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Thieves target several motor sports businesses

Posted at 5:59 PM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 03:34:29-04

CHAFFEE, N.Y. (WKBW) — ATV’s, dirt bikes and side-by-sides are the hot ticket item for thieves this summer.

New York State Police say they’re investigating several burglaries of these recreational vehicles from several local motor sports shops.

In the last week alone, three shops have been hit. Four total shops have been stolen from since July.

The first happened in July when Hebelers Sales and Service was targeted twice in a week.

Then on Thursday around 2:30 a.m., the owners of Pioneer Motorsports in Chaffee say thieves broke through their gates and took six ATV’s and side-by-sides.

“They have no accountability for their actions,” said Owner Michelle Armstrong. “We’re the hardworking people of this country. We are paying through the nose in taxes and criminals are the ones being protected. I’m angry,” she said.

Her son Kyle says he woke to a text around 5:30 a.m. that morning from another local business owner.

“He said, ‘I think there was a burglary. I found a machine that I think belongs to you guys,” he said.

Armstrong says he then noticed that someone had broken through the outdoor gates at Pioneer and stolen the machines which can cost up to $35,000. He says some machines were found by police, abandoned or in an accident. Armstrong says Buffalo Police found one impounded.

A day later, the culprits hit Appolson’s Performance in Hamburg. They broke through the doors and drove side by sides out the front door.

“The damage was outright destructive,” said Appolson, who is now installing a brand new security system.

The next day, yet again, thieves targeting Bucks Motorsports in Akron.

The Armstrongs say they’ve heard from investigations that juveniles are being paid $1,000 per machine to drive them into Buffalo.

“They run them up the railroad tracks. My understanding is they’re using these vehicles to transport drugs and guns. It’s scary,” Michelle said.

New York State Police say they’re investigating several of these cases, not only from businesses but private homes as well. Police say some juveniles from the Buffalo area have been arrested.