A college student called upon Reddit users for help catching an alleged bike thief with just one clue: a snowy footprint of a sneaker.
“I heard Reddit can do some magic,” user DealsDanne wrote, attaching the image to several subreddit sections in hopes of tracking down the bike bandit.
“I happen to have tracked him from those prints. I know the route he took up until stealing the bike. I know which direction he went to after a few days to deliver the bike,” the user explained. “The tire tracks are not very common in pattern and size. Today, I see same footprints again at my building leading from it. He obviously happens to live here…So it would help to know how they look like at first.”
Within hours, Reddit had worked its magic. “Looks like the sole of a Nike Air Relentless 6 trainer,” user RaticanSkywalkr said alongside an image of the sole. “I own a pair myself.”
“I narrowed it down to one suspect,” the theft victim later wrote. “I got his full name and where he lives. Same hallway as me. Now I just have to approach with certainty, so I don’t falsely accuse him.”
Footprints tied to specific footwear models have been prominent in a number of cases over the years. One longtime Nike consultant, Herbert Hedges, specializes in this sort of work, and testified in the 2015 murder trial of former NFL player Aaron Hernandez, calling out the late player’s Air Jordan 11 sneakers.
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