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COPS STEALING MOTORCYCLES

True Stories

by ROGUE, Senior Editor Bikernet.com
7/28/2021


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https://www.bikernet.com/pages/THE_STOLE_MOTORCYCLES_FILE.aspx

 Bandit wrote - I wrote my first book around a stolen motorcycle called Prize Possession. It was about my bike being stolen from the ER offices in Agoura Hills.

 

 There have been many stories about stolen motorcycles over the years and one that has to be included is about a Connecticut State Trooper R.J Kenny. We originally did some articles on him and his tactics back in the '70s in Easyriders and were retaliated against for doing so. More on that as the article continues.

 Trooper Kenny was a member of the Connecticut Biker Task Force and first came to my attention when I was International President of the HUNS MC and also an Officer of Connecticut Motorcycle Rights.

 The owner of a local aftermarket motorcycle shop in Bridgeport named Chicken Lips Choppers contacted me and told me Trooper Kenny had just been at his shop and confiscated one of his motorcycles. It was a big twin that had the front end changed to a Sportster type. This was a very common thing being done to motorcycles. The owner said all the parts were legal and Trooper Kenny told him the numbers did not match the factory numbers, DUHH. I got the owner hooked up with a local attorney.

 I short time later, I was contacted by Schetinger Harley-Davidson in Bridgeport about a motorcycle they had sold to a local member of the Hells Angels. The motorcycle was built from two police motorcycles that the dealership had taken in on trade and been inspected by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles and a new title was issued.

Trooper Kenny had stopped the club member which was extremely common practice at the time, on Route 8 for some bogus reason. The cops ended up confiscating the motorcycle. The club member contacted the dealership and according to them was threatening to sue them. The dealership asked me to get involved and see if I could help.

 I started off by filing an official complaint against Trooper Kenny

 Of course, this did not go over well with him and shortly after that I was stopped by him on Route 8 while riding to my home in Seymour. My wife at the time was Beep and she was riding on the back of my motorcycle. Her cousin Bobby was riding with us.

After the normal license and registration check Trooper Kenny was asked why he stopped us. I do not remember exactly what his answer was, but it was bogus.

Things got testy very quickly after that when Trooper Kenny informed me that he was going to inspect my motorcycle. I did not have a problem with that as I had recently purchased it from a shop. As it turned out the transmission in my motorcycle was not the one that came in it from the factory. It appears the shop I bought the motorcycle from had removed it to put Andrews gears in it and it got switched with another motorcycle. The shop eventually got everything straightened out and I got my motorcycle back. The fact that there was a different transmission in the motorcycle than came from the factory does not make it illegal.

After inspecting my motorcycle trooper Kenny informed me, he was going to search me. I laughed at him and said you are not man enough to do that and suggested he call for back up. Yea I know, probably not the best thing to say. But this was the '70s and a very difficult time for club members.

 Luckily it turned out better than expected. An older Waterbury Police Officer showed up. When he approached me, he said I was asked to search you. I said are you asking permission to search me? He said, "Yes."

I agreed and told him, "If it is okay with you, I will carefully remove everything from my pockets and place it on the trunk of your car and then turn my pockets inside out. You can the search me, but if you grab me by the balls, I will knock you out."
 
He stepped back and said, "Why would I do that.
 
I answered because that is what your buddy has a reputation of doing. Well the search went well, and I did not have anything on me that was illegal.

 The officer went to Trooper Kenny and told him. The officer came back to me and said, "They want me to handcuff you."

I asked why and he said he did not know. I placed my hands out in front of me and he handcuffed me.

 I was watching what was happening to Bobby, and he was buck ass naked standing on the side of route 8 waving to the traffic. You know what he was waving, lol.

 Trooper Kenny then approached me and as he got close, he held out his hand and in it was a red and white cigarette pack and he said, "Well Rogue, Look What I Found On You."

He never got close enough to me to actually put it in my pocket, because I put a snap kick up in his face. I was charged with drug possession. The Waterbury Police Office later stated in court I did Not have that on me, when he had properly searched. He was about to retire and had never planted evidence on anyone during his career and was not about to start now.

 

 My motorcycle got confiscated. It was later returned to me. Luckily, I went to pick it up with a trailer, as the cops had removed one of the lifter blocks, and when they put it back together, they did not adjust the valves.

 

Well this incident was the start of the ROGUES NOT GUILTY -T-shirts. Of course, the incident and articles on it appeared in Easyriders and Biker Newspaper. This led to Trooper Kenny confiscating Leon’s Puller Bike at the following Easyriders Rodeo. Eventually Leon got the bike back but Easyriders stopped putting on rodeos in Connecticut.

 I had been told that Trooper Kenny was removed from the Biker Task Force. I moved from Connecticut to Florida and was never able to confirm that.

 My next experience with the Biker Task Force was in Daytona, while I was working for Quantum Motorcycle. We were set up at Carl’s Speed Shop, when one of our staff came and told me someone was messing with my motorcycle.

 I came out the door to catch a dude moving my oil tank feed line. I said, Hey what the fuck do you think you are doing?"

He answered I am a member of the Biker Task Force and I am checking the numbers on this motorcycle. I told him to check with his eyes and keep his fucking hands of the motorcycle. He commented on my language and got even more upset when I asked what the fuck was wrong with it.
 
Things got a little testy and a crowd started to assemble to see what was going on and so did a supervisor for the officer. We had a conversation about inspecting motorcycles and how it should be handled. They noted the numbers on them, and they left.

Later in the day another group came by, and when one of them went to check my motorcycle he was told not to. They moved down the line and were going over someone’s bike. The owner's wife was upset and crying. I called a local attorney had her talk to him and him eventually the cop. They ended up not taking the bike.

We wrote articles on incidents like this from time to time. I remember one from the Daytona News Journal about one of the cops riding a confiscated motorcycle and getting in a wreck with it. There are a bunch more, but you get the idea.

 While in Rapid City one year at the old Harley Dealership downtown a motorcycle was stolen and cops followed the guy and eventually caught him and others involved in steeling bikes. This was big news.

 While that was going on, a group of cops from Chicago were busy in the Black Hills confiscating motorcycles. Luckily some brother who had bikes stolen, they contacted the local authorities. motorcycles were taken contacted local law enforcement. The tractor trailer full of stolen bikes was stopped from leaving the area. I am not sure what the outcome of that was, as it got hushed up quick. The only reason I knew about it was a personal friend of mine was there, and the cops attempted to take his motorcycle, but he was able to stop that from happening.

A question keeps popping up about Motorcycle Task Forces.  Are they necessary and how affective they are? It appears more motorcycles are stolen than ever recovered.

Another question, is it a good use of Taxpayer Money to bring police in from other states during motorcycle events to check for stolen motorcycles.

What happened to recovered stolen motorcycles? In some cases, attempts are made to return them to original owners. There are exceptions to this. Sometimes, if the motorcycle was insured and the insurance company paid the owner for the loss, he'll never see it again. During the time I was monitoring the actions of the Biker Task Force in Connecticut, in many cases the insurance companies did not want the motorcycles, and the state would the auction them off.

 The notice of the auctions reached very few people and usually were purchased by members of law enforcement or other state employees for pennies on the dollar. The same happened to folks who could not afford to go through the procedure to prove the motorcycle was legal.

Many people believe Confiscating Motorcycle that are Not Stolen or uncertain numbers on them is a form of steeling by members of law enforcement. 

 Law enforcement should not be allowed to profit from confiscated items. The law should be changed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Reader Comments


Michael Infanzon
We changed the civil asset forfeiture laws here in Arizona. Must be convicted before they can keep your stuff. If any other state wants the language we used for the bill, feel free to contact me. Lobbyist@abateofaz.org.

Rogue
Palm Bay, FL
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Editor Response Congratulations! Well done.


--Bandit
Those kind of stories remind me of the chain of events that happened around 1979 and 1980 in the South Bay area. The cops would call you to pick up your property and it would be in a pile in the middle of the floor. You had a gun confiscated and you were arrested on a felony charge of some sort. I have no idea about all the bikes impounded but mine was protected by my dogs.

Gearhead
Torrance, CA
Wednesday, July 28, 2021

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