Thousands of motorcycles are stolen in the U.S. each year, and fewer than 40 percent are ever recovered. So when a motorcycle has been missing for 46 years, well the chances of it ever showing up again are slim.
But don’t tell that to Don Devault. His 1953 Triumph motorcycle was returned to him this week in Omaha, Nebraska – the same place it was stolen in 1967, when Don was 27. The recovery was one of the more interesting challenges for Lou Koven, a special agent with the National Insurance Crime Bureau. He works with Customs and Border Patrol’s Sami Nasri and the California Highway Patrol’s Mike Maleta at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach. They checked on the bike when it was about to be loaded on a ship to Japan. The VIN number showed up in NICB’s historical database of stolen vehicles and Koven tracked it down to a police report from Omaha. That led to Devault — now 73 — still riding motorcycles and never expecting to see that bike again.
Local trucking company owner Marty McMullen took care of getting the bike back to Don, hiring a driver to pick it up in California and bring it home. Special Agent Koven was on hand to see it arrive and meet the man who didn’t believe him when he first called to tell him his motorcycle had been recovered.
When it was stolen, Devault valued it at $300. It’s now worth an estimated $9,000 and Devault plans to hold on to it this time.
For a complete report, watch this video.
Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800-TEL-NICB (800-835-6422), texting keyword “fraud” to TIP411 (847411) or submitting a form on our website. Or, download the NICB Fraud Tips app on your iPhone or Android device.
About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is the nation’s leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness. The NICB is supported by more than 1,100 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote $350 billion in insurance premiums in 2012, or more than 78 percent of the nation’s property/casualty insurance. That includes more than 93 percent ($160 billion) of the nation’s personal auto insurance. To learn more visit www.nicb.org.