From “completely gutted” to “humbled”, a stolen bike story

Ellie with her dog Akela, outside of Sault Ste. Marie after getting her bike back from Police last last night - photo provided by Ellie

Ellie Crabb spent 30 hours driving around our city, going house to house, through a scrapyard, looking for something precious to her, her Norco Charger Hard Tailed bike.

You see Crabb is from Canmore, Alberta. Along with her boyfriend and K9 sidekick Akela, she had started a cross-Canada adventure on her bike a while back.

A photo of the bike which was stolen, then recovered with help of Saultites across the city – provided by Ellie

Her journey, like the stories of so many who end up passing through the Sault, put her here looking “to get some WI-FI, let parents know we are alive and do our washing.” While staying at the Super 8, her bike was stolen, even though she had triple locked it and taken the front wheel off.

To residents of the Sault, this story is becoming all too familiar where touring cyclists, some attracted here by the city’s advertising campaign, end up with their bikes stolen.

After giving up hope, at the behest of two local nurses, she reached out on one of the local social media pages which got the attention of thousands of residents of the Sault and our media organization.

When we first wrote this story, yesterday afternoon, it had Crabb leaving our city with a horrible taste in her mouth and no bike. Disappointed, frustrated and more than a little tired, she was headed east to continue her trip, sans one bike.

In the background, multiple people were searching all the known hidey-holes for her precious two-wheeled steed and were starting to come up empty. Our organization was receiving reports from Breton, Queen, Jamestown and the P-patch to no avail.

Then it happened, a message to Ellie on Facebook almost positively confirmed that her bike was spotted outside of a Breton Road location.

Being three hours east of the city, she reached out to SaultOnline to see if we could help.

Crabb with her dog Akela, enjoying time cycling in western Canada.

We quickly attended the reported sighting and contacted police, who had already told one caller “they would send a vehicle when it was free”.  Two-officers arrived shortly after we hung up with them, followed by back-up soon after due to previously encountered issues with some of the residents in the area. They spoke with Ellie over a connection we were able to set up and subsequently seized not only her bike, but a fat-bike from outside of the location.

Upon hearing the news of the recovery, Crabb was over-the-moon excited and immediately turned around to head back to the Sault so that she could retrieve her bike from police custody.

Normally Sault Police property department isn’t open late at night, but given the circumstance, they made an exception for Ellie and so that they could return her bike back in her possession shortly after 11:30 p.m..

Not forgetting the people who helped her, she quickly went the the group on Facebook with a thank-you for everything they did to help locate it. She reached out to us with this message of appreciation which she wanted shared with residents.

“I do not hate the city. I’m leaving really humbled and in awe of a community that were so kind to me and ultimately got my bike back for me!,” said Crabb. “From the nurses that told me about the group, to the night auditor at the hotel, the scrapyard that let me search and everyone in the Facebook group – you guys were are all amazing!”

You see, Crabb is a professional content creator and a visitor to this city. The old adage of bad news travels faster than good, could really have affected our city’s image, beyond what snazy and expensive magazine articles can fix.

If you want to follow the rest of her trip, you can do so on Instagram @crabbtacular. You can also learn how to travel with a dog from her website.

Stay with SaultOnline as we continue to bring you more stories which matter to you from Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding area.


  1. It pains me to hear these stories happing everywhere. I ams most happy that locals helped out a traveller. Now I do wish it would happen more often for those who live here, as well. (it also pains my knees to see improperly set seats on bikes.

  2. Any reason you won’t give the EXACT Breton Road location ?
    Fear perhaps ?
    Another ebike recovered there tonight.

    And because of you, they are now receiving their stolen goods in the back, out of public view.

    You helped get two bikes back ….and protect the drug dealing thieves. Congratulations.

    • 171 Breton. There. I said it.
      A steady stream of stolen goods daily.

      Team meetings every night to plan their night.

      U-Haul to take the goods away to Southern Ontario.

      But congrats on getting 2 bikes back There are several new ones today, and tomorrow there will be more.

  3. Wow…this Breton Rd. seems to be a hot spot for stolen goods. I don’t understand how the people of the residence are not or have not been or received any charges for all this stolen property….

    • Difficult to charge these people as they are only in possession of the goods…. they ‘found’ them.
      They never protest when the people or police come to get them back.

  4. “Then it happened, a message to Ellie on Facebook almost positively confirmed that her bike was spotted outside of a Brenton Road location.”

    Is that not Breton road?

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