Portland man helps find 50 stolen vehicles

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Police say the frequency of vehicle thefts in the Portland metro area is a constant crime. Now a Portland man is doing what he can to help cops and the community recover their stolen cars and motorcycles.

Over the past few months, Nick Haas has helped locate and recover 50 stolen vehicles. What started as a one-off really took off.

Haas works on cars and bikes for a living and searches for stolen ones in his spare time. He scans social media pages and goes hunting.

“I’m going to do my rounds in the morning before entering the shop. Walk down Columbia, Marine Drive, 33rdalmost every morning I would find a car,” Haas said.

Nine times out of ten, when he finds stolen vehicles, they have been abandoned or separated. However, there are special stories of recovering what was stolen.

Haas’ first recovery was a motorcycle returned to a Navy veteran named Rick, and the recoveries piled up from there.

“Really, I’m just tired of seeing good people getting screwed over by a lot of people, unfortunately, struggling with addiction,” Haas explained.

This week, Haas helped recover its 50th vehicle, a Harley Davidson, with a story behind it.

“It belonged to one of my best friends who died a few years ago,” said Jeremy Storment, owner of the stolen motorcycle.

What started as a simple post on Storment’s Facebook page showing surveillance photos of the alleged thieves ended up leading Storment straight to Haas.

“He reached out and said ‘Hey man this is what I do, I have a thing for Harley’, he’s a rider himself,” Storment explained.

Haas and Storment gathered information from the community at large and tracked down the thieves.

Thanks to Haas, Storment finds his motorcycle and the two unsuspecting strangers now share a bond on their bikes.

“Without people like him there, he had no reason to help me, he has no dog in this fight. But he put in some sweat to help me, and I owe that guys, I’m so grateful to him,” Storment said.

“I think if I can do that, I can lead by example and I hope people start joining me in this,” Haas said.

Above all, Storment says, Haas helped restore his faith in humanity.

On Tuesday, Portland police arrested the two suspected robbers, Brendon Detta, 23, and Hailey Schweitzer, 22, in Old Town.

Detta faces multiple charges including second degree burglary, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Detta also has six warrants in Clackamas, Multnomah, Deschutes, Marion and Washington counties for various charges, including third-degree theft, second-degree burglary and identity theft, according to PPB’s Central Bike Squad.

Schweitzer also faces a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

As for Haas and Storment, they went out Tuesday night and had a beer.

KOIN 6 News reporter Elise Haas is not related to the Nick Haas mentioned in this story.

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