Santa Barbara experiences string of motorcycle thefts

Police confirm a serious crime spree occurred

Motorcycle thefts on the rise in Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara Police have confirmed a serious spike in motorcycle thefts in the month of November.

Between motorcycles and the smaller scooters, 24 were taken.  Overall there were 37 vehicle thefts.

"It doesn't matter what time of day or where. They need to be secured," said Gene Gatz of Moto Loco.

His customers and some of the motorcycle owners writing on social media are revved up about the crime spree.  

“We've had them stolen right in front of  grocery stores in the middle of the day. We have had them stolen in the middle of the night," Gatz said.

Nick Dryer was on his motorcycle at Santa Barbara City College and said, "I have heard about it around California but I guess I didn't think Santa Barbara  would be too bad but I assume it is everywhere." 

He has a homemade security system, involving a thick cable, that makes it difficult for criminals to get his bike.

“I just run it through both wheels and around a big concrete pillar.  I bought the fattest lock I could find," Dryer said.

Some of the security cables come with motion alarms.  Another lock clamps on to the disc brake.

Behzad Masooman said, "I don't have an extra locking mechanism. I always lock it, I lock the wheel."

Those tracking the problem believe some of the bikes are just being picked up and shoved into a truck.  

"The majority of them are just being pushed off in the middle of the day, maybe hot wired, or transported to another location," said Gatz. " We've also heard that they are picking them up and hauling them away. They will stop at nothing to get to them. We recommend you secure them and keep them in sight or securing them to a  metal pole or something like that."

The vehicles stolen are mainly  scooters, dual sports and street bikes.

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