Lynnwood police return unique bench to owner after undercover buy

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — A Lynnwood woman was grateful to get a unique wooden bench back after it was stolen last fall.

Madrona chiropractor Vivian Ledesma runs a family business with outdoor seating for her neighbors.

That seating included a custom-made wooden bench.

“It had unique legs because it was built for sloped concrete,” said Ledesma.

When the bench disappeared, Ledesma was devastated.

Ledesma said she found the bench for sale on the OfferUp app twice, according to the Lynnwood Police Department.

When she saw it was listed for sale in Lynnwood, she called police.

A detective then visited Ledesma, who provided information about the seller’s account and a description and pictures of her bench.

“She was very cooperative, very thorough. She had done a lot of legwork herself, which made our job here a lot easier,” said Det. Reorda with the Lynnwood Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division, who was able to set up an undercover buy.

“We have to have specific information, we have to be able to determine the property we’re trying to buy is in fact the stolen item from the victim, whether that’s special markings, serial numbers or unique items,” he said.

Police said the undercover buy of the bench was successful, even though no charges have been filed.

“Just because we get property from somebody or buy stolen property from somebody, doesn’t necessarily mean that person knows that it was stolen. Oftentimes, by the time we get to these cases, or they come to our attention, the property could have traded hands two or three times,” said Reorda.

Soon, the detective was loading the unique bench into Ledesma’s vehicle.

“It is very rewarding. Oftentimes, with property, it’s hard to get the property back, especially after several months, so being on those cases where we can recover the property or give someone some type of closure, whether it’s returning property or filing charges on someone, it is a rewarding feeling,” said Reorda.

Ledesma said she was very grateful to have the bench back.