(WSVN) - A man moved to South Florida hoping to ride his dirt bikes all year round. But just days after arriving in the Sunshine State, his bikes were taken by police and never seen again. Now, he just wants justice for his stolen ride.
During the Martin Luther King Jr. “Wheels Up, Guns Down” protests in January, police would confiscate bikes of those riding illegally. But one man says he wasn’t riding at all, and two of his bikes were taken anyway.
Before he could even walk, Benjamin was riding dirt bikes, a shared passion seen by an entire community.
Benjamin: “Whenever I was a little baby, my dad has pictures of him riding the dirt bike and having me sitting in his lap, so I grew up riding dirt bikes.”
The 18-year-old loves his bikes — and puts a lot into them.
Benjamin: “I saved up for so long to get those bikes and all the work that I put into them and money spent.”
But in January, his bikes were taken by Miami-Dade Police who were cracking down on illegal riding over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.
Benjamin was shocked because he wasn’t riding his bikes. In fact, one of the bikes taken didn’t even have a working engine.
Benjamin: “Someone was riding their dirt bike on the street and he pulled up to the house where we were working on my dirt bike.”
Benjamin: “The police just started pulling them out of the backyard and loading them on the tow truck.”
No one from the department would speak with 7News on camera, but the police report says the bikes were taken as part of an “investigation” and impounded at Downtown Towing.
Benjamin: “All the police cars were at the house where the bikes were taken from, probably around 12 police officers.”
Rosenny Burgos, Benjamin’s attorney: “I found that it was extremely odd that the police goes to his house. He wasn’t using the bikes.”
When Benjamin went to pick his bikes up from the tow lot, he got another surprise — the bikes had been stolen!
Benjamin: “I was pretty bummed ’cause I knew I had to go pay the fee to get it out, both the bikes, but I didn’t think they would be stolen out of the impound.”
The police report states: “Vehicles without hold orders become the responsibility of the garage at the time of tow-in.”
In surveillance video, seven people can be seen stealing seven bikes. Two of those bikes belonged to Benjamin.
Police are looking for the thieves, and Benjamin is looking for answers.
Benjamin: “It’s like I didn’t get the respect, like they’re like, ‘Oh, he’s just some kid. He had the dirt bikes, he’ll be OK. He had to take that loss.'”
And it’s a big loss. Benjamin says the two bikes were worth around $8,000. Now, all he can do is dream about getting back on a bike again.
Benjamin said at Palmetto Motorsports: “I would try to ride my bikes every other day, every day if I could.”
Miami-Dade Police said they went to Benjamin’s home after following a biker who was trying to get away from them.
They said they took the dirt bikes because the homeowner where Benjamin was staying said the bikes weren’t his and were abandoned in the yard.
Benjamin says that never happened.
If you have any information on the stolen bikes, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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