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Stolen bike returns... 46 years later

2013-11-21 12:16

HAPPY REUNION: Donald DeVault was ecstatic when he was reunited with his 1953 Triumph Tiger 100. It was stolen 46 years ago from his backyard. Image: AP


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OMAHA, Nebraska - A man has been reunited with his now-vintage motorcycle 46 years after it was stolen.

Donald DeVault was reunited with his 1953 Triumph Tiger 100 on Wednesday (Nov 30).


The 73-year-old DeVault learned earlier in November that California authorities had recovered his motorcycle at the Port of Los Angeles. The bike was about to be shipped to Japan when customs agents who checked the vehicle identification number discovered it had been reported stolen in February 1967.

The bike was valued at the equivalent of R3051 in 1967. Today, it's worth about R92 000.

DeVault's first reaction? To hug the man who found the bike. His next move was - naturally - to take the motorcycle for a ride in the parking lot. He had owned the bike for only a year or two when it was taken from his fenced backyard.

Currently he has a Harley-Davidson and a Kawasaki motorcycle in his garage, so he plans to reserve the Triumph for special rides.

DeVault recalls Marlon Brando riding a similar Triumph bike in the movie ‘The Wild One’, which he said helped make motorcycles popular. But DeVault said he was already riding motorcycles by the time the movie came out, and continued riding for much of his life.

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