DeLand motorbike shop break-in may be connected to group in Orlando, police say
Police: 4 arrested after 10 motorcycles stolen from bike shop with U-Haul
DeLAND, Fla. – Authorities are investigating a burglary at a motorbike shop in DeLand that could be connected to a group out of Orlando, authorities said.
DeLand police said the owner of DeLand Motorsports, located at 2610 South Woodland Boulevard, saw, through a live surveillance video system, as many as 15 people break into the business early Saturday.
The thieves shattered a glass window to the business and loaded 10 motorcycles into the back of a U-Haul truck before driving away with them, police said.
The owner reported the break-in and a Volusia County deputy spotted the U-Haul truck a short time later on State Road 472. When the deputy approached the truck, four men bailed from it and got into a silver Hyundai and took off, according to police.
Around 3:50 a.m., a Florida Highway Patrol trooper spotted the Hyundai going west on I-4 toward Orlando. Before the trooper activated their lights, the driver of the Hyundai stopped and most of the passengers got out and ran away, police said.
One of the suspects, identified as 19-year-old Jalen Thomas, of Orlando, stayed with the vehicle and was taken into custody.
Thomas told investigators the vehicle belonged to his girlfriend and that he was approached by someone named "Sed" the day before who told Thomas he was going to commit the burglary and that he needed Thomas to be the getaway driver, according to an arrest affidavit.
Thomas agreed and drove from Orlando to a car dealership in DeLand to meet Sed, who gave him a ski mask and said "let's go to work," Thomas told investigators. Thomas said when he arrived at DeLand Motorsports, the window was already broken and the U-Haul was there, according to the report.
Thomas said four other people got into the Hyundai with him after the motorcycles were taken and Sed was driving before they were pulled over, the affidavit said.
Three others, who fled from the Hyundai on I-4, were found hiding behind houses south of where they pulled over, police said.
[WATCH BELOW: DELAND SURVEILLANCE VIDEO OF ATV THEFT]
Each of the suspects, including Thomas, is charged with burglary of a structure with damage of more than $1,000. The three suspects found hiding, identified as Bobby James, 18, Quayshaun Grace, 22 and Jaqyoune Adams, 23, who are all from Orlando, are facing additional charges of loitering and prowling, the report said.
The suspects were booked into the Seminole County Jail before being transferred to the Volusia County Jail.
DeLand police said the stolen bikes were recovered but damaged. The value of the bikes, in addition to the damage to the business and merchandise, is estimated at more than $100,000.
Authorities are searching for other people in connection with the case and believe the suspects may be part of a larger group out of Orlando.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina announced Thursday that local police agencies are working together to stop groups of ATV riders who are driving recklessly on Central Florida roads and putting other motorists' lives at risk.
On Sunday, at least a dozen riders swarmed Edgewood, causing a crash with a pregnant woman who they then assaulted, according to police. Later that same day, deputies said a group made an illegal U-turn on Florida's Turnpike, ultimately causing another crash.
In the most recent encounter, a deputy who was trying to stop an ATV rider ended up getting dragged behind the vehicle for almost 10 feet, according to the arrest report.
It's unclear whether the DeLand incident is related to the others. Authorities said they are still investigating and will release more information as it becomes available.
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