MILTON, Ga. - As a kid, Chris Ward was into motocross, so, as an adult, he saved up for a motorcycle of his own.
“I bought a brand-new, off the showroom floor Yamaha R6. It was my baby. I loved it,” he told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik.
One night five years ago, Ward told Petchenik he left his bike outside of his Milton apartment, only to find it missing the next morning.
“(I) filed a police report. They entered into a national crime database as a stolen vehicle,” he said. “I waited and waited and didn’t hear anything.”
Ward is now a Milton police officer. The other day, while on the job, he said a call came into the department that caught him by surprise.
“A police department in Canada, York Regional Police, were on the phone,” he said. “They said they had a recovered motorcycle. Come to find out it was my motorcycle.”
Ward said detectives told him they’d recovered it while breaking up an alleged theft ring.
“I was in shock, couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I was concerned that it might just be parts.”
Turns out, the bike was intact, albeit with a new paint job, and it only had 13,000 miles on it. Ward said he only had liability insurance on the bike, so after it was stolen, he was on the hook to pay it off. Ironically, he said the call from Canada came just days after he had just finished paying it off. Ward said he contemplated having the bike shipped back or flying up to Toronto and driving the bike back, but he decided to drive his truck up there instead.
“Two thousand miles in four days to get it back, but it was an experience I’ll never regret and never forget,” he said, adding that York Regional police were so happy to have reunited him with the bike, they put him up for a night in a hotel.
“A very hard investigation led them to that motorcycle. They worked really hard for it not knowing the bike belonged to a law enforcement officer in a different country,” he said. “This incident brought us together and I’ll never forget them.”