Is there a theft ring happening under our noses? By the looks of some news reports and emails we’ve been receiving, powersports dealers have been hit by a wave of burglaries lately. Several dealers have been victims of what looks to be an organized crime-spree in the past few months. Are they all connected? Doubtfully, but one thing we know for sure is that these criminals are targeting powersports dealers who sell vehicles that don’t require registrations because they are easy to move for cash.
“I am surprised industry magazines have not picked up on the string of burglaries through the southern states: dealers in Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana and now Texas have been hit,” says Joel Morris from Stubbs Harley-Davidson. “We were hit last Saturday, another Houston shop, a week ago, then I found out there have been many more in Louisiana. And according to the detective I talked to here, there have been many, many more.”
Another report from a dealer in Pennsylvania says they were hit in June at about 4 a.m. on a Sunday. Police believe the suspect or suspects backed a cargo van into a glass door at the dealership and got away with $60,000 worth of bikes.
“It’s just an utter surprise, to be honest with you,” Owner Pancho Lawler told FOX43. “Nothing like this has happened before to us.”
Another dealer in Texas told us they get hit about three times a year. His store has giant steel beams reinforcing every entry point, video surveillance, alarms and more. He lives only three minutes from his shop and races over there whenever the alarm goes off at night, but the thieves are relentless.
What can we do as an industry to protect ourselves? Experts say that prevention starts with the retailers. You can use a combination of measures to protect your store from burglars. Among the things you can use are: suitable locks, an appropriate alarm system, adequate indoor and outdoor lighting, and security cameras.
If your shop is in a high-risk area, you can also add things such as heavy window screens, burglar-resistant glass windows, private police patrols and watchdogs. One security expert even recommends inviting the police in for a free non-alcoholic beverage and to use the restroom whenever they need as they patrol the area. It’s also a good idea to get to know your local police force so they are familiar with your business and know the entry points.
Even with all of these precautions, there are still plenty of bold thieves willing to take their chances to turn your hard work into cash in their pocket. If your shop has been hit, please drop us a line and let us know about it.