Thieves steal­ing ATVs and dirt bikes

‘It’s fright­en­ing’ says Har­bour Grace res­i­dent

The Compass - - Front Page - BY CHRIS LEWIS

Mul­ti­ple thefts of all-ter­rain ve­hi­cles and dirt bikes in Carbonear have the com­mu­nity on high-alert.

Over the course of less than two weeks, there have been sev­eral cases of ATVs and dirt bikes be­ing stolen from prop­er­ties in the Carbonear area.

So­cial me­dia has been cov­ered over the past cou­ple days with posts shared by peo­ple hop­ing to track down their stolen ve­hi­cles, though the searches thus far have been to no avail.

“It felt aw­ful to have to watch them come home from school know­ing I had to break the news to them that their bikes were gone, and I didn’t know how or if they were go­ing to come back.” Ja­son McCarthy

Ja­son McCarthy, a res­i­dent of Har­bour Grace, had his chil­dren’s dirt bikes stolen in the dead of night, and told The Compass about the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It’s fright­en­ing, hon­estly. You go to bed think­ing every­thing’s safe and okay. When you wake up, you find out that some­one, or a group of peo­ple, have been on your prop­erty, snoop­ing through your things at night,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy’s fam­ily’s bikes, which were two Kawasaki 140Ls, were stolen on the same night some­one only two houses down the road had their bike stolen as well.

McCarthy ex­plained when he went out­side that morn­ing, he was shocked to find the lock to his shed had been bro­ken. After in­ves­ti­gat­ing fur­ther, he found both his son’s and daugh­ter’s bikes had been stolen, some­thing he says was hard to tell them when they got home from school.

“They were dev­as­tated,” said McCarthy. “It’s a fam­ily thing, you know? It felt aw­ful to have to watch them come home from school know­ing I had to break the news to them that their bikes were gone, and I didn’t know how or if they were go­ing to come back.”

The Har­bour Grace RCMP de­tach­ment con­firmed with The Compass on Thurs­day they’ve re­ceived a few leads re­lat­ing to sev­eral of the calls, and had a few sus­pects in mind, though no ar­rests have been made thus far.

The bikes are be­ing rolled out of sheds and garages dur­ing the night, and are of­ten left in­side with keys in the ig­ni­tion, or some­where nearby.

So­cial me­dia has played a big role in the cases thus far, with vic­tims of the thefts post­ing to web­sites like Face­book with photos of their stolen prop­erty, which are then shared by friends and fam­i­lies in hopes of track­ing down the ve­hi­cles.

McCarthy said post­ing to so­cial me­dia has yielded small re­sults, with some peo­ple claim­ing to rec­og­nize the bikes in ques­tion. Although noth­ing con­crete has come from it yet, McCarthy says he’s keep­ing his fin­gers crossed.

A sim­ple search of “stolen” will likely re­sult in mul­ti­ple posts by peo­ple in the Carbonear area with photos of ATVs, dirt bikes, and other prop­erty that have been stolen dur­ing night.

“Some­thing strange is go­ing on,” said McCarthy. “For it to all hap­pen in the run of a week or two? That can’t be a co­in­ci­dence. It has to be re­lated. I don’t know if these peo­ple are steal­ing them for them­selves, or if they’re sell­ing them, or maybe they’re sell­ing them for parts, I have no idea. We just hope it gets re­solved, and soon.”

One bike stolen from the area was re­port­edly re­cov­ered on Wed­nes­day, May 24.

McCarthy said while he hopes the thefts end and the stolen prop­erty is re­turned to him­self and ev­ery­one af­fected, he also ad­vises any­one who be­lieves they have a lead to go straight to law en­force­ment, rather than at­tempt­ing to take mat­ters into their own hands.

“I re­ally do hope some­thing is done about this, but I hope it’s done right. I’d hate to hear about some­one try­ing to re­solve it them­selves, and get­ting hurt or some­thing like that. The RCMP is han­dling it, and I think that’s the best thing that can be done for now.”

SUBMITTED PHOTO

MUL­TI­PLE ATV AND DIRTBIKE THEFTS IN THE AREA HAVE RES­I­DENTS OF CARBONEAR TAK­ING EX­TRA PRECAUTIONS WHEN LOCKING UP THEIR SHEDS AND GARAGES.

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