Stolen bicycle recovered in Craigslist sting

Olympia police nab 2 suspects with $5,000 bike after contacted by owner who found it online

jpawloski@theolympian.comMarch 20, 2013 

The owner of a stolen mountain bike worth more than $5,000 tracked down someone trying to sell it on Craigslist over the weekend, leading to an Olympia police sting outside a gas station Sunday afternoon and the arrests of two suspects at gunpoint.

Jesse Catlow, 29, and Grace Palomar, 34, were arrested on suspicion of second-degree possession of stolen property and second-degree trafficking in stolen property. Catlow was additionally booked on suspicion of unlawful possession of a firearm. Both were in custody at the Thurston County Jail on Tuesday. Catlow’s bail was set at $5,000, Palomar’s at $1,500.

According to court papers:

The owner of the mountain bike contacted police after it was stolen from the Hood River, Ore., area on Thursday. The owner told an Olympia police officer that he found the bike for sale on Craigslist out of the Tacoma area on Friday. The owner said he communicated with the seller and knew the bike was the one that had been stolen, based on the components described by the seller.

The Olympia police officer and the bike owner devised a plan to have the officer meet with the seller on Sunday outside a gas station at Plum Street and Union Avenue in Olympia.

When Olympia police met the sellers of the bike Sunday afternoon, one officer drew his firearm, detained both suspects and placed them in handcuffs. The stolen bike was in plain view in the back of the sellers’ car. The bike owner’s name also was engraved on the seat post.

Olympia police also saw the butt of a handgun sticking out from under the center portion of the car’s front seat. Catlow, who was convicted of second-degree assault in Pierce County earlier this year, is not allowed to possess firearms. Olympia police obtained a search warrant for the car.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 jpawloski@theolympian.com

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