Monday, January 25, 2016

Akaydin...The Detective.

Heading into round 3 in Anaheim on January 23rd, you may have never heard of Michael Akaydin. If you have any social media, by the morning after you were well aware of the missing number 918 KTM. 

Michael prepares to head out for qualifying in Anaheim.
I watched the race on TV Saturday night and went to bed. Trying to stay in the loop, I groggy eyed grabbed my phone Sunday morning and clicked on Instagram. I began scrolling through my feed to see the same pictures again and again. 

By now you've seen the pictures of the white Ford F-150 with a KTM laying in the bed. Michael Akaydin's KTM 450 SX-F.

The 918 lays in the white truck.
The rider from Louisville, Kentucky made the switch to KTM this season after spending a few years on Hondas. Being over 2,000 miles away from home, Michael has been training at Elsinore and preparing to make main events. He has put his one and only bike in the night show of all 3 rounds this season. At Anaheim 2 he'd come up just short of the 450 main, but as a fan of the sport he'd take in the nights event from the rider seating.

Somewhere between the 250 and 450 main events, Michael's bike would be taken right from the tunnel of Angel Stadium. After watching the 450 main, Michael returned to the tunnel near the ambulances where he'd left his bike to be left in shock. A man sneaks into the pits using a counterfeit press pass from Anaheim One and loads the bike into the back of the white F-150.

Social media went crazy and sharing the photos had friends and fans on the lookout in the SoCal area. The white truck was spotted on I-5, nearly 45 minutes away from the stadium. This is where the picture of the bike laying in the bed was taken and we got the good shot of the license plate.

Police were notified and came to the track, but detectives would not be available until Monday. Michael would contact stadium security to gain camera footage and along with his friend, Jake Rice go into a full blown undercover mode. They got friends to research the plate number and ended up with a vin, name and addresses for the thief. 

The blue storage bin near the left of the picture is where the bike was placed.

The white truck leaves the property after dumping the bike.
After checking multiple addresses, they rolled up on a gated house that sat way back off the road. Not able to see anything and near giving up after hours of searching, they are convinced to approach the house from the backside. Laying in a field with binoculars in hand, they were spying on the house when the white truck drove up with Michael's bike in the bed. The bike was put into a shipping container on the property and the man drove away. Police were contacted and the truck was immediately pulled over. Stephen Robert Allen would be arrested and charged with 2 felony counts. He is however currently out on bail. We hope he's not out long. 

Police put the thief into a squad car.
Michael's bike was retrieved with very minimal damage and as of Monday morning he was back pounding out laps at Elsinore, getting ready for round 4.

#cheerprivateer for 918

-Kyle Pesci

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