Motorcycle Monday: Stolen Ducati Highlights A Growing Problem

·5 min read

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How secure is your ride?

Having your motorcycle stolen is one of the worst, most violating feelings. That’s especially true if you own a bike that’s particularly valuable and you’ve taken many wise steps to secure it. A man in Miami is dealing with just such a situation so I want to spread the word for two reasons: maybe someone will help this guy get his motorcycle back and maybe everyone reading this will understand just how far thieves will go to snag a valuable bike.

Check out some crazy motorcycle jumps here.

The motorcycle in question is a 2019 Ducati Panigale V4 R, so it’s easy to see why it was targeted. After all, the estimated value is north of $60,000. The owner really wants it back and is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to its recovery, so if you can help you not only would be doing the right thing, because thieves are the worst, you might also get some quick cash for the good deed.

It’s worth noting that Back in August of last year, the National Insurance Crime Bureau released its stats on motorcycle theft for 2020. It concluded there was a 30 percent surge. If I were a betting man, I would wager that trend has continued or worsened for 2021, but we won’t have those figures until August.

According to the owner of this stolen Panigale V4 R, who hasn’t been identified, the heist went down on December 28 at 9:10 pm. The Ducati was parked on the 4th floor of a parking garage in Miami, specifically at the 1800 Club, which is at 1800 N. Bayshore Dr. Since I’m not familiar with the garage, I’m not sure if it’s secured, but that seems to be hinted at by a local news story, so that was one security obstacle the thieves had to overcome to pull this off.

Wisely, the owner didn’t rely just on a secured parking facility to keep his Panigale V4 R safe. He used a Kryptonite chain to secure it so nobody could just roll the bike away. On top of that, he had the Ducati Performance alarm activated. Plus, there was a GPS tracker on the motorcycle. None of that stopped the thieves.

Reportedly, the people who stole the bike loaded it into the back of a Dodge minivan, then just drove away. That’s pretty smooth and is a tactic many motorcycle thieves use, because they don’t have to mess with getting the engine started and the stolen property is concealed as they drive away.

Unfortunately, there isn’t surveillance video of the theft available, with only a still from the surveillance camera released to the public. That shows a Dodge Grand Caravan with a stolen Florida license plate attached. While the image is in black and white, the news says the minivan was maroon.

If we had the surveillance video we might see just how professional these guys are. While Kryptonite is a respected name in the industry, depending on which chain was used to secure this Ducati, it could have been defeated by amateurs or someone who’s very practiced. Without seeing it, I would guess the owner went for the top-of-the-line Kryptonite chain, so to get past that in a reasonable amount of time, these guys knew what they were doing.

Same goes for disabling the factory alarm. An amateur wouldn’t know how to do that, not without some solid coaching from someone who’s experienced and probably standing right there. Considering the value of the bike, likely thieves targeting such a big fish wouldn’t let a rookie do all that.

As for the tracker, I hate to break it to everyone, but they generally can be defeated with ease. Still, GPS trackers are worth using and it’s not a bad idea to double up on them, just in case.

Police investigators agree this was a professional job. They’re going on the theory it was targeted by a crime ring which has been going after high-powered motorcycles in Miami, or at least that’s what the owner told a reporter.

Helping fuel that theory is the fact other high-end motorcycles have been swiped in the Miami area recently. On December 29 of 2020 some guys in a white Chevy Econoline cargo van stole a Ducati from a Miami Beach apartment complex parking garage. A local report didn’t specify the model of the bike, but said it was valued at about $20,000. While not nearly as high-end as this heist, the MO of these thieves is shockingly similar considering they hit a parking garage, stole a Ducati, used a van for the theft, and they even put a stolen license plate on the getaway vehicle. I couldn’t find any reports indicating the motorcycle had been found, so there’s a strong possibility this theft ring is either shipping them out of the country or chopping it and selling the parts.

In early January 2022, several bikes were swiped from Two Wheels World Ducati in Pompano Beach. No information about that theft has been released, so we don’t know what was swiped, how it was taken, or even how many thieves there were.

Back on February 12, 2021 two guys broke into BCG International Corporation in Miami, stealing two Ducatis in under a minute, proving they knew what they wanted and how to get it quickly. The owner said the Italians were worth about $32,000.

Showing this problem has been going on for a while, there was a Ducati theft from a house in North Miami Beach in October of 2018. That one involved four guys and a pickup truck, so it was a different MO. Still, it shows that if you own an expensive motorcycle it’s wise to take all the precautions you can to secure it. But, as we learn with the theft of the Ducati Panigale V4 R, if the thieves are professionals and they really want your ride, they’ll get it, so get good insurance coverage.

Sources: CBS4 Miami, Local 10, 7 News Miami, NICB

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