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Gang Of Thieves Stealing Motorcycles Right Off Manhattan Streets

NEW YORK (CBS 2)-- A gang of muscled-up thieves were caught on surveillance video plucking motorcycles off Manhattan streets.It's a crime wave heating up on the Upper West Side, with brand-new Kawasakis, Yamahas and more getting snatched up in a matter of seconds.
John Quinones showed CBS 2's Dave Carlin a trio of brazen thieves caught on camera, plucking his motorcycle from its spot on upscale West 70th Street near Central Park West.
Motorcycle Thieves
A gang of motorcycle thieves is caught on surveillance camera snatching a bike right off the street on Manhattan's Upper West Side. (Credit: CBS 2)

"Mine was locked, also, against the pole," he said.

That didn't stop the thieves – after a few seconds of struggling, the Yamaha was in their van with the doors slammed shut, and the motorcycle was gone.

"The bike had less than 2,000 miles on it, and it just disappeared," Quinones said. "$10,000 just walked away."

Quinones is not alone. The ring of thieves, which has apparently been around for years, is especially active as mild weather brings more motorcycles into the open.

So far this month, there have been at least three other cases. On April 21, a bike was stolen on the very same street where Quinones' bike disappeared. Another motorcycle was grabbed from Central Park West on April 23, while a third bike was heisted on Harlem's Morningside Avenue on April 14.

Stolen motorcycles typically end up at chop shops, where they're sold for parts. They can end up out-of-state or even out of the country, or at race tracks where proof of ownership is not always required.

"This is a $750 Kawasaki – it's great for the city," theft victim Benny Garamani said.

Garamani bought a new motorcycle to replace the one lifted by thieves outside his 87th Street home last year.

"I came back and it was gone," he said. "You put a chain on this or whatever, they come in and break it."

Quinones, however, said he's saying no to a new motorcycle with the thieves still on the loose. He said it simply isn't worth the extra expense, extra insurance and extra worry, investing in something that can disappear without a trace.

Police said motorcycle owners should always secure and lock their bikes.

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