PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Police say the frequency of stolen vehicles in the Portland metro area is a constant crime. Now, a Portland man is doing what he can to help cops and the community recover their stolen cars and motorcycles.
In the last few months, Nick Haas has helped find and recover 50 stolen vehicles. What started out as a one-off, has really taken off.
Haas works on cars and bikes for a living and searches for stolen ones in his spare time. He scans social media pages and goes on a hunt.
“I go make my round in the morning before coming into the shop. Drive down Columbia, Marine Drive, 33rd, almost every morning I would find a car,” Haas said.
Nine times out of ten when he finds stolen vehicles, they’ve been either abandoned, dumped, or stripped. However, there are special stories of recouping what was stolen.
Haas’ first recovery was a motorcycle returned to a Marine veteran named Rick, and the recoveries added up from there.
“Really I’m just tired of seeing good people get screwed over by a lot of folks, unfortunately, struggling with addiction,” Haas explained.
This week Haas helped recover his 50th vehicle, a Harley Davidson, with a back story.
“It belonged to one of my best friends who passed away a few years ago,” said Jeremy Storment, who owns the stolen motorcycle.
What started out as a simple post on Storment’s Facebook page showing surveillance photos of the suspected thieves, ended up leading Storment straight to Haas.
“He reached out to me and says ‘hey man, this is what I do, I’ve got a soft spot for Harley’s,’ he’s a rider himself,” Storment explained.
Haas and Storment crowdsourced information from the community at large to track down the thieves. The man who stole the bike, called the person he sold it to and told him to bring it back.
Thanks to Haas, Storment is reunited with his motorcycle and the two unsuspecting strangers now share a bond over their bikes.
“Without people like him out there, he had no reason to help me at all, he doesn’t have a dog in this fight. But he’s put some sweat equity into helping me, and I owe this guy, I’m very grateful,” Storment said.
“I think if I can do this, I can lead by example and I hope that people will start to join me in this,” Haas said.
Above all, Storment says, Haas helped restore his faith in humanity.
On Tuesday, Portland police arrested the two suspected thieves, 23-year-old Brendon Detta and 22-year-old Hailey Schweitzer in Old Town.
Detta faces multiple charges including second degree burglary, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle.
Detta also has six warrants in Clackamas, Multnomah, Deschutes, Marion and Washington counties for various charges including third degree theft, second degree burglary and identity theft, according to PPB’s Central Bike Squad.
Schweitzer also faces a charge for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
As for Haas and Storment, they went out Tuesday night and got a beer.
KOIN 6 News reporter Elise Haas is of no relation to Nick Haas mentioned in this story.