A Brit became a private investigator to track down his stolen motorcycle after seeing it advertised on Facebook – in ROMANIA.
Kelston Chorley said he was forced to undertake his own investigation after police closed his case with “little interest” in recovering his beloved vehicle.
The 47-year-old was furious when his bicycle was stolen from his garage and reported it to the Thames Valley police, but said all they did was “record the crime” without ever investigating.
He was then taken out of the country by thieves and ended up on the streets of a small village north of the capital Bucharest, 1,700 miles from his Oxford home.
But after seeing it for sale on social media, Kelston jumped straight on a flight to try and get it back.
And with the help of the local police in Romania, he is now reunited and is about to take him home.
He said, “I talked to the police here and they weren’t interested, I talked to my insurance company and they weren’t interested.
“So basically, people can steal bikes, ship them to Eastern Europe and no one is really going to bother doing anything about it.
“When I got to the main Romanian police station in the capital, they said the best people to handle it would be the local police stations, and they were absolutely right.
“It’s like the UK was in the 70s – you had a bobby to the beat and he knew what was around.
“So when I got to this local police station and looked at the website to see where it was, they said they could fix everything and they did – they fixed it in less than 24 hours.”
The bike, which remains in Romania but is now in storage, was previously used by Kelston to cross the Atacama Desert.
It was stolen in July last year, but Kelston has now documented his trip to Romania last month to retrieve it on a YouTube video, which has now garnered more than 25,000 views.
Kelston added: “I couldn’t wish for more helpful policies. They went out of their way to help, perhaps because they realized I had come a long way.
Usually people don’t hunt for their stolen vehicles and find them
“The question you have to ask yourself, once you get back, is if I was a Romanian and I showed up at the Oxford police station and said that there is a guy here who sells a bicycle stolen from Romania and I came to see her, what would they do ?
“If I had turned everything around, how would they have responded? I don’t think they would have been that useful.”
Kelston, a retired osteopath and avid motorcyclist, said he was amazed he found the bike, let alone get it back.
He added: “I expected it to be an eventful journey, but not necessarily with a happy ending. I didn’t expect to find it.
Kelston said he even met the man who had the bike, who said it was “really weird”.
He added: “We shook hands and he said he’d like to buy the bike from me. I said, ‘well, that’s not going to happen.'”
Kelston must now try to arrange the bike to be shipped to the UK but is happy to have found it.
He said: “People don’t usually go looking for their stolen vehicles and find them.”
Thames Valley Police have been contacted for comment.
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