Thieves steal 7-year-old's dirt bike before regional competition

By: Hope Jensen Email
By: Hope Jensen Email
Joey Baughman (WRDW-TV)

Joey Baughman (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, June 14, 2013

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW) -- Investigators in Aiken County are looking for the suspect who did more than just break into a shed. That thief broke a little boy's heart.

It's just the latest in a string of burglaries in Aiken County, but this one could cost a kid his dream.

Joey Baughman, 7, loves to ride his dirt bike.

"It feels like you're flying whenever you jump," he said.

But Friday, he was riding a bike regular bike because his dirt bike was stolen.

"Whenever they woke me up they told me and I went and looked and I cried," Joey explained.

On Thursday night, someone took Joey's bike and four others out of this shed.

"That takes a pretty bold person to walk up there and break into that shop and I'm 100-200 feet away in the bedroom and I'm a light sleeper," said Joey's grandfather, Donnie Baughman.

He says they started cutting the locks on Joey's racing trailer, but when they realized nothing was inside, they moved on to the shed.

"It's like they knew the motorcycles were out there, but they didn't know where they were," Donnie said.

He says this isn't the first theft in his neighborhood. Two golf carts were stolen from his neighbor and one from his brother, so he was already on edge.

"I went out took the keys out of my lawnmower, my tractor, my four-wheeler, and I never do that," he said. "They stay in there all the time. I took them out, brought them in the house because I just didn't feel right about it."

Next week, Joey has a regional race in Florida to qualify for nationals.

"We were so close to going to a race, so I was sad because I wanted to go to it," Joey said.

"It is what it is, and we'll do the best we can. If it works out for us, good, if it doesn't, there's always next year, I guess," Donnie said.

Even though they know it's a long shot, they're sending a plea to the people who took it.

"The other one's don't really mean a whole lot to me, but that one does because that's his bike. Racing means a lot to him," Donnie said.

"If they stole it, I would wish someone would get it back," Joey said.

They took Joey's bike, a Cobra 50 CC with new graphics. The other missing bikes are two blue and white Yamahas and one older 50 CC.

Joey's dad is offering a $1,000 reward to get the bikes back in the same condition.

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