We recently told you about a New York City motorcycle theft ring being busted.  Now comes the news that four more people have been arrested for allegedly selling stolen motorcycles to undercover police officers.

Theft joint statement

In a joint statement, Acting District Attorney (DA) John Ryan and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neil announced the arrests.  The arrests were made after a year long investigation code-named Operation 8-Ball Riderz carried out by the NYPD’s Auto Crimes Division and The DA’s Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau.

“The defendants charged in this case are alleged to have worked together and separately dealing in motorcycles stolen from the Bronx, Manhattan, New Jersey and California,” Ryan said. “One of the defendants is also charged with selling 150 grams of cocaine to undercover detectives. Drug dealing and trafficking in stolen goods will not be tolerated in Queens County.”

The two defendants were arraigned before a Queens Criminal Court Judge Danielle Hartman who released them on their own recognizance (i.e. without having to post bail).

The investigation

The investigation and arrests reportedly began when NYPD’s Auto Crime Division checked into an OfferUp advertisement that listed a Texas Motorcycle Title for sale.  Undercover police contacted the seller and a deal was made to purchase the title.

Thereafter, the alleged seller told the undercover officer tht he had stolen motorcycles available for sale which prompted the start of the Operation 8-Ball Riderz investigation.  During the investigation, the undercover officer was allegedly sold multiple motorcycle to undercover detectives.  One of the alleged sellers also sold cocaine to undercover officers as well.

Motorcycle thief

The reality of motorcycle theft is not this cute. Image credit: Dreamstime

Released without bail?

So it appears that New York may be taking a closer look at motorcycle thieves.  These arrests are the second in recently history.

That’s the good news.  But the judge in this case released the two alleged bike thieves on their own recognizance meaning that they have to post any bail money at all.

What do you think of the judge’s decision to release the men on their own recognizance?  Should she have required some kind of bail to be paid before releasing the men?  If so, what would be an appropriate amount?  Finally, does releasing alleged motorcycle thieves without bail send a message to other thieves?  Will it make them think that they can get away with motorcycle theft?

Let us know in the comments below.

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