Omaha Man Reunited With Stolen Motorcycle 46 Years Later

A motorcycle owner in Omaha, Neb., reported his bike stolen from his backyard. Now, it's on its way home after turning up at the Port of Los Angeles, 46 years later.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Forty-six years ago, a man in Omaha, Neb., parked his 1953 Triumph Tiger motorcycle in his backyard. The next morning, it was gone - stolen.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Well, it turned up here in Southern California just a few weeks ago. The bike was inside a shipping container at the Port of Los Angeles. Where was it headed?

LOU KOVEN: It was going to Japan.

CORNISH: That's special agent Lou Koven. He investigates vehicle thefts for the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

BLOCK: Koven says the bureau ran the bike's vehicle ID number through its database, as it does for all soon-to-be exported vehicles. Sure enough, the motorcycle came up stolen from Nebraska in 1967. So Koven called Omaha Police.

KOVEN: I asked them - I said look, I'm kind of guessing here that you may not have this report, but I have to check. And the guy went on the computer, and he came back. He says yeah, we have a copy of it. I said, really? I was like, this is great.

CORNISH: Special Agent Koven then called the owner, who was skeptical. Koven says he had to send photos of the recovered bike, which was still in good shape.

KOVEN: Well, it was in beautiful condition. It - completely repainted, a black frame, a lot of chrome on it. It looked like it'd just come off the factory line.

BLOCK: Where the motorcycle has been all these years is a mystery. And for now, its owner's identity is also a mystery. He wishes to remain anonymous. Again, Lou Koven.

KOVEN: He's a 72-year-old man, and he currently does own some motorcycles - because he indicated to me that he still does ride. And he's very anxious about getting the motorcycle back.

CORNISH: And he will soon. The 1953 Triumph Tiger is on its way home to Nebraska.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BORN TO BE WILD")

CORNISH: This is NPR.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: