Thefts of motorcycles up in Duval County and around the country

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office reports that the thefts of motorcycles increased substantially this year compared to last.  According to an report in The Florida Times Union, there are already as many of these thefts this year than in all of 2015.  The article reports that the weather warming up contributes to the spike.  Many of the motorcycles are sold off for their parts either at a shop or online.  The state of Florida ranks second for motorcycle thefts in the United States.

If someone steals a motorcycle and sells off the parts, a couple of crimes can be charged in Jacksonville.  The obvious one is Grand Theft.  Theft is knowingly taking someone’s property intending to temporarily or permanently deprive them of their property.  It becomes “grand” and a third degree felony if the value of the item is over $300.00 or if the item is a motor vehicle.  If convicted of a third degree felony in Florida, you are facing up to five years in prison.  If the value of the item is below $300.00 and $100.00 or over, the crime can be charged as a first degree misdemeanor.  If below $100.00, it is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

The other crime that can be charged is substantially more serious and in most cases, easier to prove.  Dealing in stolen property in Duval County is a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison.  Any person who buys, sells or even tries to buy or sell items he or she knew or should have known was stolen can be charged.  In the motorcycle thefts, if the parts are put for sale on ebay, each part being sold can be a separate criminal charge.  When something is stolen either in a burglary or from a theft, police will scour pawn shops for recent sales and will peruse websites such as craigslist and ebay trying to find the items.

If a person tries to sell you an item far below it’s value, think twice before buying.  Just buying something you “should have known” was stolen can subject you to a felony arrest.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Grand Theft Lawyer, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.