By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Twin Cities woman got her stolen bike back thanks to the help of a stranger on Facebook.

Heather Kampf posted a picture of her pink-and-black bike on the Twin Cities Stolen Bikes page and someone using Facebook recognized it.

WCCO’s Kate Raddatz explains the plan Heather hatched to catch the thief trying to sell her bike.

Heather Kampf is attached to her bike.

“Her name is Stella,” Kampf said.

So when the professional runner realized her bike had been taken out of her garage in Minneapolis Thursday she was missing out on more than cross-training workouts.

Kampf also used it to bike to work at a running store in Northeast.

“I gave myself a day to just cry over it and then I was already onto acceptance phase of I’m never going to see my bike again,” Kampf explained.

She filed a police report and posted a picture of the bike in the Twin Cities Stolen Bikes group where cyclists share if they’ve seen stolen bikes for sale.

One man immediately recognized heather’s $1,200 pink and black bike on a Facebook Marketplace ad.

Fuji Silhouette bike $200. The seller said it was given to him from a friend.

“I definitely knew it was my bike and I was excited,” Kampf said.

She had her brother-in-law message the seller and arranged to meet him Sunday at U.S Bank Stadium. Within minutes of the meeting, the seller said he wanted to back out.

“We’re like ‘wait, wait, wait don’t leave, we’re almost there, we’ll give you more money,’ so we offered $100 more than he was asking for it and he said ‘okay I’ll come back,'” Kampf explained.

When they got there, they waited a few blocks away and called police.

“They were walking away with the bike and in the distance I was like I think that’s it,” Kampf said.

The thieves popped one of the tires but Kampf says she’s just grateful for the help of social media bringing Stella back.

“I have a sentimental attachment to my bike, everyone does if you ride it a lot, but I’m like she’s coming home,” Kampf added.

If you do own a bike it’s a good idea to write down the serial number. It’s usually located under the bracket where the two pedal cranks meet. That way, if it’s stolen you have proof to show police that it’s yours.

It’s also a good idea to make sure your bike is always locked up and in a closed garage. And be sure to keep a picture of it, just in case you need to post about a stolen bike on Facebook.

Kate Raddatz

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