NEW BEDFORD - New Bedford Police are warning area residents to be careful when posting items, especially motor vehicles, for sale online.

Police say within the past month they have received five reports of motorized vehicles being stolen after suspects claim to be potential buyers, arrange for a meet-up, and then fail to return the vehicles after taking them for a test drive.

Police say vehicles were stolen in each of the following incidents:

  • May 26, a Rhode Island man and his teenage son brought their dirt bike to the area of 133 Van Buren St. after posting it for sale on Facebook.
  • June 3, a Chatham man brought his motorcycle to Pacheco School at 216 Mt. Pleasant St. after posting it for sale online.
  • June 5, a Manchester, New Hampshire man brought his motorcycle to the Pacheco School at 216 Mt. Pleasant St. after posting it for sale via CraigsList. 
  • June 13, a man from Cranston, R.I. brought his motorcycle to the area of 295 Highland Street after listing it for sale via OfferUp, a mobile app.
  • June 20, a man from North Attleboro brought his motorcycle to the parking lot of Price Rite supermarket, 133 Hathaway Road, after listing it for sale via OfferUp.

Police believe the incidents are connected. All of the thefts are under investigation. Anyone with information on the thefts is asked to call New Bedford Police at 508-991-6350, the anonymous tip line at 508-992-7463, or email tip@newbedfordpd.com.

Residents are reminded to be cautious when arranging transactions with unknown individuals. Sellers are encouraged to use the parking lot of New Bedford Police Headquarters at 871 Rockdale Avenue, as the lot has been designated an "Internet Purchase Safe Zone" and is under constant video surveillance.