April 14, 2011 at 10:53 AM ET
When a Michigan mother found out her Garmin nuvi GPS had been stolen out of her car, she scoured the website she thought a thief might use to try to sell it: Craigslist.
While Craigslist has been the point of origin for some crimes, in this case, it helped solve one. Not only did she find the stolen device, she led police straight to her violator, who turned out to be a teen boy.
Identified publicly only as Sarah, the Saline, Mich. mom noticed the GPS was missing from her car, which was parked in front of her house.
"I was upset someone would take something of mine from my vehicle," she told WDIV-Detroit, in an on-air interview.
So she went online and saw an ad in the Ann Arbor Craigslist with this headline: "GPS Garmin Nuvi - $75 (Saline, Michigan)" posted about 3 a.m. on April 3. Under the description: "Practically brand new." Other details made her think this was her GPS, so she and the police worked together to set up an undercover sting that played out over a span of a few days. She told newscasters she was nervous about pinning the crime on the wrong person, but when this "buyer" and seller finally met, the police intervened and found her GPS at his house. He had brought a different device to their meeting.
Police called her an hour after she met with the thief and told her they'd found her stolen GPS, which wasn't new but a "treasured Christmas gift from Dad."
Police are working on a warrant request against the teen.
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