Bike thieves strike Bike Week visitors

PERKINS TWP. Kimberly Martin lost something she had worked years for. And she's not t
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

PERKINS TWP.

Kimberly Martin lost something she had worked years for.

And she's not the only one.

Martin, 42, of Toledo, is one of five motorcycle enthusiasts who had their bikes stolen during Bike Week festivities. Four of the bikes disappeared late Tuesday while their owners were at a Jimmy Van Zant concert at the Erie County fairgrounds.

"How would they feel if someone took something from their mother?" Martin asked.

The divorced mother of three said she spent years saving enough money to buy her 2005 Harley-Davidson Soft Tail motorcycle. Now she says the bike -- valued at $16,500, according to a sheriff's office report -- may never be returned.

"I'm assuming they were professionals," she said. "Usually bikers look out for each other. They had to know what they were looking for and what they were doing."

So far there are few leads and no arrests in the case, said Erie County Sheriff's Capt. Paul Sigsworth.

"I don't know that they were taken for a joy ride," he said, adding that deputies were at the fairgrounds at the time. "None of (the bikes) have been recovered at this point."

There are no known eyewitnesses to the thefts, which all occurred from about 10-11 p.m. that night.

Another victim, Paul Kwapich, 54, also of Toledo, has been to a handful of biker rallies but never thought this would happen to him.

"I'm still sick about it," he said. "I just bought it. It's brand new."

Kwapich said he bought the bike, a 2007 Harley-Davidson Road Glide, a little more than a year ago.

"I'll never get back what I put in it," he said. "I'm pretty disgusted with my fellow mankind."

The bike was valued at about $19,000, according to the report.

The bike was locked to prevent theft. After the concert Kwapich had to ride home on one of his friends' bikes.

"As time goes on the chances of finding it get worse," he said. "I feel miserable."

Another theft, outside Excuses Lounge on Columbus Avenue, may be related to the bikes stolen from the fairgrounds, Sigsworth said.

Close to 3 a.m. Wednesday a 2000 Harley-Davidson Dyna Wide Glide bike was stolen from a Sandusky man. Perkins police and the sheriff's office are sharing information in the cases, Sigsworth said.

Anyone with information about the stolen bikes should call detectives at 419-627-7553.