A California man's dirt bike was stolen nearly 20 years ago when he was just 11 years old. This week, the CHP recovered it and bike and owner were reunited.
CHP returns dirt bike stolen in 2001 to Riverside, California rider
Way back in December of 2001, 11-year-old Kamron Golbaf of Riverside, California, discovered that someone had stolen his prized Honda CR80. Seventeen years have passed since that fateful day, and the little brapper was little more than a distant and painful memory for Golbaf. That is, until he got a strange call from the CHP—his CR80 had been recovered.
MORE BIKE THIEVERY: Several Bristol bike thieves nabbed
According to officer Mike Lassig of the California Highway Patrol, the bike was recently purchased by a California resident via craigslist. After buying the bike, the new owner went to go register it and was informed that there was no record of the vehicle on file and that getting it registered would require an inspection by the CHP. This resulted in Officer Ralph Villegas performing an inspection, and through what Lassig calls “confidential law enforcement means” came to the conclusion that the late-‘90s Honda was stolen.
Golbaf's childhood 1998 Honda Cr 80
From there Villegas contacted Golbaf and told him that the CHP had his bike and he could come pick it up at his leisure. So the now 28-year-old drove his pickup to a CHP station in Temecula, California, where he was reunited with his old friend.
AN UNFORTUNATE TREND: Motorcycle theft on the rise
Though this is obviously a feel-good story—for everyone except for the buyer at least—Lessig is using the publicity to remind the public of the potential risks involved with purchasing used vehicles form complete strangers online. He explained to press that anyone is welcome to drop into their local CHP (or whatever state police) station and submit a VIN to have entered into a database to guarantee you aren't buying a stolen bike (or car, or ATV, etc).
GOING STRAIGHT TO THE SOURCE: Ask a bike thief: an interview with the enemy
Being only a year older than Golbaf, I can’t imagine having something returned to me that was taken when I was 11. Golbaf reportedly remarked on how small the bike is, and how he remembers it being quite a bit larger (for obvious reasons). It took 5,929 days for the man to be reunited with his childhood two-wheeler, but better late than never I guess.
Source and Photos: the Press Enterprise