Front door stops some robbers at Tennessee Harley-Davidson dealership

After a comically bad robbery attempt at a Tennessee Harley-Davidson dealership on May 29th, the American manufacturer seem to be noticing a trend of robberies at the moment.

Harley-Davidson Appleton Tennessee photo Trey Keese

HARLEY-DAVIDSON appears to have a bit of an American theft problem at the moment, with a number of dealerships experiencing a spate of robberies in 2021 - with the most recent attempt at Appleton Harley-Davidson in Clarksville, Tennessee leading to a rather comical ending.

Five thieves (donning motorcycle helmets to conceal their identity) broke into the family-run Tennessee dealership at around 3 am on Saturday the 29th of May, took their pick of motorcycles, and made for the front door.

Once there, they found the door was locked (naturally) and not easily opened without a key - so took to ramming one of the machines repeatedly against the door until it gave way. 

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Unfortunately, three of the thieves managed to make an escape on the motorcycles, but the last two weren’t so lucky. One of the hapless robbers managed to get stuck in the door, and with police on the way & their accomplice trapped behind them, both were forced to abandon the scene. They took off on foot, seen fleeing on CCTV. 

Upon hearing this story, I was picturing the would-be thieves trapped in the front door shoulder-to-shoulder, unfortunately it’s not quite that comical (although they likely have the same IQ).

Of the three stolen motorcycles, two were reported by Clarksville Now as being on consignment (and due to return to their owners), with the last a custom-made CVO.

Harley-Davidson robberies in America, what’s going on across the pond?

Seemingly set off by the Kokomo Harley-Davidson robbery back in March, with those thieves riding out the front door with around $100k worth of bar & shield merchandise, around 12 dealers across Illinois, Indiana, Alabama and Kentucky have been targeted, with 3 of those coming in the last month.

Owner of the Appleton dealership, Tia Suiter said: 

“I don’t want to say any time is a good time to be robbed, but like most dealerships right now, there’s not much on the lot. We have no inventory. We have nothing in the showroom.”

“I feel blessed no one was injured or hurt. I feel blessed that we only lost three bikes. I’m very happy that the employees weren’t there and this didn’t happen during open hours. We love our employees and we love our community.”

Whilst robberies at dealerships aren’t a new thing by any means, it’s strange that so many Harley-Davidson dealers are reporting thefts at the moment. Desirable machines or not, no doubt HD dealers will have security on high alert for the rest of the year.