Thieves Keep Stealing Motorcycles From Harley-Davidson Dealers

Illustration for article titled Thieves Keep Stealing Motorcycles From Harley-Davidson Dealerships

Photo: Scott Olson / Staff (Getty Images)

Another Harley-Davidson dealership got robbed over the Memorial Day weekend, this time in Tennessee. What originally looked like isolated incidents is turning into a problem as 12 dealerships have been hit by thieves with varying levels of success.

It was only March when a Harley-Davidson dealership in Kokomo, Indiana, experienced a Hollywood-style robbery of $100,000 worth of motorcycles. Now, as a report from Clarksville Now reveals, that dealership was only one in a line of 12 Harley dealerships to have been hit with robberies.

On May 29, Appleton Harley-Davidson became the latest dealership hit. But unlike the Kokomo robbery where the crew was prepared, these thieves did a comically bad job. They tried to make off with five motorcycles but only made off with three, leaving two stuck in a doorway, from Clarksville Now:

The five burglars did manage to get away with three motorcycles, but getting out took so long that two riders had to give up and make a run for it, as police were on the way.


They had to ram one of the bikes repeatedly into a front door to break it. Three of the thieves made it out on motorcycles, but one bike got stuck in the door, and another was trapped behind it.

This report from ABC 2 shows the aftermath:

Unfortunately, two of the stolen motorcycles were on consignment, and their owners will have to work with their insurance to hopefully be made whole.

Tia Suiter, owner of Appleton Harley-Davidson, says it’s painful to see the dealership’s customers go through this, but they remain optimistic:

“I feel blessed no one was injured or hurt. I feel blessed that we only lost three bikes,” Suiter said. “I’m very happy that the employees weren’t there and this didn’t happen during open hours. We love our employees and we love our community.”

The robberies have been happening all over the country with three in the last month alone. On April 27, a crew made off with five motorcycles from Legacy Harley-Davidson in Effingham, Illinois, reports ABC 20. The robbers rode the bikes right out of the front door. Dealerships in Alabama, Iowa and Kentucky have also been hit.

There doesn’t appear to be an explanation for the rash of thefts just yet, and officials from each state are investigating. Clarksville Now notes that while these dealerships all have nifty camera systems, the thieves all come dressed in motorcycle helmets, obscuring their identifying features. And as we see with the Clarksville thefts, some are better than others.

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