Thieves pulled off a Hollywood-style heist at a U.K. motorcycle dealership and left with a brand new Ducati Panigale V4 R through a hole cut in a cinder block wall.
Around 10:00 p.m. on Feb. 19, Winchester-based Moto Rapido Ducati was burglarized by thieves who managed to evade detection and burglar alarms by cutting a hole in an exterior-facing wall. The captors then left with the bike the same way they arrived, dragging the Ducati through the tiny hole and placing it into the back of a van. Given the dimensions of the space compared to the size of the bike, it’s worth raising the question just how much damage the brand new bike sustained during the getaway, which retails for $39,995 in the States.
Workers first noticed the robbery when opening the shop doors the next morning. According to the Hampshire Chronicle, employees reportedly felt “a bit of a breeze”, then found the hole and the missing high-end motorcycle.
Shop owner Steve Moore, who is also principal for British Superbike Championship team Moto Rapido Racing, reported the incident to authorities, though he doesn’t seem to expect the police to recover the missing bike any time soon. In fact, Moore said on Facebook that police received a noise complaint that night but didn’t respond.
The stolen Panigale V4 R had already been spoken for and was pending collection from a customer. Ducati worked with the shop to find a new Panigale in the buyer’s specifications and has agreed to ship a new bike from Italy. All that’s left for Moore is to sort out some insurance paperwork.
Like most criminals, the thieves weren’t perfect in covering all of their tracks. A security camera from a neighboring building caught a glimpse of at least one person with the bike, giving Moore a better understanding of the events which his own cameras were unable to capture.
Despite the theft occurring with Ocean’s Eleven precision, Moore says that he doesn’t feel as if it were an inside job.
“There are no old employees who I don’t trust,” wrote Moore on Facebook. “Nobody has ever left on unfriendly terms. We’re a small company.”
Moreover, Moore seems perplexed that thieves left behind a limited production Ducati Desmosedici RR which was parked nearby the Panigale V4 R. The Desmosedici RR is a 197-horsepower road-legal version of the Desmosedici MotoGP bike, and was produced from 2007-2008 with a retail cost of $72,500.
He went on to call the thieves’ entry point a “weak link,” though most people wouldn’t expect robbers to actually cut a hole through a wall just to gain access into a store. His shop has since been contacted by several other businesses that described thefts with similar means of entry, including one pedal bike shop from France which reportedly was broken into from an adjoining business. The hole has since been repaired and additional CCTV cameras installed to prevent something like this happening in the future.