Kayla Smith of Vancouver said her bike was stolen recently and she spotted an ad on Craigslist the next day for a bicycle that she suspected of being her stolen property, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Tuesday.
Smith said she arranged to meet the seller at a McDonald's restaurant and she quickly identified her bike from stickers and special brakes.
"Holy crap this is my bike," Smith said. "Like what do I do? And then I was just, like, play dumb."
She said the man told her he had purchased the bike from his roommate.
Smith said she asked the seller if she could take the bicycle for a test ride "and then I just got on it ... and rode away."
The CBC said it contacted the seller using the phone number he provided in the Craigslist post, but the man who answered the phone said the allegations are false.
Vancouver police Constable Brian Montague said victims of thefts should call police before attempting to confront the thieves on their own.
"This can be really dangerous. You don't know who you're dealing with," he said. "We would obviously suggest if you see your stolen property or something you believe to be your stolen property for sale online, we can arrange with the victim to set up a meeting to purchase this, just like the victim did in this case."