previous day, TPD Sgt. Robert Womack said Monday.
Paul reportedly saw a listing for a stolen bike — a 2014 Giant TCR Advanced SL, valued at $9,000 — on sale through Craigslist in the Truckee area for $5,000.
Later that day, TPD set up an operation to “buy” the bike, and an undercover officer met with Darius McGillivray, 29, of Reno, Tyden Balais, 23, of Grass Valley, and Darlene Balmer, 24, of Grass Valley, at a Truckee business.
All three were arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, according to TPD, and the bike was recovered and returned to Paul.
“Unfortunately, it was all drug-related,” Womack said. “The burglary apparently happened to finance drug purchases, and they were going to use ... this bike to finance more drug purchases.”
None of the three is suspected of committing the Jan. 20 burglary in Reno, Womack said.
In a Monday statement, officers reminded residents of the potential dangers of fraudulent advertisements through Craigslist and other online sites.
“… When a deal is too good to be true, it probably is,” officers said. “Craigslist is a great tool for buying and selling items, but both buyers and sellers should be extremely careful during transactions and take appropriate safeguards.
“Don’t meet alone, meet in public places, and make sure what you are purchasing seems reasonable … Trust your instincts during conversations with the other party and be particularly cautious with large sums of cash. No ‘deal’ is worth going against your gut instincts and putting yourself at risk.”