Just after 2 a.m. Wednesday morning Jake Ramsey was finishing his shift at Jimmy John’s on Second Street in Harrisburg. As he looked out the front window, something caught his eye.
“We’re closing up and I look out the window and there is this guy standing with my bike in his arms. I said ‘hey, someone is stealing my bike!’ So I ran outside and I chased him and he took off down second street,” said Jake.
After a good chase Jake realized he wasn’t going to catch him. “I said ‘hey, enjoy my bike! And he said I will!” said Jake.
While getting something stolen is not funny, how Jake reacted next, is. After calling police to report the theft he took to the popular classifieds website ‘Craigslist” to air his grievances about the bike thief. “I wanted to vent, and I didn’t want to call anybody at 5 in the morning. I was frustrated so I put a little sarcastic ad on Craigslist,” said Jake.
On the ad Jake posted pictures of him and his kids, and progress pictures of the bike “from an old mountain bike to a mean single track delivery machine.,” he said in the post, and added, “Please continue sanding it down and paint it a flat black. I didn’t want it to stand out and be stolen..this is Harrisburg after all.”
“I worked 89 hours last week- 89 hours. I had that bike specifically made for delivery driving. I had it modified and everything. I have never been victimized like that before, and I got to see the guy do it,” said Jake who just finished active duty in the Army and continues to serve in the National Guard. He also works two other jobs to support his three children ages eight, six and four. “I just got done with active duty orders, I just started a lawn care business, it’s slow starting up, so I got a job with Jimmy Johns to supplement my business,” said Jake. “It blew my mind knowing that this is my bike, this is what I use to support my family. I like this bike, and you’re taking it from me and you didn’t even ask, or thank me, or anything.”
But in the end Jake said he forgives the thief. “I do forgive him. We are all human and we all sin,” said Jake.
Merely 12 hours after posting the message Jake said he has already received support from all over. “People have been emailing, calling and very supportive, offering their bicycles, offering money and really it’s overwhelming their support,” said Jake. Someone even dropped off a replacement bike. “A gentleman actually just dropped off a bike for me. He dropped it off for me this morning. He saw the Craigslist ad and said ‘I fix up bikes, and I can’t not give you this bike.’ Within hours people were offering to drop off bicycles,” said Jake, who vows to turn the experience into something positive. “If anybody donates any money I am going to use it as a fund for locks, and for anybody that wants a lock. The people around here are criminals of opportunity, if you leave something out even for a couple of seconds they will take it,” said Jake.
To see his ad on Craigslist click here