Tennessee Town Forms Task Force to Combat Thefts

May 1, 2012

So many motorcycles in Clarksville, Tenn., have been reported stolen that police have formed a task force to fight the problem.

Clarksville Police Chief Al Ansley told The Leaf-Chronicle that officers are being “proactive and reactive” in their investigation of the spike in thefts. He said motorcycle owners should take precautions and urged anyone who sees suspicious activity to report it.

“The main thing we want to do is track down and arrest these perpetrators,” he said. “We’d like to get the information out there to the public (and) people who own motorcycles to let them know they need to protect their property. That may include trying to lock it up (with a chain) or put it inside.”

The newspaper reports that there have been 59 motorcycles stolen in the city in the past year with a combined value of more than $400,000. The thefts made up more than one-quarter of all thefts reported in the city.

“Two people can pull into a parking lot, load a sports bike and drive off in a couple of minutes,” Ansley said. “`It’s an easy target. The apartment complexes have been working with us diligently to prevent this kind of activity. We have identified certain areas in towns where it seems more thefts have occurred.”

Sgt. First Class Dennis Minor is a recent victim. Minor, who recently returned from Afghanistan, said his 2011 Suzuki GSXR 750 sports motorcycle valued at $12,000 was stolen from his parking lot on March 25.

“I was at home, but doing college school work. I decided to go out and get something to eat at 8 p.m.,” Minor said. “I came back and continued doing my school work until 3 a.m. I decided I needed some Red Bull to perk me up. I went outside and my motorcycle was gone. It was brand new.”

Captain David Crockarell said officers have also contacted nearby law enforcement agencies, including in Murfreesboro.

“We are convinced it is happening around Clarksville and other agencies in other jurisdictions, maybe not on such a large scale I would say with the amount of motorcycles being taken it’s bound to be happening somewhere else. The M.O. is likely the same. It is just that easy to do it.”

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