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June 19, 2018

A.G. Shapiro on thieves who stole ATVs, dirt bikes: 'My office won't stand for it'

Three men are charged with the theft and illegal sales of more than $140,000 in off-road vehicles and lawnmowers

In an update released on Monday, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said his office is taking a hard stance on grand theft auto in a case involving the theft of more than $145,000 in all-terrain vehicles in Erie and Crawford counties last year.

On Monday, the three men — Burt Williams, 43, Alexander Corder, 40, and Michael Allen, 53 — are being held for trial following preliminary hearings. All three defendants are on trial for charges related to grand theft auto and the illegal sale of stolen ATVs, dirt bikes, off-road vehicles and lawnmowers from 12 dealerships throughout Erie and Crawford counties. 

Two other defendants, Everett Crowley, 52, and Jeffrey Edmond, 31, remain at large.

The defendants would enter dealerships at night by cutting the fence surrounding the building or by driving through it, resulting in costly damage, the report said.

Williams was the supposed "ATV theft ringleader," according to Shapiro's report, and paid at least two of the other defendants with crack cocaine. Williams allegedly directed Corder and Allen to commit most of the thefts and directed two other defendants to find buyers and move the stolen vehicles to unknowing customers into Erie and Crawford counties, and in some instances, to Atlanta, Ga.

In one instance, law enforcement recovered three lawnmowers valued at $30,000 from someone who had purchased the equipment from Williams for $1,200 without knowledge of the theft.

“Williams coordinated this ATV-theft ring in Northwest Pennsylvania, while he fed the addictions of two other defendants,” Shapiro said. 

“Thanks to the effective use of the grand jury and law enforcement collaboration with the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office and Pennsylvania State Police, these defendants will face justice.”