A motorcycle and trailer stolen from a Beaufort woman on a cross-country charity fundraiser ride have been found, according to a news release from the Amarillo Police Department.
Police found Gail Ankney's trailer July 31 in a fenced-in lot about five miles southwest of where it was stolen. Her motorcycle was recovered three weeks later, on August 22, about six miles southwest of the Motel 6.
Officers searching the fenced-in lot found the trailer hidden under mattresses and pallets, according to the release. Police also found the motorcycle's windshield and other parts that had been removed from the bike.
Police found the motorcycle in the garage of a vacant apartment after a person reported seeing two motorcycles there, the release said. One was identified as Ankney's Harley-Davidson. Police are still searching for the owner of the other bike, a Suzuki. It was not reported as missing or stolen.
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Ankney's motorcycle and trailer were stolen from outside her hotel during a stop in Amarillo July 26 during the Women's Freedom Ride, an event she created to raise money for injured veterans and raise awareness for female motorcycle riders.
Ankney said police told her they had recovered her property last week. After getting the good news, however, she ran into trouble trying to get her bike back to Beaufort.
Her insurance company would only pay to have the bike and trailer shipped back if they were both a total loss, Ankney said. Since they weren't, it meant she would have to pay for everything, including impound fees and any repair costs needed to even ship the trailer and motorcycle home.
To offset some of the costs, Ankney said several people asked about donating money. She said two donated $1,000 to pay the impound and repair fees for the trailer, and others donated about $560 of the $650 payment to get both shipped home.
Ankney said the shipping company is expected to deliver her motorcycle and trailer between Saturday and Monday.
"I'm estatic about getting it back, but I'll feel much better when it actually gets here," she said.
Police initially told her it was unlikely her bike would be recovered intact.
Despite the ordeal in Amarillo, Ankney plans to keep taking the Women's Freedom Ride. Back in Beaufort now, she's planning a ride for next year along the east coast, as well as shorter trips to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and Milwaukee.
"Bike thefts can happen anywhere, to anybody," she said. "It didn't stop me then and it's not going to stop me in the future."
The investigation into the theft of the trailer is continuing, the Amarillo release said. The owner of the lot where the trailer was found was not charged.