Motorcycle Thefts Decline 6% In 2011. A total of 46,667 motorcycles were reported stolen in 2011, and 17,199 of them were recovered, according to a report released today by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. That compares to 49,791 stolen bikes in 2010, a decrease of 6 percent. Not surprisingly, the number of thefts increases dramatically in the warmer months. The largest number of thefts is on Mondays, the lowest number on Sundays. California ranks first as the state with the most thefts, followed by Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Indiana. The state reporting the lowest number of thefts was North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota, Vermont, Alaska, and Montana. Recoveries of stolen motorcycles were largely proportional to thefts, with California the leader in recoveries. The highest percentage of bikes stolen were Hondas (24%), Yamaha (19%), followed by Suzuki (16%), Kawasaki (11%)and Harley-Davidson (7%)
Lower Vendor Fees At The 2013 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Meade County will be lowering the cost of vendor fees during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. This pro-business decision will insure vendors have a reduced cost of business in high traffic venues such as the Sturgis Buffalo Chip and the free access CrossRoads At the Buffalo Chip. Vendors that reserve their permits online at least 30 days prior to the rally will receive a 10% discount, lowering their fee to $360. Vendor and permit information may be found on BuffaloChip.com or by calling 605-347-9000.
Legal battle Over Mongols MC’s logo Creates Headache For Feds. It’s a free-speech legal case that is also a cautionary tale about aggressive federal use of forfeiture to seize private property. Four years ago, the government seized the Mongols Motorcycle Club’s trademark (a ponytailed man riding a motorcycle.) The Club’s attorneys successfully challenged the prosecutors’ 2008 attempt to seize the Mongols’ trademark. A federal judge in Los Angeles ordered the Justice Department to pay $253,206 to these attorneys. Now the Justice Department is appealing the judge’s order to pay. In October 2008, a lengthy undercover investigation by four agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who managed to become patch-wearing members of the club, ended with a mass indictment of Mongols on racketeering and conspiracy charges, seizure of hundreds of firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, stacks of dollar bills and of the MC’s trademarked logo. At that time U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien declared victory stating that “If any law enforcement officer sees a Mongol wearing his patch, he will be authorized to stop that gang member and literally take the jacket right off his back.” Later, a judge in the case reasoned that the trademark belonged to the organization, not to individuals, and therefore un-indicted club members should still enjoy the right to use it.” Last February, another federal judge added that the Justice Department had to pay for the trademark fight because the government “violated settled First Amendment and trademark law.”