GPS system helps authorities track stolen truck, motorcycles to Gastonia

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Shavonne Potts
Authorities used a stolen truck’s satellite tracking device to track it ó and the stolen motorcycles it carried ó to Gastonia.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office is searching for the thief or thieves who stole the truck and then apparently used it to haul motorcycles away from Extreme Motorcycles on West Ritchie Road. Two of the three stolen motorcycles have been recovered.
No arrests have been made yet.
Sometime early Thursday, authorities say, someone stole a box truck from a business at 870 Corporate Circle. Salisbury Police Chief Mark Wihelm said the business owner noted the truck was gone later that morning.
But the global positioning system on the truck tracked its route from Corporate Circle to the motorcycle dealership’s West Ritchie Road location.
Rowan Sheriff’s Capt. John Sifford said one of the motorcycles never made it off the property. Deputies found it laying on rocks outside the shop.
Investigators dusted for fingerprints and took casts of footprints.
They connected the two crimes when authorities recovered the truck and another stolen motorcycle in Gastonia.
Extreme Motorcycles owner Dirk Newsome said he was impressed with the “diligence and thoroughness” of investigators in the matter.
He said people have tried without success in the past to break into the business.
In those previous attempts, law enforcement officers were able to intervene before any items were taken.
“Oftentimes we’ll have security that stays at night,” he said.
Security was at the store the day before the incident, but not that Thursday.
The store has 16 security cameras and a pretty sophisticated security system, Newsome said.