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Tips offered to prevent scooter theft

July 29, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION

WASHINGTON COUNTY --There has been an increase in thefts of scooters in Hagerstown and Washington County and a Hagerstown Police Department spokesman is offering the public tips on how to help reduce the problem.

Scooters are two-wheeled motorized vehicles similar to mopeds.

So far this month, 13 scooters have been stolen in the city, which is about double the number of scooter thefts the Hagerstown Police Department usually receives in a month's time, Capt. Mark Holtzman said.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department has received reports of scooters being stolen on West Washington Street, Wabash Avenue, Valley Mall Road and York Road off Halfway Boulevard, Holtzman said.

Although some scooters have a steering lock, the locks can be broken, Holtzman said.

After the scooters are stolen, the vehicles can be started by bypassing the ignition switch or getting a new ignition key made, Holtzman said.

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To help guard against thefts, Holtzman said scooter owners can use a cable lock to loop around a fixed object such as a pole and a wheel of a scooter.

Scooter owners also should make sure they have a vehicle identification number for their scooter. If the scooter is ever stolen, the vehicle identification number, referred to as a VIN, can be given to city police to help them investigate the theft, Holtzman said.

A photograph of the scooter also will help police identify it, Holtzman said.

Holtzman said his department also is working on a registering program for scooters that will help police better investigate scooter thefts.

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