Havertown, Pa. (WTXF) - A mom from Havertown got back her son's stolen bike with a little detective work.
"It was a Christmas gift last year. It was the only gift he got it. It was very expensive," said Carolynn Butko. She paid more than $600 for a Fuji Nevada mountain bike for her 14-year-old son Aidan. So you can imagine the panic that set in when he came home and told her someone had stolen it when he was hanging out with friends.
"He was devastated. He came home and a little nervous because he didn't lock it up which was part of the deal," she said. They immediately filed a police report and luckily had the receipt and serial number. But weeks passed and nothing. When friends started telling them they had seen the bike around town mom did what women do best. She started playing detective.
"A gumshoe I said," said Carolynn. Then one day someone told her they saw the bike on a website called Offerup.com. Carolynn says she studied five different pictures of the bike for clues. It was all in the detail she says.
"He put it on a metal light pole and there's only a couple of different areas that actually have those poles. You could see details of the backyard and details of the street," she said. So Carolynn drove around until she found the yard she thought was a match from the pictures. Eventually she decided to search the name attached to the post.
"It came up right with his name and some of the social media posts actually had little emojis of bikes and I thought geez that's a coincidence." Then she went to a family directory the school district puts out on its students and confirmed the address.
"Went to the address that was in the book and you can clearly see that there it was. Boom. The house," said Carolynn. Police went to talk to the family and eventually came out with the bike after Carolynn says she went to talk to the family of the kid who took it and they refused to cooperate.
"I was happy that I finally got it back and found out who took it," said Aidan. I asked his mom if Havertown Police had offered her a job. She said, “ We're working on that. I did ask for an honorary badge but I don't know what will happen," she joked.
Carolynn hopes the teen who took the bike will face some consequences. Her son has learned a lesson. Use the bike lock he had all along.