A suspected serial motorcycle thief is in custody after Pearland police say he sped off on several after telling the owners he was going for a test drive, Chron reports.
When local motorcycle groups started to notice a rash of thefts with a familiar pattern, they contacted police.
The suspect, 23-year-old Chaisson N. Porche of Pearland, was going online through Craigslist and Ebay looking for sellers with dirt bikes, police reported. The suspect would arrive at the agreed-to meeting place and ask the seller if he could take the bike for a test spin.
“When the seller granted permission, the suspect would then take off and not come back,” Pearland police spokesman James Wells said.
Sometimes the suspect would trade fake car keys as guarantee of his return with the bike, police said.
“These people were trying to sell a product, and it’s common place for people to ask if it runs appropriately. They were acting in good faith and letting him test their product,” Wells said.
“The motorcycle community is a small and tight one and when you narrow that down to dirt-bike motorcycle riders, it’s going to get smaller and tighter,” Wells said.
Police are investigating how many bikes were stolen. At least three thefts have been confirmed.
“The end goal is to try and do what they can to recover anything taken without authorization, but unfortunately 100 percent recovery is not always possible in these kind of cases,” Wells said. “Normally, products like this can change hands two or three times, and there is not much of a paper trail.”