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Mar 4, 2009

Thieves Steal Wallets From Paddock As Superbike Riders Practice At Daytona

While the AMA riders were out on track during American Superbike practice Wednesday morning at Daytona International Speedway, thieves were busy in the paddock, sneaking into transporters and stealing wallets and personal belongings.

Thefts from race paddocks aren't anything new, but what is somewhat unusual this time around were the victims some of the top riders in the sport.

All of the victims have not been identified yet, but Roadracingworld.com has confirmed that wallets belonging to former Superbike World Champion Neil Hodgson and former British Supersport Champion Michael Laverty were stolen.

Hodgson said his wallet, cell phone and watch were stolen from the pockets of his pants, which were located in the rider lounge area of the Corona Extra Honda semi-truck. Wallets belonging to two of Hodgson's mechanics were also stolen, Hodgson said.

Laverty said his wallet was stolen from his pants in the Celtic Racing transporter and that by the time he reported the theft, the thieves had already started purchasing items using his credit cards at local stores.

The thefts have been reported to the Daytona Beach Police Department, which is investigating, according to AMA Pro Racing officials.

AMA Pro Racing officials advised competitors of the thefts at the riders' meeting mid-day Wednesday.