Scooter thefts on the rise in Richmond

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A crime alert out of Richmond tonight. If you own a scooter in the city beware. Thefts of the light weight vehicles are on the rise.
They navigate city streets pretty easily and are growing in popularity. But scooters are also popular targets of thieves, especially in Richmond's Church hill and Fan districts.
Richmond police says in Church Hill alone 11 scooters have been stolen in the last two months. Last year at this time, there were only 3 scooter thefts in the Hill.
"We've had a few reports where people actually see who's stealing them and they are mostly young adults, teenagers mostly," said Richmond Police Lt. James Laino
Chelsea Lahmer owns Scoot Richmond and gets phone calls almost daily about stolen scooters.
"The folks that are stealing them are generally stealing them with the purpose of resale. They will paint the bikes, they will take any defining features off," said Lahmer.
You should still take a picture of your bike and know the year, make and model. Police say, don't park it in front of your house, hide it in the back if possible and always lock it to a stationary object.
"They don't weigh very much, about 200 pounds. So 2 or 3 people can just grab it and walk away with it. And if it's not locked up they can just push it away," Laino said.
Never lock the front tire, it can be removed.
"Anywhere that you can lock to the frame of the scooter is something that is going to be the safest way to lock it," said Lahmer.
And the best place to secure the lock is actually the back tire.
"Now this looks a lot like what you did with the front wheel except its very challenging to take the back wheel off," she said.
And most thieves it's a crime of opportunity. Again, always record your VIN number for police, just in case
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