Suspects sought in Phila. motorcycle, scooter thefts

PHILADELPHIA - October 5, 2012

Investigators say between July 1st and September 24th, there have been 39 scooter thefts and 14 motorcycle thefts.

Neighbors in Spring Garden say they're not used to seeing a whole lot of crime. However the 400 block of Fairmount Avenue was one of the streets hit in the string of thefts.

"It's no good. I wish they would leave our bikes alone. We're just trying to get around," said Chris Ward.

The majority of thefts occur between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., police said.

"We believe they're using vans that have been stolen from New Jersey, driving to Philly," said Lt. Ray Evers.

According to police, the suspects use large bolt cutters to slice through security chains. Shortly after they bring out work vans, fifteen seat passenger vans (church vans), and box trucks to transport the scooters.

Surveillance video released by police on Friday morning showed a scooter theft at 421 Fairmount Avenue and 100 Church Street.

Thirteen of the bikes have been recovered, 10 of them in Camden, where police believe there's a market for these goods.

"We had an issue last year. We thought locking up a group of individuals would quiet this trend down but obviously it's back again. We don't think they are the same individuals. There is a market for these types of vehicles so they're ending up in Camden being sold," said Lt. Evers.

One scooter owner who travels with a heavy lock tells Action News that his friend was also a victim. Her bike was among those recovered in Camden.

"Two weeks later the police found it in Camden. They stripped in and repainted some pieces of it," said Josh Zaneska.

Several groups of unknown males from Camden are suspected in the crimes.

A suspect in a black shirt has been involved in multiple thefts, police said, and is described as a black or Hispanic male approximately 40 years-of-age, wearing a long bandanna on his head.

The suspects are shown operating a white van and a white box truck, both with New Jersey license plates.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Philadelphia Police at 215-686-TIPS (8477), text a tip to PPDTIP (773847) or through

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