Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stolen Motorcycle, Lazy Cops

Back in 1984, on Columbus Day in Doraville Georgia, somebody stole my 1975 Harley-Davidson XLCH.  I lived in an apartment at the time and kept it at a friends home in the carport. There were three other motorcycles in the carport, two belonging to my friend and the other is fathers. Their driveway had several cars and at night my friend and his father always pulled their vehicles up close so there was no room for anyone to come up and simply walk a bike out. The left side of the carport was open but it was an elevation of four feet making it to steep to get a bike off plus the yard was fenced in that area with a locked gate.
Usually there was always a chain securing the bikes but mine had a bad primary chain and we were working on it, so it was sitting with the primary cover and chain off and I thought nobody would mess with it while broken.
My friends father always left for work at 5 a.m and my friend an hour later. His father thought it odd when he went out that the push mower was partially blocking back door when he left and he had to move it. An hour later not knowing about the mower my friend went out to go to work. He's the sort that always let's his vehicles warm up before pulling off. He said he sat there smoking a cigarette looking into the carport and something didn't look right. After a couple of minutes he started to back out and stopped, something wasn't right so he looked at the bikes in the carport again. Then it hit him, mine was gone.

He called me and woke me up asking if I had come and taken my bike the day before or that night. I said no of course and thought he was yanking my chain but he assured me he wasn't kidding. I told him I'd be right over and I hung up and called the Local Police Department.

When I arrived the patrol car had just pulled into my friends driveway. The officer was sitting in his car while my friend told him what he knew and the time frame. I walked up, introduced myself and handed him by registration. I answered his questions, mentioning the stranger around eighteen who had walked up two weeks prior asking questions about the bike, while he finished his report, my friend and I walked the carport and driveway trying to find any evidence. We pointed at a shoe print left by the thief after stepping in some spilt primary oil, the officer reluctantly exited the car and sauntered over. He seemingly wasn't to concerned about the whole deal. My friend followed the dripping oil path from the open primary to the street and the officer walked along behind us. Reaching the street he did spy a bunch of marks on the road and pointed it out. We went over and sure enough, the thieves had dropped my bike on the street leaving scuffed pavement,oil and fresh red paint. It was fairly obvious they had loaded it up in a truck or van right at that point.

The officer made no further effort even when I asked if he was going to talk to any neighbors to see if they had seen anything or heard a loud banging that night. You know, something like "investigating" and gathering evidence. He wasn't and left it up to me to do the legwork. He was only out of his cruiser ten to twenty minutes tops and basically walked around only when we initiated it, then he left. I canvassed the area. Of course, nobody in the nearby homes heard or saw anything because they didn't want to get involved even though many of them had been heading to work at that time.

To get a copy of the theft report I had to go to the Police department and "pay" for a sorry zerox copy. That charge was ludicrous as I was the victim and I had to pay for the clerk to turn around and pull the report walk a step, make a copy and hand it to me. What a racket. A few months later the news had a story by a larger Police department who had busted a motorcycle theft ring that covered the whole county. The news had put up a number the Department gave to inquire about the motorcycles if you had been a victim. Each time I called I was given the run around and basically I felt I was bothering them even being told gruffly I would be contacted either way if the had mine or not. Of course I never heard anything. It's just a tactic to get you off their backs.  

Not all officers are this lazy but many are and really make no effort to gather evidence even when you point it out to them. Had I known then what I know now I would have requested someone in charge come out when the patrol officers actions weren't satisfactory. To make matters worse was the officers telling me "It's probably in a million pieces right now and on the way out of state." Basically this told me they were done with the whole thing.
This is another reason we have started the
site. The Police are not going to put this information out there anywhere in public view to even make people aware.   


FLHX_Dave said...

I have been in the field...no, unless they run across stolen property or have rock solid proof of who did the deed, they don't take it much further than that.

There is just too much of it going on and there is no way to dedicate the time and resources necessary.

this is why D.M.V. procedures and regulations are so tight. It's not even worth stealing a bike unless you are going to part it out.

WooleyBugger said...

"they don't take it much further than that."

I can tell you for sure I know a little how that works on the Law side.

NCIC keeps all the records but only Law Enforcement can access it and it isn't as easy as it once was. Comunication is a huge key factor missing between agencies and that is one part Billy And I are trying to make better. I mean, what good is a massive Database such as NCIC that the public can't view it? And in a timely manner of info being added in this computer age we are living in, it just makes no sense to me.

There are tricks used to make a stolen Motorcycle - in all appearances - look legit, paper and number wise and a majority are listed as re-construction.

Thanks for Linking our site Dave. We need all the help we can get.