KOKOMO, Ind. – Police arrested six people in a multi-state motorcycle theft ring with ties to central Indiana. The thieves targeted Harley Davidson dealerships across several states including Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Tennessee and Indiana.
“It was very clear they knew exactly what they were doing,” said Scott Purtee, Captain with Kokomo Police Department.
In March, suspects were caught on camera at the Harley Davidson in Kokomo. Footage shows four suspects getting on motorcycles, starting them up and driving them right off the showroom floor.
“It’s a very brazen way to do it, especially it was on State Road 931, a very busy state highway and to not have any regard for not getting caught,” said Captain Purtee.
Investigators didn’t know who these thieves were, but they knew this wasn’t the only Harley Davidson dealership they hit. Officials say $1 million in motorcycles and merchandise was stolen from Harley Davidson across the Midwest.
Evansville Police arrested six people in May after an alarm went off at a Harley Davidson dealership. Cyber Crimes Task Force agents used cell phone data to link the suspects to a St. Louis motorcycle gang.
“This was huge. This was really big,” said Jessica Powers, Director of Cyber Crimes Task Force with the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office.
Investigators figured out these suspects were involved in nearly 20 other Harley Davidson burglaries from Nashville to Fort Wayne to St. Louis to Kokomo.
“When you start looking at their methods of operation and things of that nature it’s pretty evident that we are probably dealing with the same group of people and then it’s just a matter of trying to track them down and see where they’re from,” said Captain Purtee.
Captain Purtee credits a multi-agency effort to getting these thieves off the streets.
“We are very grateful they gave us the lead we needed. Now we can follow up on that further and hopefully wrap our case up completely and identify everyone involved,” said Captain Purtee.
Investigators are still looking for two or three other suspects that were involved in the burglary case that happened in Kokomo.