According to law enforcement officials in Hillsborough County, both the number of people using scooters as a primary mode of transportation and the number of scooter thefts have been on the rise this year.
Law enforcement officers report that thefts of motorcycles and scooters in the county increased by 10 percent during the first six months of 2012. These statistics are surprising considering there has been a double-digit decline in crime in Hillsborough County during the last few years.
Police officers speculate the rise in purchases can be attributed, in part, to the economic practicality of owning a scooter. They are significantly cheaper than a car, both in terms of purchase price and registration and insurance fees. Consequently, many people do not take the same care in protecting their possession as they would with a car or truck.
According to police officers, most of the scooter thefts that have taken place thus far in 2012 could have been avoided had the owner properly locked the scooter. Although the officers have recommended that scooter owners register the vehicle and use a lock when not riding the scooter, many continue to fail to do so.
A Hillsborough police officer stated, "it's faster and (more fun) to steal a scooter than it is a bicycle, and virtually as easy at the moment." Law enforcement officials have also suggested that scooter owners place an alarm sticker on the scooter and leave the vehicle in sight of security cameras.
For those who have been charged with theft, consulting with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is a necessary step in combating the charges.
Source: Tampa Bay Times, "Scooter thefts rise in Hillsborough, deputies say," Caitlin Johnston, August 9, 2012.