FAIRVIEW, NC-- An 11-year old Fairview boy learned some valuable lessons after someone stole his motorcycle. But he's not the only one who can learn from his story.
Safeguarding against property theft is this week's Reality Check.
Jud Sizemore says someone pulled into his family's driveway, went behind their home, loaded his dirt bike onto a truck and took off.
It's a crime that's repeated over and over in neighborhoods across the country. But this young boy learned there is a way to fight back.
Jud Sizemore had parked his new motorcycle out of sight. "Somebody drove by and decided they needed it worse than we did," said Jud.
His dad, Jeremy, owns Cane Creek Valley Farm and Company, where Jud worked to save up enough money to buy the bike.
Jeremy estimates he worked 85 hours to repair the used bike for his son. "It took me my whole last summer, basically," he said.
Jud wanted his dad to put up flyers. "So, I said all right, we'll do like a lost dog flyer, lost bike flyer," his father said.
After Jud and his dad put out flyers, the local newspaper picked up the story and did a front-page article. Jud did not get his stolen motorcycle back.
But he did get one almost like it, thanks to the generosity of a man who saw his lost bike flyer. Richard Shelton was so touched by Jud's story he gave him an almost identical bike he acquired through a trade.
"As soon as I saw the bike, I knew what I wanted to do with it. I knew I wanted to give it to the little boy that lost his, 'cause I knew he wouldn't get it back," Shelton said.
Jud and his dad were amazed at his gesture of kindness. While Jud has returned to riding lessons on his motorcycle, his dad is certain they've both learned how to make sure something like this won't happen again.
"I think the only thing you can do in today's age is lock your stuff up," said Jeremy Sizemore.
Crime prevention experts say there are other things you can do. First, always lock up you personal property: Bikes, motorcycles, kayaks, power tools, etc. Anything thieves can easily move, pawn or sell online.
Keep photographs of your property and get the serial numbers. It helps identify those items for insurance purposes and for law enforcement if it's ever found.
Engrave your name or driver's license number on any item that's portable or easy to walk away.
Those two things make it very easy to identify stolen property and get it back to it's rightful owner.
If you have a story you'd like us to investigate, write us at Reality Check at wlos.com.