Sunday | December 10, 2017
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Buyer returns stolen moped to Kona owner

The one time Jeremie Betts didn’t lock up his Honda Ruckus moped, someone stole it.

Betts, a West Hawaii resident, had driven the moped to where a friend was staying in Alii Heights and left it inside the home’s garage Sept. 19. That friend left the house for about half an hour and returned to find the house broken into and burglarized. Betts’ moped was gone.

“She was 100 percent sure it was locked,” Betts said, adding that police investigating the theft told him they were surprised to see someone break into a house to steal a moped, but not surprised that a moped was stolen.

The same officer who took the report on Betts’ moped had already investigated the theft of two other Honda Ruckus mopeds on Alii Drive that day, Betts said.

Eight days later, Betts got a call from his landlord.

“Hey, your bike’s home,” she told him.

It turned out someone had purchased the moped for $1,200. Later, the buyer, who Betts said did not want to be interviewed or identified, looked under the seat and found Betts’ name on the registration, safety check and insurance paperwork. The young man realized the moped was likely stolen and, because he had Betts’ address, returned it to Betts’ house.

“It cost him $1,200 to do the right thing,” Betts said, adding that he and the buyer provided an update to the police department.

Police also found the buyer’s decision to return the moped to Betts a surprising twist, Betts said.

Kona Patrol Capt. Randall Ishii said the investigation was ongoing. Mopeds are a popular item stolen in West Hawaii, he added.

The phone number the buyer used to contact the seller was disconnected by the time the buyer realized the moped was stolen, Betts said.

“He’s kind of bummed,” Betts said, adding he’s giving the buyer a small cash reward for returning the moped. The reward won’t cover the buyer’s lost cash, though.

Getting the moped back was a relief, Betts said.

“It’s good to see there’s still some hope in humanity,” he said. “It’s really nice to see integrity.”