West Malling Farmer Reunited With Stolen Motorbike 27 Years On

West Malling Farmer Reunited With Stolen Motorbike 27 Years On

A beloved motorcycle that was taken from a vintage motorcycle enthusiast 27 years prior has been returned to him.

In spite of an investigation, West Malling farmer Stephen Betts’ 1949 Ariel Red Hunter was never recovered after he reported the theft in 1996.

However, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) informed him when a registration application for it was made earlier this year.

Mr. Betts said he “never imagined” he would see his 500cc machine again.

“One day I forgot to lock the shed where I kept it on my farm. It was gone the following time I went outside. I was really gutted at the time,” he recalled.

Unaware that the bike had been stolen and had new license plates, the new owner bought it from an online auction site.

‘Very Gracious’

“It was only when he tried to register the bike that the DVLA discovered it actually belonged to me, through the engine and chassis numbers,” Mr. Betts said.

After that, the matter was reported to the police, who opened an investigation.

Mr. Betts said the new owner had “put his heart and soul” into restoring the vehicle but was “very gracious” about it.

“We were able to come to an arrangement whereby I would compensate him, as he had done a great job with the bike,” he said.

Det Ch Insp Neil Watford, of Kent Police, said: “No matter how much time may pass after a vehicle has been stolen, it is always our hope that we will be able to reunite the owner with their possession.”

PC Mike Pilbeam, who worked on the case at the Metropolitan Police’s organized vehicle crime unit, added: “The work we all do is worthwhile when we learn how much it meant to Mr. Betts.”

Reference: www.bbc.com

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.