A motorsports dealer on Vancouver Island located his stolen motorcycle and went and got it back – with cameras rolling.
Dustin Hofer, owner of Pride Motorsports Inc., had a Honda CFR250R motorbike stolen from his Cobble Hill dealership and a day and a half later, with the help of his business partner and another man, had taken it back from a property in Harewood in Nanaimo.
Hofer said surveillance video showed that the theft happened at 6:10 a.m. Sunday.
“I’ve had a lot of friends whose motorcycles were stolen in this past year. There’s a theft epidemic going on here in Victoria and the lower Island,” Hofer said. “So my route was not to go to the police right away. I wanted to reach out to social media. I know the power of social media.”
He offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the bike and received hundreds of tips, including from two people who claimed they’d been offered the chance to buy the motorcycle. Hofer said he set up a meeting outside a Nanaimo fast food restaurant, but the sellers didn’t show. Another tip provided a street address.
“We made a decision that we would be safe and we were going to actually go to this person’s place of residence and retrieve this motorcycle,” Hofer said.
They pulled into the driveway in the 900 block of Bruce Avenue, where they spotted the bike and Hofer called the police as his business partner met and shook hands with someone on the property.
“At that point, on live video, we told them that they’re on live Facebook video and the police were on their way,” Hofer said. “The look on their face was priceless. They started moving really quickly and then they started running.”
The motorcycle was loaded into the back of a pickup, which was then parked to block off the driveway until police arrived.
Hofer said the recovery operation was a little nerve-racking.
“Our goal was not to have any altercations as far as violence or anything, but it was pretty tense,” he said.
According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, police verified that the motorcycle was the one taken from the business, but were unable to determine who took the bike and how long it had been on the property, so no arrests were made and charges are unlikely.
Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said the motorcycle owners put themselves in harm’s way by recovering their property themselves.
“This is certainly a great story but the owners should have contacted the RCMP prior to driving onto the property. This would have been the most prudent and safest means to look for their stolen bike. The bike would still have been recovered and the possibility of violence would have been minimized,” he said.
The tipsters declined the cash reward, which Hofer said would be donated to Warmland House and Outreach in Duncan.
Hofer had hoped there would be some repercussions for those responsible for stealing others’ possessions.
“I’d like these people to get some help and whether that means hitting their bottom and getting charged with theft or stolen property, then maybe that’s what needs to happen, but ultimately, we’d like these people to get some help and stop terrorizing the community and people who work hard for these things,” he said.
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