Motorcycle Thefts Caught On Camera, Victim Watches
by Kim Gebbia
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Military towns and motorcycles always go hand in hand, but in Clarksville, bikes are being plucked from parking lots at an alarming rate.
In total, 59 Motorcycles were stolen in the last year and only nine have been recovered by police.
One of them was caught on camera through an apartment complex window, and investigators hope it's enough to finally get a break in what they believe to be an organized theft ring.
In the black and white video, two men pick up a 500 pound Suzuki sport bike and put it into the back of their truck within 30 seconds.
NewsChannel 5 showed that video to the bike's owner for the first time on Wednesday.
"I'm furious, oh my god!" said Kirsten Thomas as she watched the video.
She said she was surprised at how fast they stole it, considering the bike had a wheel lock on it.
But, bike owners like Thomas are learning the hard way that locked wheels aren't enough to stop these persistent thieves.
"Everyday my husband talks about it and says we're going to get my bike back; we're going to sue that, we're going to get my bike back," she said.
Even if they do, it might be in a million different parts.
"We do feel these bikes are being broken down into pieces and sold many different ways," said Police Chief Al Ansley.
Police believe with 60 snatched in a year, it's all part of a larger organized ring targeting mostly Clarksville apartment complexes where owners have no place to store their sport bikes.
"They got a pretty good operation going when they can steal this many bikes," said Ansley.
But they also caught the thieves' getaway car on a nearby red light camera. It shows a clear picture of brown pickup truck with a white passenger's side door. It's distinct enough for police to believe someone will see it or recognize it.
Thomas will be keeping her eyes peeled for the truck, but in the meantime the only safe place for sport bike in Clarksville is indoors.
The busiest time for these thefts is Monday through Wednesday after midnight. If you have any information please call Clarksville Police at (931) 648-0656.