Post-Script Motorcycle Theft in the United States: A Brief Guide for Riders

By Titze, Thad A. | South Dakota Law Review, Fall 2019 | Go to article overview

Post-Script Motorcycle Theft in the United States: A Brief Guide for Riders


Titze, Thad A., South Dakota Law Review


The motorcycles, the technology and the security may have all  changed... but the mindset of the thief has not. Bikes simply remain  easy to steal, strip, clone or be exchanged as currency anywhere in the  world, emphasizing both their popularity and vulnerability. (1)                                                           Dr. Ken German 

I. INTRODUCTION

The United States is home to approximately 8.4 million on-road registered motorcycles. (2) In 2017, 44,268 motorcycles were reported stolen--a five percent decrease from 2016. (3) Overall, reported motorcycle thefts have declined by about thirty percent over the last decade. (4) Motorcycle theft is a seasonal crime. Thirty-two percent of reported thefts in 2017, for example, occurred in June, July, and August, compared with eighteen percent of reported thefts in December, January, and February. (5) Distribution of motorcycle thefts by states generally aligns with population distribution across the United States. (6) California accounted for seventeen percent of total reported thefts, followed by Florida (10%), Texas (8%), South Carolina (4%), North Carolina (4%), and New York (3%). (7) South Dakota's sixty reported motorcycle thefts in 2017 represent less than one percent of total thefts across the country. (8)

For motorcycle owners, there is some consolation. Of the 44,268 reported thefts in 2017, forty-two percent were recovered between January 1, 2017, and February 28, 2018. (9) South Dakota's recovery rate of forty-eight percent sits higher than the national recovery rate. (10) Popular brands among motorcycle thieves include Honda, which accounted for twenty percent of total reported thefts in 2017, followed by Yamaha (16%), Suzuki (12%), Harley-Davidson (12%), and Kawasaki (12%). (11) Recovery rates by brand track closely with their respective rates of reported theft. (12)

II. WHY DO THEY DO IT?

Motorcycle theft expert Dr. Ken German notes, "two-wheel theft is easy and the bread and butter of crime gangs across the globe." (13) Motorcycle theft has become a lucrative business that generates the supply to meet the demand for less expensive bikes and parts. (14) After-market enhancements made by owners increase the value and attraction for thieves. (15) According to Detective Joe Thrasher of the Orange County Auto Theft Taskforce, motorcycle theft occurs in two forms: theft for order and spontaneous theft. (16) In many cases, the actual theft is not a solo endeavor. One party, for example, can secure a finder's fee for simply scouting prime motorcycles and locations. (17)

Criminal investigations into motorcycle theft rings reveal the prevalence and effects of coordinated criminal activity. In one recent case, New York City investigators recovered sixty-three motorcycles when they brought down one of the city's most active theft rings. (18) Thirty-three individuals were charged for involvement in a conspiracy which, among other things, could snatch a motorcycle in less than thirty seconds and eventually resell it in the Caribbean black market. (19) The ring would use a van to quickly load, conceal, and depart with their two-wheeled cargo. (20) Similarly, a crack-down in Queens, New York, halted the work of another theft ring and recovered eleven motorcycles, most taken from garages at apartments and private homes. (21) Seven suspects were indicted on grand larceny, conspiracy, and other charges. (22) The initial effectiveness of this conspiracy lay partly with the group's strategy of observing local police activity and then creating a diversion in the form of traffic violations, while other members of the group stole bikes from previously scouted locations. (23)

III. THE MOTORCYCLE THIEF'S HOW-TO-GUIDE

It starts with the old line: location, location, and location. Apartment complexes, with dimly-lit parking areas, are fertile grounds for savvy thieves. (24) Gated parking garages at high-rise apartment buildings are common targets. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Post-Script Motorcycle Theft in the United States: A Brief Guide for Riders
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.