Discovery on eBay leads to arrest

A Raleigh man who lost his motorcycle to theft found that parts of it were being sold online

Staff WriterAugust 22, 2006 

— Peter Webb woke up on a March morning and found his 2002 Yamaha motorcycle with custom parts missing from in front of his apartment.

Police investigated, but no arrests were made immediately in the theft of the $4,800 motorcycle from Webb's Hunting Ridge Road apartment in North Raleigh.

But Webb, and a friend of the Raleigh man, had a feeling that the motorcycle would surface when the thief tried to make some money off the heist.

Four months after the theft, Webb called Raleigh police detectives in early July to tell them a friend of his spotted the custom exhaust system and other parts of Webb's motorcycle for sale on eBay, the online marketplace, said Jim Sughrue, spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department.

Webb contacted the eBay seller, "laauto517," and asked if the seller also had a motorcycle gas tank, according to a search warrant made public Monday. The seller did have a motorcycle gas tank and sent Webb a picture that looked exactly like the custom gas tank with "Yamaha" written on it that had been stolen from Webb, according to the search warrant and Sughrue.

Armed with that information, Raleigh police detectives contacted eBay and found out that the account traced back to a Durham man named Ahmon Amos. Raleigh police then obtained a warrant and searched Amos' Briardale Lane home on July 31. They seized parts of Webb's motorcycle in the search, as well as other vehicle parts believed to be stolen.

"It had been chopped for parts," Sughrue said.

Efforts to reach Amos were not successful.

Raleigh police, however, have not charged Amos in relation to the theft and Sughrue would not define what connection, if any, there is between Amos and the theft.

Police instead arrested Israel Taylor, 33, of 1424 Wyldewood Road in Durham, and charged him with felony larceny. Sughrue did not detail why investigators believe Taylor was responsible for the theft.

Taylor remains at the Wake County jail in lieu of a $100,800 bond.

Staff writer Sarah Ovaska can be reached at 829-4622 or sovaska@newsobserver.com.

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