By Aaron Waldron
Not every story has a happy ending, but this one does. Thanks to some observant racers, a helpful track owner, a dumb criminal, and this article, two RC cars stolen from a Japanese father and son at the Silver State are on their way back home.
RC Tracks of Las Vegas owner Chris Tocco called me just after 12 Noon on Saturday, his tone of voice a mixture of excitement and relief over having just recovered the cars and gear of Manabu and Wataru Takashiro. The equipment was stolen from the Kyosho team van the night after the pair had arrived from Japan for the Silver State in Last Vegas last month.
According to Chris, it was local racer Jeff Waters who first spotted the vehicles in the consignment case of Friendly Hobbies in Las Vegas. Waters showed the employees of the hobby shop the original story on LiveRC, and sent the above photo to another Vegas-area driver Oscar Spratley. Spratley was near RC Tracks of Las Vegas, so he stopped by to show the photo to Tocco.
Tocco immediately called Kyosho America team manager Joe Pillars, who informed his drivers and contacted Friendly Hobbies about giving the cars to Tocco to return back to Kyosho. After checking out the LiveRC article, Friendly Hobbies owner Steve Ward contacted Tocco to confirm he had the stolen cars and asked how to return them. As it turns out, the crook from the original story brought the gear to Friendly Hobbies with story similar to what he told 702 RC Raceway - that his father buys storage units and found this stuff. He must have been having trouble getting rid of the gear over the last month - he unloaded both bags and cars for $100!
Tocco said that Ward was more than happy to help, and that the everyone involved was thankful for the attention the original story got to help get the gear returned. Here are the cars and bags in Tocco’s garage, waiting to be shipped back to Japan.