Scooters: “A Criminal Commodity”
Scooters In the U.S., the two-wheeled vehicles most commonly associated with outlaws are most likely the blacked out Harley-Davidsons used by criminal motorcycle gangs, and depending where you live, the sport bikes used by outlaw stunt crews would probably come in second.
Scooters But in the U.K., the most feared two-wheeled vehicle on the streets is – the scooter. The scooter, most commonly associated with fuel conscious commuters and hipsters here, is a favorite of organized crime rings in the U.K., not only as an extremely common target of theft, but as the ideal mode of transportation to get around British cities quickly while perpetrating crimes.
Scooters haven’t always had this reputation – it’s only in the last several years that the scooters place as a part of the U.K.’s criminal underworld has skyrocketed. Scooters, along with full-size motorcycles, have become an alarmingly frequent target of theft in the UK. In fact, recent survey results by the National Crime Intelligence Service shows that, now, more bikes are stolen in the UK than are bought new, and 80% of those are stolen directly from the victims homes. Increasingly, criminals are becoming more violent and more brazen, stealing them in broad daylight and even threatening or fighting the owners when they are caught in the act.
Stolen scooters are such a hot commodity for theft in the UK because they are in high demand in the nation’s criminal underworld. Scooters have become the vehicle of choice for street criminals in UK cities for a number of reasons. They are highly mobile, allowing for fast ingress and egress to a planned crime scene, especially in highly congested areas like London. They are light enough that they can be pushed or carried, and cheap enough that they can be ditched when necessary to evade identification or capture. In addition, the helmets donned by riders create not only an innocuous-looking disguise, but give additional protection in the event of an altercation with a victim.
The nature of scooters makes them so ideally suited to committing crimes that one former Scotland Yard official said that they have become a valuable “criminal commodity.” There is much truth in this – robberies involving scooters, which typically involve the rider rushing an unsuspecting pedestrian and running them over or assaulting them with a weapon before taking phones, wallets, and watches, happened over 11,000 times in the UK last year. On average, that’s 31 attacks a day. In 2017, that figure has soared to 54 a day, and over the last two years alone, scooter and motorcycle theft has jumped over 600%. Overall, over 50,000 crimes involving scooters, mostly quick “snatch” thefts, occurred last year in London alone.
Scooters are so popular with criminals in the U.K. that even scooter gangs are now becoming common. Groups of criminals on scooters will swarm and surround robbery victims to steal their bikes or rob them of their belongings, and experienced thieves use multiple scooters to pull off organized, high-profile heists. Recently, crimes involving scooters have become especially cruel, with criminals attacking victims with hammers, machetes, and even acid. In July, scooter criminals carried out 5 acid attacks in a 90-minute rampage, leaving one with life-changing injuries.Click Here…