Motorcycle stolen in Key West, thief ditches it 86 miles away after chase and isn't found

August 27, 2014 

This is the model and colors of the stolen Suzuki.


A thief -- yet to be caught -- traveled 86 miles on a stolen sport motorcycle Monday before abandoning it while being chased by Keys deputies.

The thief ran away after dropping the Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle, stolen from Key West, on the ground behind Sands of the Keys, an office-equipment business at mile marker 86 in Islamorada.

No arrests had been made at press time Tuesday.

However, lawmen with the Key West Police Department and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office have plenty of visual evidence of the crime.

The 4 a.m. theft from Applerouth Lane, not far from the Freeman Justice Center, was recorded by high-definition surveillance cameras set up by Kristopher Ball, the motorcycle owner and an information-technology professional.

Ball told Key West officers that he woke up around 4:20 a.m. to take out the trash and discovered his 2012 motorcycle missing from a driveway. He went back inside to check what police describe as "several high-definition security cameras" covering the building.

The video showed two men looking at the motorcycle around 4:10 a.m. They picked up the bike and moved it to the street, where one started it and rode away.

The other man apparently left by car. The thieves broke a steering lock on the Suzuki.

Around 90 minutes later, a Sheriff's Office deputy driving south spotted the motorcycle headed north near mile marker 62 at Duck Key but was unable to pursue it.

Deputy Rosary Ponce waited at mile marker 73 and soon saw the Suzuki. Ponce followed at normal speeds while joined by deputies Caridad Bellon and Ralph Williams.

At mile marker 84 at Whale Harbor, Ponce turned on the patrol car's lights and siren to make a stop. The motorcycle operator slowed and pulled into the bike lane, then sped off. The lightweight, high-powered GSX-R1000 is capable of speeds in excess of 150 mph.

The deputies reported hitting 100 mph during a three-mile chase before the motorcycle darted behind the Sands building. Deputies arrived moments later, finding the $10,000 motorcycle and a helmet, but no sign of the thief. An extensive search of the area by lawmen failed to find the suspect, described as wearing a camouflage hoodie sweatshirt.

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