Lane student Eric Givens watches with law enforcement officers as his Suzuki motorcycle is towed from campus parking lot L on Oct. 2. He paid $5,400 for a ride that turned out to be stolen.
Photo: Stephanie Orndorff
Lane student Eric Givens watches with law enforcement officers as his Suzuki motorcycle is towed from campus parking lot L on Oct. 2. He paid $5,400 for a ride that turned out to be stolen.Photo: Stephanie Orndorff
Lane student Eric Givens watches with law enforcement officers as his Suzuki motorcycle is towed from campus parking lot L on Oct. 2. He paid $5,400 for a ride that turned out to be stolen.
Photo: Stephanie Orndorff

A Lane student’s illegally parked motorcycle was towed from the South side of Building 16 Oct. 2 after a public safety officer determined it had been stolen.

Third-year criminal justice major Eric Givens said he purchased the Suzuki GSXR 600 from a private seller for $5,400 in June 2012.

“That was the average price of all the other ones that were on Craigslist,” Givens said. “So it seemed normal to me.”

He said the motorcycle did not come up as stolen when he registered it or got insurance because one of the agencies involved did not report it as stolen. Police are currently investigating to determine the agency responsible for the error.

Lane Public Safety Officer Chantelle Thomas was inclined to find out if the motorcycle had been stolen because of an advanced auto theft technique class she attended less than one week prior.

“So many (motorcycles) are stolen in this area, so I checked the VIN (vehicle identification number) plate,” Thomas said.

Thomas said the license plates had not been changed since it was reported stolen from Vancouver, Wash.

She said it can be difficult to pinpoint when a vehicle was stolen because after five years the system automatically purges and data is re-entered. The motorcycle was re-entered into the law enforcement data system this past February and most likely stolen in 2008.

Givens said the future of his motorcycle is uncertain until the agency responsibility for the error has been determined.

“I could be just out of luck and they take the bike, and I get nothing back, or they’ll give me the bike back, or they’ll write me a check for value of the bike plus everything I put on it,” he said.

Lane County Sheriff’s Deputy D.J. Mann said it’s rare that a person unknowingly possesses a stolen vehicle.

“They might say they didn’t know, but this seems pretty legit,” Mann said.

Givens said this experience has provided insight he will be able to use in his future career as a U.S. Marshal.

“It teaches me that things don’t always appear as the facts say,” Givens said. “Because apparently I am in possession of a stolen vehicle although I clearly didn’t steal it and I did everything right.”

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