AN OXFORD man travelled all the way to Eastern Europe to track down his beloved stolen motorbike.

Kelston Chorley's AJP PR7 bike was stolen in July 2020 when thieves broke into his garage.

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He saw it being advertised for sale in Romania on Facebook last month and decided to fly out to the country in the hope of finding it.

In his YouTube video - which has now garnered more than 24,000 views - he explained: "It turns out that some guy over there in Romania, he’s got his hands on my old bike. I spoke to the local Interpol over there and they weren’t much help, I spoke to the police over here and they weren’t interested, I spoke to my insurance company and they weren’t interested.

"So basically people can nick bikes, ship them off to Eastern Europe and no one really is going to bother doing anything about it. Isn’t that sad?"

Watch Kelston's adventure here:

On a mission to find the culprit responsible, within 24 hours Kelston hopped on a flight to Bucharest and eventually managed to get to the police station in a small town called Matca which is where he believed the bike to be.

To Kelston's surprise, one day later, the police tracked the motorbike down and recovered it.

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Kelston said: “I couldn’t wish for more helpful policemen. They went out of their way to help, maybe because they realised I had come a very long way.

“I expected it to be an eventful journey but not necessarily with a happy ending. I didn’t expect to find it. I thought I’d get to the place – which I knew would be a pretty small place – and they’d try and find this person and reach a dead end or the person wasn’t there, or they’d pull the advert off the site and it would come to nothing.

“But what I hadn’t anticipated was that the police network works differently over there. Small police stations in small towns are still in existence – a bit like they were in the 70s here in the UK – and so they know everybody.

"So it didn’t take them long to work out who this person was. Once they worked out who he was, they just went over there and there was the bike."

thisisoxfordshire: Kelston Chorley's AJP PR7 motorbike recovered in RomaniaKelston Chorley's AJP PR7 motorbike recovered in Romania

Kelston even met the man who had the bike which he said was 'really weird'. 

He added: "We shook hands and he said he’d like to buy the bike off me. I said, 'well that’s not going to happen'.

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"He was generally quite open and chatty and to be honest. I’m not sure if the police actually charged him. I think the arrangement was, come and bring the bike and we’ll call it quits.

“He was very surprised to get caught out – I have to say – he was not expecting that.”

Kelston now has to try and arrange for the bike to be shipped back to the UK and obtain the salvage rights from insurance company LV to buy it back.

What Kelston says he has learnt from the extraordinary experience is that recovering a vehicle once it has been stolen is a very difficult task.

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“Recovering a stolen vehicle that used to belong to you is not a simple or easy matter," he said. "It’s hard enough in this country and it seems to be pretty rare that you recover it.

"When I spoke to the insurers the response seems to be that they don’t really know how to deal with it because it’s not something they come across. People don’t usually go chasing after their vehicles and find them."

LV has been contacted for comment.

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