Sand Springs Soldier's Motorcycle Recovered

Thursday, September 14th 2006, 10:36 am
By: News On 6

Some good news for a Sand Springs soldier hit by burlgars here at home while serving in Iraq. A few weeks ago, crooks swiped his prized possession, a 2005 Suzuki motorcycle. He thought he'd never see it again, now police made an arrest.

News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin says when Sgt. Joshua Merritt headed off to his second tour in Iraq, he put his things in storage for safekeeping. But they didn't stay that way for long. Less than two weeks later, his beloved motorcycle and other personal items disappeared.

Joshua’s mom Tommie Morgan: “I just couldn't believe it at first, it never even crossed my mind that anybody would steal it. Especially with him over there fighting the war and here we are and someone wants to take his, because he loved that bike." Sand Springs Police released a surveillance video taken shortly before the theft was discovered, but Merritt's mother wasn't very hopeful. “I didn't figure anybody would find it, I figured it would be parted out and sold for parts for them to get rid of it."

Police say it was during a routine traffic stop, when officers noticed a man riding a bike with the VIN plate removed a motorcycle that matched the description of the one stolen. They arrested 31-year old Timothy Fritts for driving on a suspended license, trafficking methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and a stolen vehicle. "I was very surprised when Broken Arrow called and told me that they had the bike."

Not as surprised as Sgt. Merritt who got the news in Iraq. "He said that's a good way to end my day, that gives me a smile. So he was glad that they found it." She says it's hard having Josh far away, fighting a war. And while it may not seem like a big deal, this bike is just one more thing to keep him going until he comes home. "There's no doubt in my mind he'll be making some road trips."

Sgt. Merritt's mom says the bike was insured and since it came back a bit damaged, he should be able to get a new one. He's expected back home in November.