BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Dirt bike dealers across the mid Atlantic say they’re seeing a spike in bike thefts.
Here in Baltimore, police say a crackdown on illegal riders is proving effective, with 45 arrests and 200 bikes recovered in June.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: 1.5K New Cases & 17 Deaths Reported Saturday
One dealer caught dramatic video of a recent brazen break-in that’s triggered shop owners to take action.
Some dealers are calling it an epidemic, saying no matter the precautions, criminals are going to great lengths to get their hands on their merchandise.
They’re fighting back though, with information.
In a violent break-in caught on security camera, you can see thieves ram a van numerous times into the dirt bike dealership in Delaware – just over the Maryland line – a few weeks ago.
“It looked like a bomb went off,” said store manager Rebecca Fasten.
Fasten said the criminals’ exploits destroyed the store front and damaged 16 bikes. More than $200,000 in total damage, all for the theft of four dirt bikes.
“It’s frustrating because it’s an epidemic, dealers everywhere it’s happened too,” she said.
In May, a dealership in Ellicott City was hit.
One of several shops in the state targeted.READ MORE: People In Baltimore Protest In Solidarity, Mourning Daunte Wright's Death After He Was Fatally Shot By Police During Traffic Stop In Minnesota
Four Baltimore teens were arrested for the crime.
Business owners across state lines say they wouldn’t be surprised if most of the stolen bikes end up on the streets of Baltimore, believing some criminals are profiting from the illegal activity.
An activity also linked to displays across the mid-Atlantic.
Just last week, this pack of illegal riders flooded the streets of D.C. and the National Harbor.
The chaos also generates a lot of buzz on social media
For a year now, a Baltimore Police Department task force has been cracking down on the illegal activity.
As far as combating the rise in thefts at dealerships, stores say they’re using the most valuable tool at their disposal: information.
Dealers are now reaching out to one another and who to possibly look out for.
“I think at this point most dealers are just putting their dirt bikes away. Locking them up behind doors at the end of night so you can’t even find them,” Fasten said.MORE NEWS: Pause In Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Could Delay Maryland's Goals As Baltimore City Emerges As Potential New Hotspot