The North Carolina Motorcycle Dealers Association (NCMDA) has warned its members of a major theft ring in North Carolina and also South Carolina and Virginia after multiple burglaries were reported by area dealers.
Chris Brewer, president of NCMDA, says there are similarities in the method of the recent break-ins and thefts. However, he notes that it is still under investigation by state and local officials as well as the FBI task force. As of this time, the dealers that have been burglarized include Brewer Cycles (7) units, Cyclemax (2) units, and Team Powersports (2) units on two consecutive nights.
Brewer says NCMDA is also aware of other area dealers being hit by burglaries, such as VPE Racing (12) units at 3 am, and Triangle Cycles in Virginia (5) units at 4 am. He also notes that the theft at Brewer Cycles at 3:15 am, the suspects were wearing all black clothing with masks and driving a U-Haul box truck. The truck was rented by a woman named Kierra Hill, who has not been located even after being identified.
While on the premises of Brewer Cycles, the suspects covered the license plate. The plate was removed later, and the U-Haul was then identified by NC Highway patrol officers on the interstate. The U-Haul has since been found after being abandoned, and it is currently being processed for fingerprints and DNA, according to Brewer.
NCMDA has been for years now advocating for changes to title laws in NC for off-road vehicles. Many other areas of the country have had similar problems with “smash-and-grab” dirtbike burglaries, and North Carolina is not alone in trying to combat this issue.
In 2020, an alleged ring leader in a motorcycle/ATV theft ring in Pennsylvania was arrested. Police said Karon Smith was behind burglaries in Allegheny, Washington and Westmoreland counties, totaling more than $150,000. Investigators said the suspects smashed their way into businesses throughout 2019.
Powersports Business is aware of multiple thefts from dealerships in the past four years, and it increasingly looks like many are tied to a larger theft ring. We believe more pressure needs to be put on local law enforcement and the FBI as NCMDA is already doing, and dealers must remain as vigilant as possible to protect their property.