Police: Vigilante group held up suspected truck thief in OfferUp sting

Posted at 8:44 PM, Feb 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-28 20:44:43-05

EVERETT, Wash. – Police arrested a suspected thief after a small group of vigilantes tracked him down and set up an informal sting operation.

Officers were called to a report of two men holding another man at gunpoint in a parking lot Wednesday morning, according to KCPQ.

When officers arrived, the men pointing their weapons at the person on the ground told police they were making a citizen’s arrest, police said. They said they believed the man was selling stolen property.

According to Everett Police, a 57-year-old man had his work truck stolen in Seattle earlier in February. The victim monitored popular online classifieds and found tools identical to the ones he owned being sold on the OfferUp app.

Related: Norfolk Police encourage citizens to use safe exchange zones after woman robbed at gunpoint 

The victim agreed to buy what he believed were his stolen tools. He traveled to Everett with two armed friends. When the men arrived, two suspects got out of a car and tried to sell tools from the trunk. The victim and his friends confronted the suspects about stealing the tools, and one of the suspects took off.

The victim’s friends drew their guns on the remaining suspect shortly before police were dispatched to the scene.

The remaining suspect was arrested on suspicion of trafficking stolen property. The vehicle he arrived in was not the victim’s, but it was stolen, police said.

The suspect who ran was not found.

Police are looking into whether the men committed a crime by pointing their guns at the alleged thieves in the parking lot. The tools found in their truck were the victim’s, police said.