College student sets up sting to bust backpack thief - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

College student sets up sting to bust backpack thief

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Police arrested a man accused of stealing a backpack with a laptop in it.

Nathaniel Zielinski was in court Monday afternoon for a first appearance. The judge ordered him to be held on a $7500 bond.

While it may not sound like Zielinski took much to some, for the victim, he took more than stuff.

“I was really late for church that day,” she says. “And so I had just forgotten my backpack in the corner right here.”

When she came back for it, it was gone, stolen with her laptop inside. Her first thoughts: “Oh my goodness I'm going to fail math. It was finals week at the falls so I did end up failing my math class,” she says.

She wasn't going to take this lying down.

“I felt awful. I was so heartbroken,” she says.

So she and her brother got to work to figure out who this guy was.

“We remembered that he had used my brother's cell phone a couple weeks prior and we looked up any numbers we didn't know and called them,” Kylie says.

They got in touch with Nathaniel Zielinski and used Facebook to make sure it was him. That's when they came up with this plan and got Spokane Police involved.

She and her friends said they would go meet with Zielinski to produce music.

Officers were there at the meeting location waiting. When Zielinski saw an officer, Kylie says he yelled ‘I didn’t do anything’ and took off running. Police say he got to the Spokane River and tried to cross it, but he decided to turn around. That’s when police arrested him, something Kylie is grateful for.

“They were so helpful. Like they were all ready. Even just for a small $200 laptop. I was just like you guys really stepped it up,” she says.

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