by Kate Shunney
An early morning break-in at Ridersville Cycle in Berkeley Springs is being tied to a known theft ring that has targeted cycle shops in the region.
West Virginia State Police Sgt. H.D. Heil said Friday there have been similar crimes in Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey in recent weeks.
According to police, on Friday, May 17 at 4 a.m., officers responded to a breaking and entering at Ridersville Cycle, located in the 3800 block of Valley Road south of Berkeley Springs.
Owners of the business were able to access security video of the premises from their home and saw 10-12 suspects inside the store. Video posted on social media by the owner shows the suspects quickly moving into and through the cycle business, and along the outside of the buildings.
According to police, the owners travelled toward their business and noticed a 14-ft. U-Haul truck was traveling north on U.S. 522 away from their premises. They followed the truck, which began to drive recklessly and at one point, drove toward the owner’s vehicle, said police.
The U-Haul truck fled Berkeley Springs but the driver lost control of the truck in the area of Sand Mine Road, where it went off the road and got stuck in the mud. Suspects in the vehicle fled the scene before officers arrived.
Two motorcycles were found in the U-Haul, with a total value of $17,098. An investigation of the cycle shop inventory indicated the suspects took two other dirt bikes valued at $19,199.
Sgt. Heil continues to investigate the break-in. He said the suspects appear to be the same theft ring that has targeted motorcycle and bike shops in the region. The thieves specifically look for dirt bikes, said Heil.
He asked that anyone who sees unusual activity around a cycle shop in the region report that to police.