Craigslist cracks theft investigation in Harlan Co.

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

He said he's being set up! 24 year-old Donnie Pace is charged with receiving stolen property. Authorities said he's responsible for selling a dirt bike stolen from an Indiana family this summer.

Deputies said Craigslist helped them solve the crime.

"The Little family from Indiana, they came here for vacation. They come in once a year," said Winston Yeary, with the Harlan County Sheriff's Office.

It was an annual trip for an Indiana family, riding dirt bikes at the Putney Trailhead. Last summer two of their bikes were stolen.

"Petty theft - two motorcycles," said Yeary.

Deputies had no leads, until one of the victims posted information about the bikes on Craigslist.

"He got a response. A gentleman from the Evarts area sent him an email saying, I bought your motorcycle," said Yeary.

Authorities said 24 year-old Donnie Pace sold the stolen bike.

"There is no way I did it. I know I didn't do it," said Pace.

Pace admitted he's been in trouble before.

"My younger years, just getting out here and being a hoodlum - you know I do have a reputation in Evarts of being a bad guy," said Pace.

But this time he claims he is innocent and is being framed.

"I haven't even had a dirt bike. I don't know why Michael Cloud said he bought it from me. I don't know what's up with that," said Pace.

Pace said he will fight the charges to clear his name.

"They can charge me with whatever they want to. I'll take it to jury trial and take it however far it has to go," said Pace.

One of the bikes is still missing. Deputies believe it was sold in Harlan County.

If you have any information, you're asked to call the sheriff's department at (606)573-1313.

Mountain News spoke with Michael Cloud, the man who says he bought the bike from Pace. Cloud said there are plenty of witnesses, and he has no reason to frame Pace.

Pace will be in court November 14.

Officials at the Putney Trailhead said a theft like this is uncommon.

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