NYC motorcycle clubs unite to help biker recover stolen two-wheeler in Bronx, bust alleged culprit

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Fast — but not furious.

Biker bar and restaurant owner Shmuel Avital has been reunited with his custom made KTM 390 Duke motorcycle, thanks to a tight-knit biking community and the highway patrol. He now hopes to bring the guy he found riding the stolen two-wheeler into that mix.

 
NYC motorcycle clubs helped find Shmuel Avita's missing KTM 390 Duke motorcycle.
 

On Tuesday morning, Avital arrived for work at his East Village eatery Spiegel and immediately noticed his custom-made bike, which he parks out front, was missing.

Avital, who hosts a very popular motorcycle-friendly Two Wheels Tuesday event every week, immediately got the word out that his easily recognized bike was out there somewhere. Motorcycle clubs including The Missfires, MotoFellas and NY Classic Riders joined in the hunt by sharing information with their members.

 
 

“I posted photos on Instagram and put my phone number on it and all the motorcycle community shared it,” the longtime biking enthusiast said. “I got a phone call from a truck driver in the Bronx, he saw the bike, snapped a shot, and he sent me a picture.”

Dequavias Lewis is seen riding the stolen motorcycle.
Dequavias Lewis is seen riding the stolen motorcycle. (Courtesy of Shmuel Avital)

Avital then called his neighbor Brian Hamilton, who works for the highway patrol, to tell the officer that he was going to get his bike back and sprang into action on his primary ride — a much more powerful KTM Adventure.

After motoring 13 miles up the FDR, Avital was in the Bronx where he spotted the stolen bike, phoned in the location to Hamilton and pursued the alleged culprit.

“He pulled up next to a red light and I pulled up next to him,” Avital says.

Stalling until Hamilton arrived, Avital persuaded the guy on the stolen bike — later identified by police as Dequavias Lewis — to turn off the engine, pull over and let him check out the motorcycle.

“I was asking if he was selling the bike, asking him questions about the bike,” Avital said, noting that Lewis was starting to grow suspicious. “He was trying to tell me it’s not his, he just bought it from someone — my questions didn’t make sense and he didn’t make sense.”

Even though he’s an experienced racer, Avital, an Israeli army veteran, didn’t want to chase after the joyrider he’d spent his morning tracking down.

“When I saw the police cruiser coming toward us, he was trying to take off so I tackled him and held him down,” he said.

With help from an NYPD pick-up truck, Avital and his two bikes were home in time for this week’s Two Wheels Tuesday with plenty to celebrate. He says that it’s very rare for a stolen motorcycle to find its way back to the rightful owner.

“Between the police and Highway 1 (patrol) they really helped,” Avital said. “Normally, it never ends that way.”

Avital took a selfie with Lewis being arrested in the background.
Avital took a selfie with Lewis being arrested in the background. (Courtesy of Shmuel Avital)

Police charged Lewis with criminal possession of stolen property, unauthorized use of a vehicle and operating a motor vehicle without a license. He was arraigned Tuesday, released on his own recognizance, and is due back in criminal court June 20.

Avital says he just wanted his bike back and hopes the 20-year-old joyrider isn’t incarcerated over this one misstep. In fact, he understands Lewis’ attraction to fast bikes and wants to bring him into the biking community.

“He’s a kid who is admiring the wrong heroes,” Avital said. “We should probably get him a job in motorcycle world and get him back on track.”

 
NYC motorcycle clubs unite to help biker recover stolen two-wheeler in Bronx, bust alleged culprit
With the help of his friends, Shmuel Avital found his stolen motorcycle and tracked down the guy who had it personally. (Courtesy of Shmuel Avital)
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
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News Article written by: 
Brian Niemietz
Source of News article: 
nydailynews.com




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