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ATV thefts on the rise in Lindale area


POSTED: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 6:49pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 6:17pm

CORRECTION: Broadway Powersports tells KETK titles are required for new ATVs by the state.

The problem comes when they are resold after the fact.


It's a problem that usually goes up this time of year anyway, but one part of Smith County is seeing a lot more of it right now.

The Constable's office for Precinct 5 has seen a rise in all-terrain vehicle thefts in Lindale.

Constable Kenneth Bibby tells KETK though he doesn't have an exact number, he's seen 10 to 15 reports of stolen ATV's recently just within his area.

"(Thieves) are out in areas of homes, whether you have a open garage or (it's left out), it's easy access," Bibby said. "It's complicated because they can be sold on Craig's List as well, and then be used in a farm or ranching area where they aren't accessible to be reviewed by law enforcement."

Though we couldn't get any victim of the recent thefts to talk to us, employees at Select Power Sport in Lindale say local law enforcement has them on extra high alert.

"Lindale Police Department has contacted us asking if we have had anyone bring in four-wheelers that need keys or ignitions," said Alexander Whatley, owner of Select Power Sport.

It's a problem Broadway Powersports in Tyler is all too familiar with, as well.

"One of the biggest problems with ATV thefts is the fact that they are not required to be titled by the state," said Tray Whiteside of Broadway Powersports. "Therefore, they can be taken from your location and easily re-sold."

Employees of the store say they've helped in recovering numerous stolen ATVs in recent years.

"What we try to do is run the VIN on everything that comes through," Whiteside said. "If we get a hot VIN, at that point, we notify the law and let them take over."

Of course, recording that serial number is the most important thing to remember.

Bibby says don't entice thieves by leaving your ATVs out.

Take photos of your property and record and distinctive markings that could help law enforcement locate the item in the event it does get stolen.

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