Daytona Beach Police have busted a rolling chop shop that was operating out of a weekly rental in New Smyrna Beach and appears to have been shuttling stolen bikes between Florida and New York for as long as five years.
Police arrested Richard George Cintron, 32, of Brooklyn, NY, who appeared in court Tuesday.
What put the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Motorcycle Task force onto the suspects was the choice of bike: police received a report on a stolen 2007 Suzuki DRZ 400 that was registered in New Jersey.
“This style of motorcycle is uncommon in Florida and not often seen in this area,” the report states.
The owner contacted local shops and asked them to call if any parts from his bike turned up. A mechanic at Daytona Cycles and Salvage responded to tell him a customer had come in to have tires and spokes transferred from one set of wheels to another. Police say they were that owner’s wheels, and they picked Richard Cintron and Valentin Gallan, 24, up when they came to claim the wheels.
During an interview at the police station, Gallan agreed to take detectives to the rest of the bike. When they arrived at the rental home, police found six more bikes in the garage, and a “pigtail” for bypassing ignition systems in the house. Some of the bikes in the garage had altered VINs.
Some time during the investigation and search of the home, Gallan told detectives he had been friends with Cintron for about five years, and that he had gotten a Florida driver’s license while staying with friends to avoid high insurance rates in New York. According to the report, he later admitted helping Cintron register more than seven stolen bikes in Florida.
He also told police he had paid Richard Cintron $1,000 for a stolen bike and $300 to switch the VIN tag with one from a bike he’d totaled.
Police said motorcycle thefts thefts went from 26 in 2008 to 42 in 2009.
WFTV talked to the woman who owned the rental home, who described them as polite. She says they gave her their IDs and even asked if they should take their shoes off in the house to avoid getting the carpet dirty. Posted by Holly Wagner