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One ATV recovered, two still missing in $100,000 theft

(WSAZ)
Published: Aug. 23, 2017 at 8:00 PM EDT
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JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A store owner says a break in a theft case has given him new hope after $100,000 worth of ATVs was stolen.

Marty Williams is the General Manager at M&M Powersports in Staffordsville, Kentucky.

He says four ATVs were stolen and one was damaged, totaling a retail value of around $100,000.

"Our customers suffer, our employees suffer, everybody suffers," Williams said. "It's just money taken out of the community, and that's what's a shame."

It has been a long and frustration summer. The crime happened back in June, but there have been few developments in the investigation until now.

The thieves first showed up between 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. June 1, according to Williams "for a scouting mission, you might say." He says it appears the suspects were trying to get a feel for what they could get away with and checking for video cameras. They also took one ATV that night.

He says the thieves returned in the early morning hours of June 4 and were caught on surveillance video. They stole three more ATVs and damaged a fourth while attempting to steal it.

But they didn't get far down the road with one of those stolen vehicles.

"They wrecked one of the machines and totaled it," Williams said.

Williams says his loyal customers have been relentless in scouring the community, looking for the stolen ATVs or the suspects. He says the outpouring of support has been nonstop since the day of the crime.

"I cannot short sell how wonderful our customers are," Williams said. "They're the ones that stick behind us and are working on this and bringing us leads right and left to find these machines and find the people that have done this."

On Monday, Aug. 21, Williams said a customer spotted and reported one of the stolen ATVs.

Williams reported it to Johnson County Sheriff's Deputy Terry Tussey, who responded to the home and recovered the ATV.

"I cannot short sell how wonderful our customers are because they're the ones that stick behind us and are working on this and bringing us leads right and left to find these machines and find the people that have done this," Williams said. "We will get them. No doubt about it because the customers are just fed up."

He says there's a good chance the remaining two ATVs will not look like they should because of how they found the ATV on Monday.

"They took a grinder and just ground the surface of this to change the appearance," Williams said. Most of the camo paint was gone, but deputies say they were able to identify the engine number.

Williams says the customer first identified the ATV because with the paint gone, it did not look like a typical Polaris.

The two missing ATVs are a black 2017 Kawasaki Teryx and a white 900S Polaris Ranger.

Deputies have multiple suspects, but charges are still pending.

The suspects were caught on surveillance video, but Williams says they were wearing masks.

Williams says the $100,000 only includes the retail value of the ATVs. It doesn't include the damage to at least two of them or the damage to the fence from where the thieves drove into it to escape.

He says he and his customers won't give up until arrests are made and the ATVs are returned.

"Whether it's they're fed up with the thievery or fed up with the drug issue, they're fed up and now they are stepping up and wanting a stop to it," Williams said.