Stolen bike recovered after Vernon resident's one man mission - InfoNews

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Stolen bike recovered after Vernon resident's one man mission

Brian Sanders sits on his cherished BMX bike.
June 09, 2019 - 7:00 AM

VERNON - When landscaper Brian Sanders arrived at work on Tuesday to find his bicycle had been stolen overnight, he decided he wasn't going to take it sitting down.

After owning the BMX for nearly 15 years, the bike has a lot of sentimental value to Sanders, and at age 30, he thought it was time to gift it to his young nephew.

So he went looking for it. And after one day of searching, he got it back.

"It feels good," Sanders told iNFOnews.ca.

Normally Sanders would leave his bike in a locked shed at work, but the day before he'd left it locked to a tree. He arrived at work the morning of June 4 to find the cable lock cut and his custom built BMX gone.

Sanders headed to various sites around the city to see if he could locate it, from a small homeless camp at the BX Creek to others spots along Highway 97 and asked if anyone had seen it. No one had.

He spent an hour wandering around Polson Park and found one lady with three bikes although none looked like his bike.

READ MORE: To prevent bicycle thefts, buy better locks – and use them properly

"I said, 'I'm not here to cause any problems but have you seen my white BMX bike?'" Sanders said.

The lady said she hadn't, replying “no I stole this one this morning.”

Later on that day he got a lead.

“I wasn't sure if it was mine, I just saw a white bike with red pedals," he said.

While driving he saw a man in his 40s riding a bike down 25 Avenue towards the Wholesale Club. Sanders parked his truck and jumped out.

"I grabbed his bag back and threw him on the ground, bike and all," Sanders said. “He tussled a little bit like he was going to fight me." Luckily the incident did not get violent.

"I kept saying to him, 'get your stuff off my bike,'" Sanders said the man had bags tied to the handlebars containing tools. "He said, I paid $60 for it, I said I don't care if you spent $60 for it, $80 for it, or a million dollars, get your shit off my bike right now.”

"He used every excuse in the book, I bought it, I didn't steal it, it's not my fault I didn't steal it," Sanders said. "I said 'I don't care if you stole it, if your grandma stole it... the point is you're in possession of my bike, I have proof that its mine give it back."

"He ended up giving back,” Sanders said. "He learnt his lesson I'm sure."

Sanders said he saw eight Facebook posts reporting bikes stolen in couple of days after his was stolen and saw plenty of bikes he suspected were stolen during his mission. The City of Kelowna reported bike thefts were up 60.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2019.

Sanders said he didn't contact the RCMP because he didn't think it would achieve anything.

"The homeless here get away with it... what are they going to do give them a fine that they are not going to pay?"

Sanders is just happy he has his bike back and can now give it to his nephew. He's also going to use much higher security lock.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2019
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