CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley held a briefing on Wednesday to discuss the growing issue of ATVs and dirt bikes riding illegally in Cleveland.
Specifically, O'Malley focused on the problem of those vehicles being stolen. Since January of 2020, O'Malley says 90 dirt bikes and ATVs have been stolen in Cleveland.
O'Malley says people are being lured to Cleveland from out of the area to sell their ATVs and dirt bikes. "They're being offered more money to deliver the bikes. What inevitably happens is they're given an envelope with counterfeit money, or when they allow a test drive, the ATVs and dirt bikes are being ridden off to the sunset and never being seen again by their lawful owners," he explained.
"I want these individuals apprehended," O'Malley stated.
Crime Strategies Unit Supervisor Ryan Bokoch explained that out of the 90 thefts, 83 were transacted via Facebook Marketplace. At least 41 of the victims traveled from outside of Cuyahoga County to sell their dirt bikes and ATVs, with 33 of the 41 coming in from outside of Ohio. Counterfeit money was used in at least 26 of the 90 transactions.
O'Malley pointed to the area of Glazier Avenue and Broadway in Cleveland as a hot spot for the thefts. 25 of the 90 stolen bikes were taken in that location
"Our message today is be smart, use your heads. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is," he added.
You can watch Wednesday's briefing in the player below:
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