Thieves repeatedly break into motocross park, take more than $150K in equipment

By Sophia Beausoleil - Reporter

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - The owner of a motocross park in Northeast Harris County said he’s fed up suspects continue to steal motocross bikes, four-wheelers and other equipment from his property.

Monday between 2:30 and 4:30 a.m., suspected burglars broke into the garage and stole several pieces of equipment worth more than $50,000.

“It’s tearing me up because I have put my life into this place,” said Danny Erdeljac, the owner of Rio Bravo Motocross Park.

He bought the track in 2008, and rebuilt it to what it looked like back in the ‘70s. Since then, the property not only hosted motocross events, but mud runs, camps, corporate events and more.

“It’s just another robbery to them. To us, it takes away everything we’ve built,” Erdeljac said.

The owner said the suspects moved a ladder that was outside and placed it underneath a vent on the backside of the building.

“They didn’t go through the doors, they unscrewed the big exhaust vent in the back of the building and went through that,” Erdeljac said.

The motion detector sensed the suspects around 2:30 a.m., but the suspects waited and came back around 4:30 a.m. Erdeljac said the suspects used bolt cutters to open the garage and dragged the motorcycles out.

“The four-wheeler and the side-by-side, they cut the ignition out in about five seconds, turned it on. They probably threw the bikes in the back of the side-by-side and drove off with the bike,” explained Erdeljac, who said the bikes had locks around the chains.

He believes it took them about 15 minutes to steal the equipment, which included a 250 Honda, 230 Honda, a 2018 Yamaha Viking, two brand-new steel weed eaters, gas tanks and generators.

“You can follow the tracks of where they (the suspects) went. So they can get out the park, down the bayou and by the Dollar General off of Ralston Road on North Lake Houston Park. Same path they took last time," Erdeljac said.

This time it was about $50,000 worth of equipment. The time before, it was more than $100,000 and the equipment wasn’t insured.

He said last time there were at least seven suspects, compared to three this time. The family believes it’s someone who is familiar with the property.

“They knew what they were doing because when they came they went straight to our refrigerator , because the last time they came, they stole all the energy drinks,” Erdeljac said. “This time they went to the refrigerator and there wasn’t any energy drinks -- they drank water.”

Erdeljac said when the suspects took the water bottles, they left their trash and Harris County deputies were able to collect fingerprints and DNA off the water bottles.

One of the bikes stolen was his son’s bike, which was stolen last time.

“This bike I got this time was on my dime,” said Danny Erdeljac III. “It just hurts. Luckily, I have good relationship with God and he knows that it’s just stuff. I may or may not replace it.”

His father said he’s frustrated because in the past, suspects have been caught but claimed to have bought the bikes from a third party.  

“We’ve probably had 20 vehicles stolen over the last 18 months, and so they catch some of them and all they do is say, ‘Oh, we bought it on Craigslist,‘ and that’s the end of it,” Erdeljac said.

It’s been a hard year for the family. Erdeljac was diagnosed with kidney failure, among other health problems. His kids worry that the stress of the robbery may impact his health more.

“I was just saying, 'Mom, Dad, don’t stress over this kind of stuff, because this shaves off years when you stress. That it’s not worth it. It’s just stuff,’" Erdeljac III said. “I hate that someone could do that. Whoever is out there, just know that they’re more than just bikes, this is a family business, and it means a lot to us.”

Anyone with information about the suspects or stolen bikes and equipment is asked to contact CrimeStoppers at 713-222-8477.

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