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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.

Transcript

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. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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