2005-01-14 / Community

Had Hot Wheels, Tried To Burn Rubber: Police

Bayswater Man Part Of Theft Ring

Police busted a motorcycle theft ring including a Bayswater man, who had a motorcycle in his van that was so hot it had not been reported stolen yet, law enforcement officials announced last week.

Jose Hernandez, 32, turned the corner near his home at 10-38 Bay 32 Street last Thursday – with another male defendant and a stolen 2004 Honda CBR in the back of his van – when he spotted police staking out his home and tried to flee, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

“The theft was so recent that the owner had not yet reported it stolen,” police said.

Hernandez, who Kelly described as a “steal man,” was arrested along with 15 other men who allegedly organized to spot, track, steal, chop and re-sell brand new high-performance motorcycles. The parts, which did not carry serial numbers, were resold on Internet sites such as E-Bay and CraigsList.

More than 80 bikes valued at more than $1 million were stolen from Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau, New Jersey and Connecticut, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

“The defendants may have thought they were the best thing on two wheels but they were wiped out by a coast-to-coast law enforcement initiative, said Brown.

Police began investigating after a Ridgewood resident spotted a piece of his old bike – which had been stolen – for sale on E-Bay, Kelly said. A distinctive scratch on the gas tank was the giveaway.

The defendants, who face up to 25 years in prison if convicted, are charged with Enterprise Corruption, second and third-degree Burglary, third-degree Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the third and fourth-degree, Forgery of Vehicle Identification Number(s) and fifth-degree conspiracy.

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