Seller beware: Five motorbike sales turn into thefts

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Police in New Bedford are warning residents to take care in selling motor vehicles online, after five reports in one month of potential buyers taking off with motorbikes and never coming back.

  • May 26: a Rhode Island man and his teenage son took their dirt bike to an address on Van Buren St. after posting it for sale on Facebook
  • June 3: a Chatham man took his motorcycle to Pacheco School on Mt. Pleasant St. after posting it for sale online
  • June 5: a Manchester, N.H. man took his motorcycle to the Pacheco School after posting it for sale on Craigslist
  • June 13: a man from Cranston, R.I. brought his motorcycle to an address on Highland Street after listing it for sale via a mobile app called OfferUp
  • June 20: a man from North Attleboro brought his motorcycle to the parking lot of the Price Rite Supermarket on Hathaway Road after listing it for sale on the OfferUp app

Detectives believe the incidents may be connected.

Police said a safer way to make transactions of this nature is to meet at the parking lot of New Bedford Police headquarters at 871 Rockdale Ave., which is designated a safe Internet purchase exchange site. The parking lot is under video surveillance constantly and residents are encouraged to use it, said Lt. Amos Melo on Wednesday.

Anyone with information about the vehicle thefts is asked to call the police at (508) 991-6350. Anonymous tips can also be phoned in at (508) 992-7463 or by email to tip@newbedfordpd.com.