PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) Car theft is a common crime in the Portland Metro Area. Now, a local man is taking it upon himself to help recover stolen vehicles in his spare time.
PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) – The rise in violence and crime in Portland over the last two years has not just taken a toll on the public. It’s been …
It all started in September when a friend’s motorcycle was stolen, and Nick Haas helped find it. Ever since, his efforts have taken off: Haas has helped find 52 stolen vehicles.
Haas has learned the ins and outs of spotting a stolen vehicle; he finds an average of one a week. Sometimes he’ll find them intact, and other times stripped.
“Almost every morning, I was finding a car or a bike on my way down to the shop. Sometimes it’s as simple as driving through homeless camps, sometimes I’m looking on Facebook and saying OK this guy’s missing his Ford F Series,” says Haas, the owner of RBP Auto & Cycle.
Some of his encounters have been dangerous. He’s had a knife pulled on him, has been shot at twice and almost run over. But thankfully he hasn’t been hurt.
Haas says it’s all worth it.
“Seeing the look on the owners face the first time they see their missing car or motorcycle, whatever the vehicle was. That moment is why I do it. That’s worth the risk, putting myself out there, to go out there and find it just to have these people in that moment being reunited with their vehicle,” says Haas. “By my standards, I don’t consider myself a hero at any point. There’s faith and hope in humanity being restored by the actions of strangers and I think that’s the beautiful aspect of this whole situation.”
Haas hopes to one day turn his detective skills into a non-profit and work alongside the city to help people find their missing cars. As for advice to keep your car from being stolen, he says the best thing to do is get a tracker or an extremely loud car alarm.
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