Arkansas law enforcement officials are warning hunters to keep an eye on their all-terrain vehicles when they get out in the woods this fall.
Although thieves nab four-wheelers all year, deer season is an especially big time for the thefts, said Lt. Jim Kulesa of the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office.
That’s what happened to North Little Rock resident Danny Ogden, whose four-year-old ATV was swiped earlier this month.
“They just took a big pair of bolt cutters and cut the chain off of it,” Ogden said. “It was all ready to go.”
The all-terrain vehicles often are left unattended at deer camps, officials said. Also, some hunters pack up their gear the night before a hunt and the ATVs are stolen overnight.
Pulaski County officials estimate that between five and seven all-terrain vehicles are stolen each month. So far in September, four ATVs have been stolen in Pulaski County, officials said.
All-terrain vehicles are easier to steal than cars or trucks because a thief doesn’t need to hot-wire an ATV, said Dan Richards, owner of Richards Honda Yamaha in Little Rock.
“They don’t have to have a key,” Richards said. “With two or three people, it’s so easy to load one into the back of a truck and be gone in a minute or two.”
In Arkansas, ATV owners must obtain a title for the vehicle. But an ATV title isn’t required in every state, so an ATV that’s taken out of state often can’t be traced, said Richards, who’s had two four-wheelers stolen.
Bow-hunting season begins Oct. 1. Ogden said he plans to hunt this year – but on foot.
“I doubt if I’ll have another” all-terrain vehicle, he said. “I can’t afford another one right now.”
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, www.arkansasonline.com.
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