A 29-year-old man was arrested in Ocala after a Marion County Sheriff’s Office corporal caught him riding a motorcycle that was reported stolen.
On Thursday, the corporal was conducting traffic enforcement near Emerald Shores Elementary School (404 Emerald Road in Ocala) when a man was observed riding a blue Yamaha motorcycle without a visible license plate, according to the MCSO report.
A traffic stop on the motorcycle was conducted near the intersection of SE 79th Avenue Road and Emerald Road, and the corporal made contact with the motorcycle’s rider, identified in the report as Wade Christopher Bowen.
The corporal noted in the report that Bowen stated that he did not have a driver’s license, and it was later confirmed that he only possesses a New York identification card.
The MCSO report stated that the VIN (vehicle identification number) plate on the motorcycle appeared to be tampered with and was painted black. The corporal was able to locate the VIN on the motorcycle’s frame, and a criminal records check on that number confirmed that the motorcycle was reported stolen out of the New York City Police Department in September of 2022.
The corporal contacted an NYPD detective who advised that the theft case involving the motorcycle did not have a suspect listed.
After being read his Miranda rights, Bowen told the corporal that he was unaware that the motorcycle was stolen. He claimed that he took the motorcycle from his cousin’s residence earlier in the morning to drive to work. In the report, the corporal noted that Bowen was unable to provide his cousin’s address or phone number.
The corporal observed that the motorcycle did not have a key, and its ignition system was hotwired. Bowen told the corporal that the motorcycle did not have a key when his cousin got it, and he was unable to provide any further information on how his cousin obtained the stolen vehicle, according to the MCSO report.
Bowen was arrested, transported to Marion County Jail, and he was released the following day on $6,000 bond. He is facing a felony charge for grand theft of a motor vehicle and a misdemeanor charge for operating a motor vehicle without a valid license.
A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.