When hurricanes make landfall, they have a way of putting life on hold. Power outages, limited communication and restricted travel give people a lot of extra time. And “idle hands are the devil’s workshop” never rang more true than recently when three South Carolina teens stirred up their own personal storm.
That’s when, under cover of pounding rains and loss of electricity, an ambitious theft ring used the opportunity of Hurricane Matthew’s impact to commit multiple motorcycle thefts. And despite their young ages (one 17 and two 18 year olds), they weren’t content with one or even two bikes during their mission but absconded with 11 motorcycles and 15 ATVs and then attempted to hide them in a most haphazard fashion.
The first bike discovered by authorities in Orangeburg, South Carolina, was an ATV that had apparently been abandoned. While on the way to the dealership where the bike was stolen, two more ATVs were spotted. Later a vehicle was stopped leaving a frontage road adjacent to the shop with a stolen bike in the trunk. The investigation then led to a mobile home park where a stolen bike was parked outside and three more discovered inside the home. At the time of this report, two motorcycles and seven ATVs are still missing along with a trailer. Estimated cost of the stolen merchandise was $100K. That’s some severe storm damage.