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Prized motorcycle stolen from man's driveway

| Thursday, May 10, 2012, 5:43 p.m.

A friend described Dennis Hertzog's $33,000 custom-built motorcycle as "a big piece of eye candy."

But Hertzog's eyes are on a forced diet since someone stole that sweet sight from the driveway of his West Newton Street home in Greensburg Friday night.

All that Hertzog, 36, found when he got home Saturday morning after working a double shift was the heavy chain that secured the bike.

The chain was threaded through the front porch railing and one of the wooden porch steps then through the motorcycle's front wheel. The ends were held together with a padlock that the thieves apparently removed with bolt cutters.

Hertzog said the motorcycle took the "best-in-show" award for custom cycles in the 2004 World of Wheels Auto Show held in February at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh.

He said the 650-pound motorcycle has a 107-cubic inch S&S engine which is completely finished in chrome. Hertzog said it delivers 110 horsepower and 119 pounds of torque to the 15-inch wide rear tire.

"I have a 2,500-pound car that doesn't have that much power," he said.

The motorcycle had only 2,500 miles on it, he said.

The motorcycle's base color is "purple marble" and has black marble and silver marble paint in it. There are black teardrops on either side of the elongated gas tank and the back fender with a yellow and an orange stripe in each one. The unique feature of the paint job is that the colors appear to change as one walks around it. It has LCD lights under the gas tank, on the swing arm that extends to the rear wheel and the front wheel fork.

"Everything on the bike is either purple, polished aluminum or chrome," he said.

City police Capt. George Seranko said he had to look twice at the incident report when he saw that a $33,000 motorcycle had been stolen.

"I thought it was wrong, then I saw it was a custom-built," he said yesterday. "This is a heavy bike. They couldn't have pushed it far. They had to have loaded it onto something to move it."

Hertzog said he bought the motorcycle last August from a now-deceased Greensburg man. He said motorcycle was custom-built in Arizona.

During the winter, Hertzog stored the bike in a garage. In good weather, he kept it chained in his driveway and covered by a tarp.

He left for his job as a machinist at MSI in Vandergrift at 3 p.m. and was scheduled to work a double shift until 7 a.m. Saturday. A neighbor put the tarp over the motorcycle for him before she left at 7 p.m. Friday, and when she returned home early Saturday, it was gone.

While the motorcycle is insured for its appraised value, Hertzog said it would cost much more than that to recreate it from scratch.

While Hertzog hopes that the motorcycle will be recovered, he said he is a realist.

"It was either kept together and shipped out of state or it's in 1,000 pieces," he said.

"If I wanted to build a bike, this would be the bike I'd build.

"It was me on wheels."

Anyone with information on the stolen motorcycle is asked to call the Greensburg police at 724-834-3800.

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