Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Motorcycles Popular with Thieves This Year; Former Owners Frustrated with Lack of Police Assistance

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Motorcycles Popular with Thieves This Year; Former Owners Frustrated with Lack of Police Assistance

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Daraskevich

Nate Moye filed a police report with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office as soon as he realized his motorcycle was stolen from in front of his Southside apartment.

That was the morning of June 1, and he hasn't seen the 2014 Yamaha since - at least not in one piece.

After a couple weeks of hearing nothing from police and finally getting his truck in working order, Moye did some detective work of his own and figured out what happened to his bike.

"I found the tank on eBay," Moye said.

And a lot of the other parts where there, too.

Motorcycle thefts are way up this year in Jacksonville compared to 2015, according to the Sheriff's Office.

As of June 16, there were 31 sport bikes reported stolen in Jacksonville compared to 23 all of last year, police said. In total, there were 51 motorcycles stolen through June 16 this year compared to 51 in all of 2015.

It's not like the Yamaha is a custom chopper, but Moye, 23, an employee at Cycle Gear on Beach Boulevard, knows his bike pretty well.

"It had a scratch on the bottom of the tank where I put a seat cover on," Moye said of his stolen motorcycle.

Sure enough, the tank he was looking at on eBay had the same scratch.

A little more digging and Moye found his tail light and other parts up for sale by the same eBay user.

The user listed the parts on a personal account and Moye handed over the information he found to an investigator who said he was working on the case.

But that didn't do much good, Moye said.

The officer he filed the original report with wasn't the one who answered the phone when Moye called, and whoever answered the phone simply told him "the devil may care," Moye said.

He said it would be easy enough to send the eBay user a message but felt that was something police should do.

Moye isn't the only one in Jacksonville dealing with the stolen motorcycle troubles.

Darius Antonio Thomas, 26, bought himself a 2014 GSX-R750 when he got out of the Navy. It was stolen May 12 and he said he's been going to bike nights in the area looking for it ever since.

"It was one of my gifts to myself for getting out of the military," Thomas said.

Thomas and Moye aren't alone.

"Nationally, motorcycle thefts increase during the summer months and peak in August, which reflects a weather-influenced pattern that is consistent with previous years," the Sheriff's Office said. "Florida was ranked number two for motorcycle thefts in all of 2015."

According to the Sheriff's Office, the majority of the motorcycles stolen this year have been from apartment complexes.

That was the case with Thomas and Moye.

Catching the thieves isn't always easy, so the Sheriff's Office has offered some tips to prevent the thefts.

Blocking a motorcycle with another vehicle or locking multiple motorcycles together will make it more difficult for criminals to strike. …

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