LOPD officer recovers bike stolen in Seaside
John Brent's volunteer shift at the coast leads to a sting operation in Portland and a Chief's Coin for 'going beyond'
When Chuck Lambert and his wife, Cheryl, decided to spend a weekend in Seaside last month, they say they were looking forward to a fun-filled three-day getaway. But after just one night at the coast, they discovered that Chuck Lamberts bicycle was missing.
Despite being secured in the back of his truck on the fourth floor of a gated parking garage, the bike had been stolen during the night.
Unfortunately, there were stairs on the outside that I didnt know about, Lambert says.
So he headed to the Seaside Police Station to file a report with the officer on duty and there he met John Brent from Lake Oswego.
Brent was one of five LOPD officers who volunteered in Seaside that day, freeing up the towns own police officers to attend the funeral for Seaside officer and Sherwood native Sgt. Jason Goodding. Goodding was shot and killed on Feb. 5 while attempting to serve a felony warrant.
Brent took down Lamberts report and gave him his own contact information. But there wasnt much else that could be done at the time, he told the Port Orchard, Wash., resident, especially since Lambert didnt know the bikes serial number. Lambert says the bike model in question retails for $600, although he had fixed it up with numerous aftermarket additions and modifications, including a new seat, extended handlebars, headlights and a mounted tool bag.
I took the report and tried to console him," Brent says. "I said, Let your vacation go on.
When the Lamberts returned home to Port Orchard, Chuck Lambert began searching through sale listings on Craigslist, hoping to catch the thief attempting to unload his bike. He says he searched in Seaside and a number of other costal Oregon cities, with no luck. And then, on a whim, he decided to check the Portland page.
The guy was nice enough to put seven pictures on there, Lambert says.
Thanks to the aftermarket modifications, Lambert easily identified his bike in a Portland-area post. He called Brent in Lake Oswego, and the LOPD officer quickly collaborated with two detectives to set up a sting operation.
The detectives posed as buyers and set up a meeting with the Craigslist seller, and then Brent joined them in confronting the seller and recovering the bike.
The true detective in this case is Chuck, because he found the bike on Portland Craigslist, Brent says.
According to Brent, the case is still under investigation and is being referred to the District Attorneys Office. He says he cant comment on whether the Craigslist seller was the same person who stole the bike in Seaside or just an accomplice.
Unfortunately for Lambert, the aftermarket components were all removed before the sale meeting. But the bike itself was still in good condition, and the Lamberts drove down from Port Orchard to pick it up on March 2.
Brent and LOPD Chief Don Johnson were both on hand to return the bike, and Johnson awarded Brent the Chiefs Coin for going beyond in the performance of his duties.
Brent was very accommodating down (in Seaside), says Lambert. He was the nicest guy on the planet.