The co-owner of a power sports dealership in Île-des-Chênes, Man., found a very unpleasant surprise when he came to work Sunday morning.
Derek Roth said he found the six-foot chain-link fence surrounding the Adventure Power Products compound — which sells and services motorcycles, boats, ATVs and other vehicles — caved in, and five motorcycles stolen.
“It looks like it was a very specific crime,” Roth told Global News.
The thieves apparently drove a Ford F150 into the fence, repeatedly, without success, until they tried the front entrance, he said.
“The fence held up and did what it was supposed to do, so they eventually decided to drive the truck right through the gated area of the compound — drove right through the front entrance.”
Roth said he doesn’t think the heist was random, because whoever broke in also stole an enclosed trailer, which they used to load the stolen goods.
Roth estimates the damage to the fence, plus the stolen vehicles, which were at the shop to be serviced, to be “probably a $50,000 night.”
“Sadly, it’s par for the course these days,” he said, talking about ongoing thefts to Manitoba businesses.
“It seems like if somebody wants something, they’re going to do what they can to grab it.”
The timing couldn’t be worse for Roth, who was in the process of installing new sensors on the compound’s fence — which would have alerted him to a break-in as it was happening.
“All the sensors were put up but they weren’t hooked to our alarm system yet. Had this happened in another week, we might have been able to catch them red-handed.”
While reports have been filed with both local RCMP and Winnipeg police, Roth said there are also a number of customers and others in the local power sports community who have been watching for the stolen goods and posting any tips and information on social media.
One customer, he said, spotted the bikes being ridden in the city.
“These guys are out riding them around in Winnipeg the very next day,” said Roth.
“Let’s face it, in our world whether you’re a car dealer, a motorcycle dealer, a snowmobile/offroad dealer, we all experience it as dealers.
“The only thing it ever does is drive insurance rates up. It’s the good customer that ends up paying for one way or another.”
Winnipeg police told Global News that motorcycle thefts have been increasing in recent years.
In June, 20 motorcycles were reported stolen in the city, higher than the five-year average of 11, and up from 19 in 2019.
In May of 2020, a high of 22 motorcycles were stolen in Winnipeg, also up from the previous year and double the five-year average for that month.
Manitoba RCMP confirmed the incident in Île-des-Chênes and ask anyone with information to call the detachment in St-Pierre Jolys at 204-433-7908.