Posts Tagged ‘chop shop’

Georgia Police Discover $100K Motorcycle Chop Shop

April 29, 2009

Last week a LoJack-equipped 2006 Suzuki GSXR-750 motorcycle was discovered stolen from the owner’s apartment complex parking lot in Georgia. The owner immediately reported the theft and police activated the covert LoJack System. Within three hours, Henry County Police Department officers picked up the LoJack signal and tracked the bike to a house in a rural area. The officer called a detective with a search warrant to the site and inside discovered not only the stolen bike, but other stolen motorcycles – all part of a chop shop operation.

After a lengthy investigation, 18 motorcycles, some from as far away as Alabama, were recovered along with the LoJack-equipped bike. The criminals were stripping the bikes and selling the parts on popular online sites like eBay. Total value of bikes in this theft ring is more than $100,000. Three suspects were arrested and more arrests are expected as part of this major theft ring.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Trenton Dean Mallard, 24, allegedly served as the ringleader and is in custody at Henry County Jail. Mallard was charged with 19 counts of theft by receiving and one count of operating a chop shop.

LoJack says it has achieve a 90 percent recovery success rate over the past 20-plus years, recovering more than $5 billion in stolen assets worldwide.

“These recoveries are great examples of how our proven system continues to benefit society by helping police not only find and recover stolen assets, but moreover break up organized crime rings and arrest the thieves behind these criminal acts,” says Ronald V. Waters, LoJack’s president and CEO. “These recoveries once again demonstrate that LoJack has the right technology and processes in place to effectively recover a wide range of stolen assets. Additionally, our direct integration with police puts recovery exactly where it belongs – in the hands of professionals who can swiftly track down stolen assets and arrest the perpetrators behind the crime.”

Web, Foreign Buyers Aid Cycle Theft Rings

December 6, 2008

An undercover investigation into motorcycle theft rings operating on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border culminated this past week in Southern California with the arrest of eight people and the recovery of 50 stolen motorcycles worth an estimated $326,000.

The investigation, dubbed “Operation Knee Drag,” began several months ago. As reported by the San stolenmotorcyclesDiego Union-Tribune, the operation revealed that many of the stolen motorcycles were being sold in Mexico for $1,500 to $2,000. A task force has since identified more than 100 people, both U.S. and Mexican citizens, who are responsible for the majority of the thefts.

In November, across the country in Trenton, N.J., five Burlington County men were charged with involvement in a motorcycle theft ring that allegedly stole motorcycles, retagged them with new vehicle identification numbers, then sold them.

The three men allegedly conspired to steal six motorcycles and two vans. In some cases, the men would receive the motorcycle from its owner, file a false insurance claim saying the motorcycle had been stolen so that the owner could receive an insurance payment, then change the motorcycle’s VIN and sell it.

While motorcycle theft is a prevalent crime, the re-sale of stolen motorcycles in their entirety is on the decline now that thieves can strip the bikes, alter identifying numbers and use the Internet to sell the items to online purchasers around the world.

In 2007, in Florida, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested 11 people in connection with a massive motorcycle theft ring they say was responsible for the theft of 45 sport bikes worth more than $400,000. The investigation, dubbed “Operation Throttle Down,” found that the motorcycles were taken apart and the pieces were sold.

The crimes took place all over Southwest Florida. Property recovered included a Yamaha R1 reported stolen from Canada and an engine connected with a theft in Boston.

Authorities say the gang would rent a utility van and then cruise parking lots and other areas where sport bikes might be unattended, find a target, then literally pick up the motorcycle, put it in the van and drive off. The whole crime took under 20 seconds.

In 2006, in New York, 23 people were arrested on charges that they were part of a motorcycle theft ring that stole hundreds of high-end Harley-Davidson, Suzuki, Yamaha and Honda from city streets and resold them in Budapest, Hungary. Authorities said the gang stole between 300 and 400 motorcycles a year and made roughly $4 million annually.

Click here to read the AMA’s nine tips for keeping a bike from becoming a theft statistic.