Trial adjourned for four on motorcycle theft – 17th May 2013
The absence of a juror and other administrative issues forced the adjournment, Friday, the trial of four men who are charged with being involved with a criminal enterprise where some of the stolen motorcycles ended up in Guyana. Juror number two called in sick but assured the judge that he will be back on his feet again Monday. On Monday lead detective of the NYPD Orville Reid is expected to be grilled by Defence Attorneys on what evidence is available to convict the four, Steve Dow, Omar Thomas, Trumaine Francis and Damian Jones.
New York Newspapers have been reporting that some of the motorcycles recovered in the theft were themselves swiped from a Police Parking lot in the Bronx where they were being held as evidence in the case. There are reports too that some of the surveillance recordings were inadvertently wiped.
Prosecutors seemed not too concerned that some of the evidence may be missing. They are relying for the most part, on surveillance video, audio recordings, cell phone and sales records, the testimony of the detectives in the case and the owners of the motorbikes.
In addition, the prosecutors are claiming through their witnesses from NYPD, that vehicles have unique numbers known as VINs (Vehicle Identification Numbers) that indicate to whom the vehicles belong when a title of ownership is issued.
During the trial so far, the Defense Attorneys have attempted to question whether motorcycle parts could be obtained without reference to who really owns the bike. One of the men on trial is Guyanese Steve Dow who is a mechanic in NY and he is accused of dealing in the stolen motorcycles
Witnesses who have had their cycles stolen including popular Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda and even a Ducati are testifying or stipulating that their bikes were swiped off the street or from their yards between March 2011 and July last year.
Surveillance video shown in court indicated that a strange Minivan with two occupants turned up at a location and then a bike was missing when the van drove off.
The case is the largest motorcycle theft in the New York City area and some of the 33 defendants have entered guilty pleas already, others are still to go on trial and others are still to be located, some may have fled the US.
The Guyanese authorities have remained mum on this case although the same registration process is required in Guyana where VINs can be recorded and doubled checked with the NYPD database to indicate whether these were part of the over 40 stolen in NY.
The trial will continue on Monday and is expected to go on for another two weeks.