Good thieves can be hard to catch, stupid ones less so.
Catching motorcycles thieves can be a serious uphill battle. With the machines often being broken down into parts and hauled across state lines, less than 1/3 of stolen scoots are ever recovered (according to Esurance)—about half the recovery rate of cars. Police do have a markedly higher likelihood of catching moto thieves, if said moto thieves are complete and total idiots. You know, the kind that brags about their crimes and post photos of them sitting on stolen property to social media. That kind.
This tale of top-tier buffoonery began back on November 29 of 2018 when police in Racine County, Wisconsin responded to a burglary report where a myriad of weapons and accessories had been swiped from a residence. Four days later authorities received a second burglary report 20 minutes south of the initial break-in. This time the thieves made off with a collection of various DeWalt tools, plus several dirt bikes, including a 2009 Yamaha and an unspecified Kawasaki (with the stolen items reportedly totaling around $12,000).
Not long after the second burglary, an employee of the dirtbikes’ owner starting hearing an acquaintance bragging about a pilferage in which a handful of tools were stolen along with several MXers from a local property. On top of the thief boasting about his loot, he also made the ever-so-wise decision to photograph himself on the stolen Yamaha—photos where the stolen Kawasaki can be seen in the background—and then post that photo to Snapchat. Brilliant.
Thanks to that very post, police were able to confirm the employee’s story. Said employee was then asked to call the thief, 19-year-old Todd Kerkman of Union Grove, in an effort to get Kerkman to admit to the dirty deeds whilst police listened in. Unsurprisingly, Kerkman was all too happy to gloat about crime, giving law enforcement everything they needed to file charges. And that they did.
A short time later authorities were knocking on Kerman’s door, where they later arrested the alleged thief without incident. During the apprehension police also searched the 19-year-old’s car where they recovered walkie-talkies and a pry-bar that Kerman admitted to using during the commission of his second crime. Kerkman also opened up to authorities about whom the crimes were carried out with; two friends of his that happened to be 16-year-old minors.
As a result of his crimes, Kerkman is now facing charges of concealing stolen property, concealing a stolen fire-arm, multiple counts of burglary, possession of burglarious tools, and four counts of contributing to the delinquency of minor (because his accomplices were 16). I think the moral of the story is don’t steal other peoples’ motorcycles, but if you do, maybe don’t post evidence of it to social media. Just maybe.