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Police arrest gang members involved in the Thunder Beach Motorcycle Theft Ring

Police arrest gang members involved in the Thunder Beach Motorcycle Theft Ring
Police arrest gang members involved in the Thunder Beach Motorcycle Theft Ring(Allison Baker)
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 2:26 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It’s been more than two months since the fall Thunder Beach bike rally, but an investigation into that weekend concluded Friday, according to the Panama City Beach Police.

“A lot of people might’ve heard the story that we had a lot of motorcycles stolen,” Beach Police Chief J.R. Talamantez said.

Talamantez said on the morning of October 24th, 2021, five customized motorcycles worth almost $200,000 in total were stolen around the 14000 block on Front Beach Road. After two months of investigation, he said two of the five motorcycles have been recovered and several arrests have been made.

“We went on a little trip, we found our primary suspects, we found our motorcycles, and we were able to put three out of the five suspects in jail,” said Talamantez.

Talamantez says Christopher Hill, 42, William Hill, 19, and Jared Billingsley, 31, all from Graceville, have been arrested.

“Two of them are still at large and we’re looking for them and we have an inmate jumpsuit waiting for them as soon as we put our hands on them,” said Talamantez.

Beach Police have issued warrants for two men from Alabama, Richard Harvey, 32, and Kenjorian Walker, 23. Talamantez said these five men were a part of two outlaw motorcycle gangs and conspired together.

“Just like any other outlaw, you’re going to end up in jail at one point or another. We’re just happy we were able to put them in jail for this case,” said Talamantez.

In jail and being charged with grand theft auto.

“They’re going to have to answer for their crimes and the other two that are on the run, they’re going to have to keep on running until we find them and we will,” said Talamantez.

Now, Talamantez is sending a message.

“If you come to this town for the sole purpose of trying to victimize our community or our visitors, you can bet that we are going to do everything we possibly can to find you.

It might not be tomorrow, it might take two months, it might take six months, but you’re going to get a knock on the door one day and there’s going to be a person with a pair of handcuffs on the other side,” said Talamantez.

And what’s usually touted as a safe rally, is what Talamantez says they’re working to keep it as. He adds officers will be on alert at the spring rally for this type of crime.

“But the best thing for everyone to do is ensure your property is as secure as possible when you leave it,” said Talamantez.

We reached out to Thunder Beach President Joe Biggs who said he’s appreciative for the Beach Police being proactive. Because of that, Biggs said this investigation is an incentive for it not to happen at the upcoming spring bike rally.

Talamantez said they’re still looking for the remaining three motorcycles and the investigation is still ongoing. If you have any information regarding the investigation please contact the Panama City Beach Police Department at 850-233-5000.

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