SOUTHWICK, Mass. (THE WESTFIELD NEWS) – Team Justice Racing could be facing the end to the 2016 motocross season before it begins.
Team Justice President Kevin Bishop said three of the team’s motorcycles were stolen from his home garage this week, and if they’re not recovered, the season will not even get off the ground. “One of the bikes was owned by Team Justice and the other two by team members,” said Bishop. “We were working on them over the winter.”
Insurance will not cover the three motorcycles, and the motocross team formed to give youths something positive to do is in jeopardy of not racing this year. “I was supposed to take three riders to Florida next week for practice, so that trip is cancelled,” said Bishop.
Bishop founded Team Justice in 2004 with the motto of “integrity, sportsmanship, unity.” The mission for the team managers and mentors on the team is to be positive role models for the members of the team and to encourage them to do their best.
The mission of the youth riders on the team is to always try to do their best, do well in school, stay drug and alcohol free, and to portray a positive image for other riders and sponsors. Bishop is afraid that some of the riders will stray from the straight and narrow path they have been on if the team has to be suspended until new motorcycles can be obtained. “This has been taken away from them,” he said.
Southwick Police Sgt. Robert Landis is investigating the larceny, which took place sometime overnight Sunday, January 17th into Monday, January 18th. “The investigation is ongoing and we are following up on a lead,” said Landis. He is working with other communities where these types of motorcycles have been stolen and recovered.
Estimated value of the three motorcycles is $22,000. Landis said he hopes the bikes are recovered or new ones are donated. “Team Justice is for the kids,” said Landis. “It’s something positive.”
Anyone who may have information on the theft or the whereabouts of the bikes should contact Landis at the Southwick Police Department.