VADNAIS HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — A Harley Davidson with sentimental value is now in the hands of a thief. The motorcycle originally belonged to a Vietnam Veteran, but was stolen at a Vadnais Heights bar last Friday night.

“It was my dad’s life-long dream to have a Harley. He finally got that dream and he bought his first Harley,” said Denice Schanke.

She said her father, Tom, had never been happier. The veteran had saved money for years to buy the 1999 Harley Davidson Fat Boy and he decorated the motorcycle with stickers honoring his career in the military.

But after only a couple years of riding, Tom developed lung cancer so he gave the bike to Denice’s husband, Joe.

Last Friday, the couple parked in front of a liquor store while they grabbed dinner at Jimmy’s Bar in Vadnais Heights. When they came out a short time later, the motorcycle was gone.

“I was absolutely just heartbroken. My heart just sank. My husband is absolutely devastated. We just want it back in one piece. If we could get it back in one piece, that’s all we would ask for,” Denice said.

She thinks someone was watching them with their sights set on the Harley Davidson. Some of her questions have been answered after the liquor store she and her husband parked in front of that night found surveillance video of a man driving off on a motorcycle. She said he had long, black hair and a black vest on, but the video isn’t entirely clear.

For Denice, the hardest part was letting her father know the motorcycle he worked so hard for is gone.

“The sentimental value of this motorcycle can never be replaced. We can never get another motorcycle to replace that one; it’s never going to be the same. With my father being so ill … and having worked so hard for that, it’s just heartbreaking,” said Denice.

She said her family is willing to offer a reward to anyone who can locate the motorcycle. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the Harley Davidson can call the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office at 651-266-7320.

Comments (21)
  1. Thomas says:

    I am the Vetnam Vet that lost his leg’s aka Harley. What do you mean by this comment???

    1. Biker Joe says:’re a liar is what you are!

      1. Thomas says:

        Biker Joe,

      2. Josh says:

        Biker Joe who is a liar

    2. Stacy says:

      You didn’t lose your lost your Manhood..what little bit you had..Harleys are lame.

  2. tellitlieitis says:

    Yah Architect, you know it all! Youre nothing but a TROLL!

  3. josh says:

    What do you mean between rounds I was with them we stopped to get a bite to eat werent even drinking you should know what your talking about before you shoot your mouth off

    1. Mandi says:

      Way to sterotype. Good job, you must feel like you are above everyone else. But let me tell you, YOU’RE NOT!!!! Joe and Denice are the sweetest and most careing people i know! They did not deserve this, no one should have to go through anything like this. The point of this story is to show others there are greedy people out there who don’t give a flying bird how hard someone worked for something.

      1. Mandi says:

        Get a life, you are a rude and ignorant person.

  4. Ann says:

    if you accidentally your leg, how do you motorcycle?

      1. Ann says:


  5. targeted??? says:

    Not sure about the “someone targeting” part if this was a just dropped in and short time thing.
    The bastid more likely was an opportunist – had 2 bikes swiped over 17 years. It happens way to often….lousy SOB’s ;(

  6. The Architect says:

    Harley’s are low quality rattle traps..I’m glad it was stolen..It’s now dissasembled into 500 pieces..It’s one less LOUD bike on the road!

    1. Bike Boy says:

      Low quality? Really?…. bet you don’t know anything about bikes. Wonder why Harley Davidson is one of the biggest bike chains out there…. hurmmmmm

    2. Thomas says:

      Another load mouth Idiot!

    3. Thomas says:

      How do you know there was 500 pieces? Interesting!

  7. Jack Mehoff says:

    “She thinks someone was watching them with their sights set on the Harley Davidson.”

    Uh, I think not. There are three reasons the Hog got stolen:
    1) They are desirable, and expensive, and the most often stolen make of bike.
    2) You left the thing sitting there, without the forks or ignition locked.
    3) The hubby is a poser, looks the fairy, and wears white tube socks and tennis shoes while riding.

  8. Josh says:

    What I would like to know is how you would know Joe looks like a fairy and you say he was wearing tennis shoes and it was unlocked Maybe the sheiff should be speaking with you if you think you know so much

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