Spokane Man Reunited With Stolen Motorcycle – 37 Years Later
by Kelsey Watts, KHQ Local News Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
SPOKANE, Wash. – It's a story almost 40 years in the making. A Spokane man was reunited with his motorcycle for the first time Friday morning, after it was stolen 37 years ago.
The bike was brought in to the WSP headquarters for a VIN inspection Thursday; but once an officer ran the numbers, they found the motorcycle was reported stolen back in 1975. The report was still on file – via microfiche – at the Spokane County Sheriff's Office, and the rightful owner, Dan Arndt, was tracked down.
Arndt told KHQ the motorcycle was stolen out of his then-backyard in Spokane Valley, and he hadn't seen it since – until now.
"Oh my gosh!" he said, as he walked into the WSP storage facility, and saw his 1972 Honda XL250 for the first time in decades. "I can't believe it! It looks just like the motorcycle I had almost 40 years ago!"
He walked around to inspect the bike, and was amazed to see it still in one piece.
"When I got the call that they recovered it, I thought it would be in a cardboard box, just parts and pieces, something with the serial number on it," Arndt added. "So I'm really amazed it's in any kind of condition like this. Wow."
Arndt now works for the City of Spokane as a wastewater treatment plant operator.
He said he was 22 years old when he bought the bike new in 1972, for around $2,000. He gave up on it a long time ago, and said he never bought a new one because he didn't have theft insurance.
But, now 62 years old, he still has his motorcycle endorsement, and once the bike gets checked out, he plans on riding it once again.
"It's really not in that bad of shape!" he said. "Who knows where it's been, or what it's been doing for 37 years!"
There's no telling how many times the motorcycle changed hands over all those years. WSP says the woman who brought it in for the VIN inspection Thursday had a bill of sale, and had recently purchased it from someone who said it had been in storage for the last 15 years.
While the thief was never caught, Arndt says he's just happy to have his old bike back.
Friday, December 6 2013 2:18 PM EST2013-12-06 19:18:21 GMT
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