Unfortunately, we hear all the time about people getting their dirt bikes stolen, and even more unfortunately the owner’s don’t always get their prized possession(s) back from the lawless individual(s) who decided to take what isn’t theirs. In this week’s Privateer Profile we chat with Vann Martin and Curren Thurman who had the scare of a lifetime this past Saturday night in East Rutherford, New Jersey, as a man with a counterfeit credential attempted to steal Thurman’s race bike from the pit area at MetLife Stadium. We caught up with them earlier this week to get the story.
(NOTE: The following interview was conducted via iMessage and has been lightly edited for clarity.)
Racer X: Let’s just jump right in here from the beginning. What happened??
Curren Thurman: So, pretty much the day was going good. First night show for myself, so after I get done with the heat race and LCQ and not making the main, we went back to the truck, I changed and went to watch the main event. We were inside for about 35 minutes and came back out to my bike gone! [It was] one of the worst feelings, and knowing the chances were going to be low to ever get it back! I had no clue what to do, but I had to do something. So I ran over to the nearest exit of the pits to the security guards and ask them if they have seen a white bike come out, and they told me they did and they [whoever was pushing it] had loaded it into a black truck. Hoping they get stuck in the parking lot traffic, I unloaded my practice bike and took off to maybe catch the truck to hopefully get a license plate number or something. Vann was also posting on all social media to get the word out as fast as he could. After riding the whole area I go back to the pits bummed knowing it was probably gone. Vann then tells me the security had my bike.
Woah, Vann how did you find the bike?
Vann Martin: I started talking to the normal Feld security guards right away and told them to alert all the security guards. They jumped on it right away. Then I called the local police to alert them to be on the lookout while texting [Steve] Matthes and every media guy I knew to get them to share it. While I was doing all that the Feld security guys came running up to me and told me that they got it. At that time Curren came rolling up super bummed on his practice bike, and I told him that they found it. He couldn’t believe it. We were so pumped. So, I didn’t really find it. It was actually these two fans that ran up on the kid that stole it and tried to stop him after seeing him walk it out the pits and take off. They were the real heroes. [Laughs]
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GOT IT!!!!!! Thank you @k_dubyuh189 and his buddy. They saw @current33 bike and a kid trying to load it up into a black pathfinder. The kid that stole it asked them for help. They said no because it looks like you stole it. As they were trying to stop him he started the bike and took off and just a few moments later he ran into a car going third wide. He broke the case when he crashed it so he had no choice but to take off. Thank you everyone that helped out.
Two random fans who didn’t even know the situation just by chance saw this guy pushing Curren’s bike?
Martin: Yeah. They ride and know about the sport pretty well, so when they saw this skinny kid come ripping out of the pits all sketchy looking, they knew something wasn’t right.
What happened when you got to the bike and the guy? You posted something about him smashing into a car while trying to flee?
Martin: After those two fans saw him ripping by they followed him to his vehicle where he was trying to load it up into a pathfinder with a couple friends. When they walked up on him he asked these guys to help them load it up. They said, “Hell no, it looks like you stole this from the pits.” At that moment that kid knew he messed up. He started the bike and took off while those guys were trying to stop him. Moments later they watched the kid going third wide open, hit a curb, and smash into a car. They said he got up hurting, looked at the bike, and took off running for his friends to pick him up. Those two guys then picked up the bike and pushed it back towards the pits when Curren, Feld security, and I met them outside the gate to discuss what happened.
Oh, man. Curren, at this point what’s going through your mind?
Thurman: At the point we pulled up to Feld security and the two good guys that had helped get my bike back. I was so, so relieved, so thankful, to just have the bike back! I was blessed with the help of Team AllSouth and Munn Racing to even have the bike to race, at the end of the day I just want to show up and race and it sucks things like that happen but I don’t plan on letting it effect my goals. I’m going to try to salvage what I can and get back racing. Once I heard the story the two awesome guys told about them helping get the bike back I couldn’t thank them enough for doing the right thing.
Did they catch the guy or did he get away?
Martin: When the cops and security went back to look at the car he crashed into, they found his cell phone under the car. He had a text from his mom, and a missed call from one of the friends that was with him. The cops were able to call the number back and say they were just someone who found his phone, and he could meet back at the stadium to retrieve his phone. He said he would be there in 20 minutes. The cops were prepared to be undercover to meet him and arrest him but after we waited two hours, he never showed up. They were able to pull up his identity and where he lived and all that, so we left and they told us they would make the arrest. I’m not 100 percent sure if they ever did. Curren might know. They were supposed to keep him updated.
Thurman: The cops said they would update me when they get him, but nothing as of now!
Hopefully they get the guy. The bike’s all good though, we’re on to Vegas?
Thurman: The bike is a bit beat up right now but Chip and Big Dan at Munn Racing are going to help me get it put back together for Vegas this weekend!
What goals do each of you have for Vegas?
Martin: My goal is to make the main. I should’ve had it last weekend in Jersey after a good start in the LCQ, but I just didn’t make it happen. It was the first time I’ve ran up front like that in an LCQ, so I learned a lot. I know what I need to do now.
Thurman: My main goal is to gain experience and confidence racing with all these guys and get closer to making the main!
We’re glad you were able to get your bike back, and there’s somewhat of a happy ending here. Any sponsors you guys want to give a shout out to before we wrap up?
Martin: Thank you Team Allsouth, Honda of Houston, Fox, Scott, Yoshimura, Rekluse, Speed Graphics, Renthal, Works Connection, Dunlop, Vertex, Pivot Works, Hotcams, Factory Connection, DVS, EVS, Ogio, Twin Air, Maxima, Moto Stuff, Ryno Power, Moto Seat, Ethika, Allsouth Autosports, Texas Fireworks, Grill Your Ass Off, Trickin Out Trucks, and T. R. Inscore LLC.
Thurman: The man above, Team AllSouth, Munn Racing, Troy Lee Designs, Hoosier Tires, Freedom MX, 3 Palms MX Park
As mentioned above, luckily this particular story does have a—somewhat—happy ending, as the bike was returned to its rightful owner. Martin later added that the gate where the guy pushed the bike out of was manned by regular stadium security at the time and that Feld security was at the gate coming into the pits from the stadium during this time—checking credentials to let the correct people into the pits after the main events were over.
Curren and Vann would also like to thank everyone involved in helping them recover the bike.