Last Updated on June 25, 2023 by Matt
The number of people using electric scooters has increased. But so has the number of such vehicles getting stolen.
After talking to several e-scooter owners who have got their rides stolen (and, in some cases, recovered), I put together this guide on what to do if your scooter gets stolen.
If your electric scooter gets stolen, first talk to the police and file a report. Informing other people of the theft and checking local e-scooter stores and pawn shops is also a good idea. On the other hand, storing your scooter properly, strategic parking, and using solid security gear are the main precautions you should take to make your ride more challenging to steal.
Tips on what to do if your e-scooter gets stolen
If your scooter gets stolen, follow the steps outlined below.
Keep your cool and act fast
Of course, it can be hard to stay calm after you’ve experienced a frustrating event. But panicking or losing your mind won’t help you feel any better, and more importantly, it won’t get your e-scooter back.
If your scooter got stolen while unattended, the good thing is that you didn’t get assaulted or hurt. Moreover, if you act quickly, there’s a chance you might recover it.
So, remaining calm will help you think more rationally and make the next important step, which is…
File a complaint
Contact the local police and file a report as soon as possible. Give them all the necessary details, such as how, when, and where the theft occurred. Provide them with the serial number and description of your scooter as well as all the documentation you have for it, if you have any.
If your scooter has been registered, it’ll be easier for officials to track it down.
Also, give the police a photo of your stolen two-wheeler or a leaflet containing one. If the thief has left an important piece of evidence behind, such as a piece of the padlock or lock you used to secure the scooter, take a picture of it, and give it to the police.
Extra tip: If you feel like you don’t have time to go to the police to make the complaint, you can file a police report online, from your phone or computer, and in the meantime…
Track your electric scooter with a tracking device
Some models are equipped with GPS trackers. So, if your stolen e-scooter comes with this feature too, or perhaps you’ve hidden an AirTag in it, that’s great, as it increases your chances of recovering it.
These tracking devices are incredibly helpful since they allow you to track your scooter even after it’s been stolen.
However, if you manage to find the current location of your stolen scooter, don’t be tempted to go to that location and take your vehicle back by yourself. Instead, involve the police. Having a backup in such situations is the key to preventing any type of conflict.
On the other hand, if your stolen ride isn’t equipped with GPS or any other tracking device, that’s a real bummer. This means there’s nothing much you can do here, except for contacting the police.
Check local pawn shops
Selling stolen electric vehicles to pawn shops serves as a way for thieves to make some money quickly. So, paying local pawn shops a visit if your e-scooter has been stolen is a good idea.
You might as well check local e-bike shops, online marketplaces as well as the civic center, as many stolen electric vehicles get rounded up there too.
Inform local e-scooter stores about your stolen scooter
You see, sometimes thieves aren’t that clever. The person who’s stolen your scooter will likely drop by some of the local e-scooter stores at some point to get some accessory for “their” ride.
So, it’s a good idea to let the staff at your local e-scooter shop(s) know about the theft and give them a couple of flyers so that they know to be vigilant.
Get the word out
Text your friends about your stolen e-scooter, so that they know to be vigilant too. Letting your friends know about the theft can be especially helpful if your e-scooter is registered and they know its identification mark.
Make an insurance claim
Unfortunately, electric scooter owners are rarely required to have insurance for their vehicles. But if you’re one of the few who’s got their scooter insured, call your insurance company after you’ve filed a police report.
If you don’t manage to recover your stolen electric scooter through your own search or with the help of the police and if you have comprehensive coverage, the insurance company will sign a check over to you for the present value of your scooter.
Additionally, if you’ve already obtained homeowner’s insurance, know that this policy may provide additional vehicle theft coverage too.
Now, if you’ve been lucky and never found yourself in this type of situation, but you worry that your e-scooter might get stolen, just keep reading.
Tips on how to prevent your electric scooter from getting stolen
Although there’s no guarantee that your ride will never get stolen, keep in mind that this risk can be minimized if you take adequate security precautions. And, in what follows, I’ve presented the simplest and yet the wisest ones.
Take your scooter inside as often as possible
I know this is easier said than done, but this is probably the best security precaution you can take to ensure your electric scooter never goes missing.
If you’re regularly using your e-scooter to commute to work, then make sure you always take it inside. For example, you can keep it under your desk or anywhere in your office and thus keep an eye on it at any moment.
Similarly, when you’re at home, don’t park your electric scooter on the street in front of your house. Don’t do this even when you know that you’ll only be at home for 5 minutes, as a few minutes could be everything a professional thief needs to walk off with your scooter. Instead, store your ride indoors, especially if you live in an area where electric vehicle thefts are very common.
Keep it under video surveillance
Installing a pair of CCTV cameras that will watch over the main entrance to your house as well as the entryway to your storehouse can be quite helpful. Placing your e-scooter under surveillance helps discourage potential thieves that are afraid of being caught red-handed. It also enables you to obtain strong evidence on tape should someone try to steal your ride.
Don’t keep your scooter outdoors overnight
Unless you want to make it easier for thieves to steal your electric scooter when it’s unattended, don’t leave it outdoors overnight.
Regardless of what type of lock you use to secure your e-scooter, avoid parking it in dark alleys, on the street, or in less-crowded areas at nighttime. The reason for this is that these places allow thieves to have more free time to outsmart any defense system you might have used to secure your scooter and make off with it.
Be careful where you park it
The more hidden your electric scooter is, the less likely it is that it will get stolen when you keep it outdoors.
When you aren’t using your electric two-wheeler, ensure you find any type of storage room or garage and store it there rather than leaving it unattended on the street.
When you can’t find such safe areas, park your electric scooter in highly frequented places or ones monitored by security cameras by securing it to a bike rack or post. Also, ensure you park your e-scooter in areas that are highly illuminated by light if you need to park it overnight.
Besides, it’s a good idea to park your e-scooter right next to other parked scooters appearing more attractive and more sophisticated, so that yours looks cheaper and less tempting to thieves.
Using a high-quality security lock isn’t a guarantee that someone will never attempt to snatch your ride. There’s simply no lock out there that a professional thief can’t defeat.
However, using a good security lock is an important security precaution that can make stealing harder and more time-consuming for the thief, and thus deter them from doing that.
An expert thief will likely identify a strong lock at first glance. Additionally, if they don’t have the right equipment or know how to break the lock, the chances are that this will discourage them from stealing your scooter and they’ll search for another scooter to steal.
Lock it using two different locks for maximum security
Since there have been many instances of thieves stealing e-scooters already secured with a lock, I’d advise you to use two different locks! For example, if your preferred choice is a chain lock, then secure your ride with an additional one, such as a U-lock or disc lock. Combining these two lock types is a great choice if you live in an area that has a high crime rate.
Securing your ride this way will certainly disappoint and deter a potential thief from walking off with your scooter since they’ll most probably neither have the equipment nor skills needed to get rid of both locks at once. Needless to say, they’ll most likely not have time to do that either.
Lock the scooter’s motor or steering column
Sadly, not all e-scooters come with these features. But if you own one that offers you the option to lock its steering column or motor, do that when you need to leave it unattended.
Keep in mind that this won’t deter someone from lifting your ride and taking it away. However, it will stop a potential thief from pushing it down the street. Moreover, it will prevent them from riding it later as well since unless they hack it, they won’t be able to use it.
Tip: If you have an expensive e-scooter, check whether it comes with a specific lock app that you can install on your mobile phone and lock your scooter through it.
Install an anti-theft alarm
An anti-theft alarm will start producing a loud noise when someone is tampering with your e-scooter. So, not only will this discourage a would-be thief from stealing your ride, but it will also alert other people.
Don’t leave it unattended for longer periods
Of course, there will be many instances where you’ll need to leave your electric scooter unattended. But whenever possible, avoid doing so. Not being around your ride for a few minutes could be everything a thief needs to make off with it.
So, when you’re going to a shopping mall, restaurant, or the gym and you know there won’t be a safe parking spot for your e-scooter, it’s best to leave it at home than leave it somewhere unattended and take unnecessary risks.
Based on all the information I’ve provided in this article, we can conclude that there’s no guarantee that your electric scooter will never get stolen.
And if you ever find yourself in this situation, there are a few things you could do that may help you recover your scooter. Filing a report, informing others of the theft, or using tracking devices, if your e-scooter has any, are just some of the measures you can take to achieve that.
Also, although there are many security precautions you can take to prevent your electric scooter from getting stolen, this doesn’t mean no one will ever attempt to take it away. However, certain precautions can certainly help discourage a potential thief from stealing your scooter and make walking off with it harder for them.