Looking to Buy: My Stolen Bike

Army vet willing to pay bicycle thief

By Matt Bartosik
|  Tuesday, Oct 13, 2009  |  Updated 11:47 AM CDT
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Army veteran is willing to buy back his bicycle from whomever stole it.

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Whether it's a stuffed animal from our youth or old ticket stubs from a memorable event, many of us have some object with sentimental value.

For 27-year-old Charlie Dennis, it's his bike, and he's willing to pay for his sentimentality.

In 2007, Dennis, an  Army veteran made a solo journey on his bicycle from Denver to Chicago, a trip of about 1,800 miles. The expedition took him three and a half weeks, and he never looked at his bike the same way again.

"I'm never going to make that trip again," Dennis told the Sun-Times.

But two weeks ago, Dennis' beloved bicycle was stolen from outside his Albany Park apartment.

He first tried calling the police to report his stolen bike with no success. He then checked with a few nearby pawn shops but came up with nothing.

And so, Dennis has turned to one of people's greatest motivators: cold, hard cash.

Dennis posted signs near the scene of the crime, offering to buy back the bike from whomever stole it.

"If you stole my bike, I will buy it back from you. Please, it means a lot to me," the sign says, along with a phone number to reach Dennis.

"I only care about getting it back," said the cycling enthusiast. "That's all that matters to me."

Dennis has not revealed how much he paid for the bike, nor has he mentioned exactly how much he's willing to offer. That's a negotiation he hopes to make on the phone with the thief.

Unfortunately this is one case where crime does pay.

Matt Bartosik, a "between blogs" blogger, never learned to ride a bike.

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