Gulfport woman uses Craigslist to help solve theft of her own bicycle

19-year old faces several felony charges

GULFPORT, Fla - Wynn Smith is happy to have her 26-inch bike, that's just a few months old, back where it belongs; at her house. Last week, the tan bike worth more than $400 was cable-locked to a drainpipe under her carport when it stolen overnight.

"I freaked out.  I was furious.  I felt like somebody had invaded my space. I felt like they had done something to me that I didn't deserve; I didn't know this person," Smith explained.  

After filing a police report, Smith began her own detective work that day; trying to get into the mind of the thief.

"I started thinking, yeah, I'd put it on Craigslist. I'd try and get rid of it that way," Smith thought at the time.

She searched bikes for sale in Pinellas County, and there it was.  An ad for a tan 26-inch Townie Electra--an exact match to hers, for only $80.  The ad included a phone number to call Tyler.

"I was elated because I knew I could get it back now," Smith said.

She called and agreed to meet to buy the bike, and then called police.  When 19-year old Tyler Marquis showed up on the bike, he was arrested.

"It was total relief.  I was so desperate to get it back," Smith recalled.
Marquis then allowed Gulfport police to search the home he shares with his mother, who was out of town. According to these arrest affidavits, Marquis admitted to police that he had intended to sell the marijauna they found in the home. He also faces grand theft, burglary and dealing in stolen property using the internet.

Smith's glad her detective work paid off.

"It's good to have it back."

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