How the Internet got my stolen bike back

Illustration for article titled How the Internet got my stolen bike back

Last year we did a story about a man posting on Craigslist about his bloodlust for the person who stole his bicycle. That man was Matt O'Rourke and, 18 months later, the bike is back. Here's O'Rourke's hilarious explanation of how we helped get his stolen bike back. — Ed.


About a year and a half ago, some dickstache stole my bike, and in an effort to get it back I posted the notice below to Craigslist.

Some of my industry friends picked it up, Craig Newmark gave it some love, @peeweeherman got into it, @copyrider made this very kind offer, Jalopnik took a brief respite from hating bikes to help out, the Village Voice ran this, and several thousand of you took the time to retweet the link.

It didn't work.

Nothing happened.

I gave up on mankind.

I drank a lot of shit scotch.

I started a band called Fuck Everyone.

Illustration for article titled How the Internet got my stolen bike back

I opened cans of peanuts at Safeway, farted in them, and then put the lids back on as fast as I could.

I adopted an abandoned cat, and then abandoned it.

Those were the darkest of days.

And then, one day, a few months ago, my phone rang, and some complete random on the other end of the line (who really, really didn't want me to use his name here) said he'd been stopped by a woman while riding across the Williamsburg Bridge when she recognized the bike from the Craigslist post. He told her he'd bought it off the Assmaster in Tompkins Square Park for a couple hundred dollars, not knowing it was stolen, and now he wanted to give it back.


Long story short, he did, the Bologna is back in the stable, and I'm a whole man again. But there's just one problem; he who doesn't want to be named, never told me how to reach him.

So as much as @copyrider and I would like to give him the bountiful rewards for which he is due, we can't.


If you're reading this, and you're the random, by all means, present yourself.

Illustration for article titled How the Internet got my stolen bike back

Finally, this needs saying:

It worked.

You shared it, and a lot of people saw it.

And because you did, I got my bike back.

Thank you internet, that was very nice of you.

(Also, the $1000 dollar offer for the thief's nads on a stick still stands.

This story originally appeared on CopyMatt's Tumblr on November 11, 2011, and was republished with permission.


Email us with the subject line "Syndication" if you would like to see your own story syndicated here on Jalopnik.



Oh shit, not another single-speed fucking hipster bike. In typical hipster fashion, we have a $3,000 bike that looks like a piece of shit pulled out of the Hudson.