Scooter And Motorcycle Bandits Caught On Tape - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Scooter And Motorcycle Bandits Caught On Tape

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Surveillance video captures a thief stealing a scooter in Philadelphia. Surveillance video captures a thief stealing a scooter in Philadelphia.

For lots of people in Philadelphia, a scooter or a motorcycle is the quickest way to get around, but one man's easy mode of transportation is another man's easy target.

"Once they take your motorcycle, you'll never see it again," said one motorcycle owner who parks his bike at City Hall.

"It disgusts me that somebody would do that maliciously to somebody that uses it just to commute back and forth," said Dio Mayen of Vespa Philadelphia, a scooter shop in Northern Liberties.

Since July,  Philadelphia Police say 53 scooters and small motorcycles have been stolen by a ring of thieves using a white van or box truck.

Surveillance video captures the bandits in action.

First, they size up someone's scooter on Church Street. Then, out come the bolt cutters to snap the big chain securing the bike. Finally, the suspects haul the scooter away.

"We had this same pattern last year. We thought we put an end to it, but it's popping up again," said Police Lt. Ray Evers.

Investigators say so far, 39 scooters and 14 motorcycles have been stolen in South Philly, Old City and Northern Liberties. They range in price from $2,500 to $8,000 and up.

Police believe the bandits are taking these wheels right across area bridges into the streets of Camden.

"They take the cover, they take the lock, they take the bike of course over to Camden and sell them right on the streets," Evers explained.

"Within the last eight years, I've had three motorcycles stolen from me," one rider told Fox 29.

 Dio Mayen says he's heard all about the scooter thefts from customers.

"People spend good money to use it as commuters and some people want them, they don't want to pay for them," he said.

"You have to have insurance on these bikes. If it does get stolen, you're covered and buy the best lock you possibly can," Evers said.

Police tell Fox 29 the vans these guys have been using to transport the stolen scooters to Camden were stolen, in some cases from a church. Police also believe the thieves are dismantling the scooters, putting then in barrels and shipping them to the Caribbean islands where scooters are a popular source of transportation.

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