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Old 2nd September 2015, 20:33   #1
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Default Harley-Davidson stolen in Hyderabad on pretext of 'Test Ride'

HYDERABAD: A man in his thirties allegedly stole a high-end bike worth Rs. 5.7 lakh from a Harley Davidson showroom in Banjara Hills area in Hyderabad today, on the pretext of a "test drive".

Tahir Ali, filled the proforma for a test-drive and took away the 750 cc Harley Davidson -- Street 750 model motorbike, Banjara Hills police station sub-inspector Santosh said.

After a complaint was lodged, the Banjara Hills police booked a case under Sections 379 (theft) and Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code, the police officer said.

The police is in the process of studying closed circuit television (CCTV) camera footage to nab the accused, the police official said, adding, that a phone number and email given in the proforma were found to be "fake".

Source: Press Trust of India

Here is the CCTV footage.



I always thought that a pillion rider accompanies the rider in the case of a test drive for a two wheeler irrespective of the brand. I wonder what happened here.

Anyway, this will further make dealers of high end two-wheeler brands apprehensive. I have heard and read on the net that as it is such dealers aren't too enthusiastic about prospective customers wanting test drives. This incident will further make matters worse.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 3rd September 2015 at 09:48. Reason: Back to back posts merged.
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Old 2nd September 2015, 20:46   #2
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Default re: Harley-Davidson stolen in Hyderabad on pretext of 'Test Ride'

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Originally Posted by captain.torque View Post
I always thought that a pillion rider accompanies the rider in the case of a test drive for a two wheeler irrespective of the brand. I wonder what happened here.

Anyway, this will further make dealers of high end two-wheeler brands apprehensive. I have heard and read on the net that as it is such dealers aren't too enthusiastic about prospective customers wanting test drives. This incident will further make matters worse.
Yes, we own a Hero showroom and we almost always have staff as pillion rider. If there is a case where customer doesn't want one we take them to a closed ground or area.

Also, if you want to let someone take a test ride by themselves at least get their ID proof and take a photocopy of it, this dealership didn't even check his license?
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Old 2nd September 2015, 21:32   #3
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Default re: Harley-Davidson stolen in Hyderabad on pretext of 'Test Ride'

An easy guess is there could be an inside hand in the showroom itself.
I cannot believe a showroom just giving away a super bike without any proofs. Where is that showroom?!
This should be treated as a single incident and need not have any percussions for test drives of super bikes or for that matter any vehicle.
And when giving bikes for test drive, follow usual precautions!
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Old 3rd September 2015, 08:23   #4
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Default re: Harley-Davidson stolen in Hyderabad on pretext of 'Test Ride'

This is something which happened with me at Tusker, Bangalore.

Was at nearby UB City when me and a friend thought of taking a look at the bikes down at Tusker. So, in we roll, meet the salesman and tell him that I'm interested in testing the I883 and S750. Two bikes here, mind you. Gave him a photocopy of my DL and filled the form.

Suddenly, the SA asks me what do I ride as of now. When I tell him that I ride the mental Austrian, he smiles, gives me the bike key, and tells - "Take a nice spin, Saar!"

With my friend riding solo on my Austrian and me solo as well on the S750/I883, I took both the bikes for a satisfying spin. Perhaps covered a distance that is a distant dream for other testers. Came back, gave my feedback to the SA who had probably forgotten that he was attending to me, and headed back home.

P.S - I took the S750 first while the I883 and it's keys remained with the guard outside. Came back, parked the Street and the guard smilingly gave me the I883 keys. Strangely, felt that the guard was more knowledgeable and concerned about my ride feedback than the SA.

Someone has rightly said - If Delhi judges you on your SUV, Bangalore judges you on your Motorcycle.

Last edited by barcalad : 3rd September 2015 at 08:25.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 08:32   #5
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Red face re: Harley-Davidson stolen in Hyderabad on pretext of 'Test Ride'

Well the Test Driver was not just allowed to take the bike for a drive, there was a showroom guy following the chap. Only when the guy was expected to turn back to the showroom, he simply zoomed off with the showroom guy unable to keep pace and lost him. I am sure this guy must have known the traffic conditions before hand or made up the escape plan during the test drive. Here's the piece of the news published in TOI Mumbai.

Last edited by GTO : 3rd September 2015 at 11:52. Reason: Please don't upload scans of copyrighted content
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Old 3rd September 2015, 09:30   #6
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Default re: Harley-Davidson stolen in Hyderabad on pretext of 'Test Ride'

It makes sense for dealers giving test drives to equip the bikes with a hidden tracking device that can be used to track the stolen vehicle and also used to monitor the riding pattern of the rider.

It will be an investment in the long run as the dealer need not loose his peace of mind over the rider riding the bike alone and also the rider can do away with the cumbersome background checks before being handled the test drive.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 09:44   #7
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Default re: Harley-Davidson stolen in Hyderabad on pretext of 'Test Ride'

The best way to for the auto dealers to avoid such a situation is to ask the prospective customer who has come for test drive to deposit some important document e.g passport etc, before he is handed over the bike for test drive. This will go a long way in identifying genuinely interested persons and will keep joy ride seekers and unscrupulous elements at bay. Also getting the GPS tracking devices installed on the test bikes will also be of great help.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 10:04   #8
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Red face re: Harley-Davidson stolen in Hyderabad on pretext of 'Test Ride'

Also the dealer must circulate the engine no of the bike to all RTO's across the country so that any possible registration will be picked up to help nab the culprit. But in a way this incident must have made the dealer more bitter and any enquiries from prospective customer will be under tremendous scrutiny.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 11:30   #9
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Default re: Harley-Davidson stolen in Hyderabad on pretext of 'Test Ride'

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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Also the dealer must circulate the engine no of the bike to all RTO's across the country so that any possible registration will be picked up to help nab the culprit. But in a way this incident must have made the dealer more bitter and any enquiries from prospective customer will be under tremendous scrutiny
When I recently took the TD of RE Thunderbird 500, I was let alone to go. Surprising as the general rule is the sales executive comes along with the vehicle to avoid such instances and when I posed the same question to the RE dealer, they said it is that way the customers want. Customers don't like the sales executive's accompanying hence they let the vehicle sent alone.

Not sure if these guys need to rethink their strategies and SOP's.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 12:11   #10
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson stolen in Hyderabad on pretext of 'Test Ride'

I don't think that taking testrides alone is anything new. I have taken test rides of bullets, Inazuma, Bonneville etc alone without anyone from the dealership following me.

But this is an event that puts a dent on the trust of buyer-seller of motorcycles. This culprit has to be caught and bought to justice, else soon there will be no solo test rides just because some lowlife took advantage of the trust put in him.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 12:13   #11
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson stolen in Hyderabad on pretext of 'Test Ride'

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Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
When I recently took the TD of RE Thunderbird 500, I was let alone to go.
That's surprising indeed. When I test rode Duke 390, I was accompanied by two other friends, had parked my car in the showroom, yet had to give a photocopy of Driving License and had a showroom guy accompany me as pillion despite all that. But then I didn't protest all these safety measures.

I think it is fair on the part of showroom guys being cautious and those who are being so complacent are to be blamed themselves in case of any untoward incident. In fact, there have been quite a few incidents where guys taking bikes for ride have crashed them which also need to be taken care of.

Last edited by ksameer1234 : 3rd September 2015 at 12:18.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 12:23   #12
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson stolen in Hyderabad on pretext of 'Test Ride'

Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridpetrol View Post
An easy guess is there could be an inside hand in the showroom itself.
I cannot believe a showroom just giving away a super bike without any proofs. Where is that showroom?!
Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
When I recently took the TD of RE Thunderbird 500, I was let alone to go.
+ 1.

I took three 600+cc bikes for test drives recently, and all three were independent drives. Sales representatives did not come along. While one showroom asked for driver's license and made a copy, the other showroom did not do that either.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 17:20   #13
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson stolen in Hyderabad on pretext of 'Test Ride'

The bike has been found in Mumbai .Its the combined effort of Banjara Harley Davidson staff and police department to nab the suspect.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 17:44   #14
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson stolen in Hyderabad on pretext of 'Test Ride'

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The bike has been found in Mumbai .Its the combined effort of Banjara Harley Davidson staff and police department to nab the suspect.
How did they nab him?

Personally, my opinion is that all test rides should be accompanied by the SE of the dealer. There is no point taking photo copy of the license, GPS, etc, if the person has made his mind to flick the bike.

In this case he was caught since this is an exclusive product. Imagine if it was a splendor or any common motorbike.
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Old 3rd September 2015, 23:26   #15
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Default Re: Harley-Davidson stolen in Hyderabad on pretext of 'Test Ride'

They nabbed him with the help of cctv footages taken at various places like petrol bunks,traffic junctions and toll booth.

If you observe the cctv footage the SE was accompanying the suspect on other bike.

The test drive route of banjara harley davidson is predetermined,its like loop from
point A (the dealership) to point B (jhills checkpost) and u-turn to point A from point B.

In this case the suspect has turned left when he was supposed to turn right,then fled away from the spot and SE was unable to nab him.

Banjara Harley Davidson team travelled to places for two days in co-ordinating the information to cops,so they were successful in finding the bike and suspect.

If its a common motorbike its better to claim the insurance and get a new motorbike,rather wasting on travel expenses and other expenses.
In my opinion dealership didn't claim insurance because they wanted to send the message to future thief's.

Here is the most interesting thing--the suspect is an IIT chennai graduate according to local media.
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