Clemson Theft Spree Victims Unlikely to Get Stolen Vehicles Back - WSPA.com

Clemson Theft Spree Victims Unlikely to Get Stolen Vehicles Back

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Clemson Police say Chadwick Marion Abercrombie turned himself in to officers Wednesday morning and is under arrest. He faces a charge of grand larceny. Clemson Police say Chadwick Marion Abercrombie turned himself in to officers Wednesday morning and is under arrest. He faces a charge of grand larceny.

James Sanders is actually one of the lucky ones.

He got his stolen moped back -- even if it wasn't in one piece.

“They had ripped all of this off on both sides. You have plastics that have been broken up here that I've glued back on," said Sanders, pointing out various parts of his moped that had been stripped.

A few days after it was stolen, Sanders’ buddies spotted what was left of the moped a few blocks away.

Twelve hours of work and a whole lot of duct tape later, it's back in action.

His moped is one of 38 stolen vehicles -- including mopeds, motorcycles, cars, even utility trailers -- Clemson police are investigating.

Clemson Police Chief Jimmy Dixon said thefts of mopeds and motorcycles usually pick up around this time of year, when students return to school. But this large of a number in this short of a time frame is not something his department was expecting.

Police arrested Chadwick Abercrombie Wednesday morning. He’s facing one charge of grand larceny, but investigators are questioning him about the other thefts.

Dixon said his arrest is a step in the right direction, but police haven't been able to track down any of the stolen goods.

“If we can find them at all, it makes it almost impossible," said Dixon.

That's because the vehicles are usually stripped for parts like Sanders' moped was, which makes them tough to identify.

Dixon said people whose vehicles are stolen can essentially kiss any hope of getting them back goodbye.

“In all practical purposes, yeah,” said Dixon.

Serial numbers are the best way for police to get stolen items back to you.

Sanders keeps his moped's serial number on his cellphone.

“I went on ahead and took down the make, and the model and the serial number just in case something ever happened,” said Sanders. “If someone sees an opportunity, they'll take advantage of it, as sad as that is."

If your vehicle gets stolen, your options are pretty limited. Your law enforcement agency's victim’s advocate will probably work with you, but your insurance company is your best bet for getting a replacement.

Dixon said there are some things that will increase the chances your stolen items are returned. Sometimes thieves strip off the serial number before they sell it. So your best bet might be to put a special marking on it in a hidden place, which will help police identify it even if the serial number is gone. Sanders’ moped had a unique sticker on it, which made it easy for his friends to identify.

Police are looking for your help locating these stolen vehicles. They are asking anyone who purchased items from Chadwick Abercrombie to call investigators at 864-624-2000.

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