Chalk up this one to city employee ineptness.

Joseph Morning routinely parked his sportbike in the same curbside spot for weeks in his Roanoke Rapids, N.C., neighborhood. Regrettably, the bike’s parking spot was apparently in the general area where Mr. Morning put out the trash bins for collection by City of Roanoke Rapids Waste Services.

Oddly, Morning wasn’t aware of the motorcycle’s absence a couple of weeks ago, but his girlfriend, April Wilson, couldn’t help but think something was lacking from the front of the yard. Sure enough the bike was gone. Only the bike’s discarded rearview mirror remained as evidence of the motorcycle’s one-time presence along the curb, leading the couple to initially suspect theft.

‘Something’s missing.’ I stopped and I paused and I’m like, ‘The motorcycle-where is it at?’ So I come down here to the curb, and I find where the mirror was broken off,” Wilson said in an article by ABC affiliate Channel 11 (WTVD-TV) of Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

Wilson got the bad news from neighbors: city trash collectors picked up the bike as if it were a piece garbage waiting for disposal. Morning did some calling around and verified that the garbage man did pick up his motorcycle.

“He [trash collector] said when he picked it up, it was so heavy, he thought it was a couch,” Morning said in the same Channel 11 report.

However, the mistake seemed too illogical to Morning and his girlfriend, as they claim the bike’s tires were visible under the motorcycle’s cover, and its mirrors protruded prominently, leaving no doubt, in their mind, that the shape under the cover couldn’t be mistaken for anything other than his motorcycle, and especially not a couch, of all things.

Furthermore, Morning and his girlfriend said the bike had been parked in the same place for weeks, confounding them all the more as to how the trash collectors wouldn’t have recognized the covered bike, since trash had regularly been picked up and the bike hadn’t previously been mistaken for garbage.

Alas, the end of this tale leads to a compacted wad of metal, rubber, plastic, electrical components, and the like, that was formerly Mr. Morning’s sportbike.

The waste services department initially wanted Morning’s insurance company to cover the loss, but by the diligence of Channel 11 reporter Diane Wilson, Roanoke Rapids’ city manager was informed, and now Mr. Morning is awaiting a settlement offer from the city’s insurance.

Source: Channel 11 Eyewitness News (WTVD-TV)