After seeing his stolen property being sold online, man sets up sting

Carpenter Chris Rainey said a thief stole $1,500 of his power tools from a locked toolbox on the back of his truck outside his house in Villa Ridge, Missouri.

He didn’t have to wait long to see them again, however, as they soon popped up for sale online.

While going through the OfferUp app, Rainey spied a picture of the missing pieces of his livelihood.

“I just looked through it and I’m like, I saw this picture and that’s all of my tools right there!” he said.

Rather than call police, Rainey hatched a plan.

He told his wife Irene he planned to meet the seller on his own and get his tools back in person.

“Oh yeah I thought my husband was nuts,” Irene said. “When he said, ‘We’re just going to go get it.’ And I said, ‘No we’re not.’ And he said, ‘Oh I’m getting it.'”

“I’m kind of a do-it-yourself kind of guy so I did it myself,” Rainey added.

During the meeting, Irene waited in the car, prepared to call 9-1-1 if needed.

Rainey told the seller the tools were his and that he was armed. He also bluffed that police were coming.

The seller left the tools and sped away.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said the Raineys took a big risk and may have jeopardized the chance to put the thief in jail.

“This case it turned out well. I believe he got his property back and everything went fine. But it really hurts our criminal case too if prosecutors ever sought for it because of the steps that were taken beforehand,” said Captain Gary Higginbotham.

The Raineys admit things could have gone wrong, but are glad they got all of the tools back.