The fuel-efficient scooter has become a prime target of Richmond's criminal elements.
A curious spike in the theft of mopeds and scooters in the Virginia's capital city has some scratching their heads. According to Richmond police, they have recorded 79 thefts of the two-wheeled vehicles so far this year. That may not sound all that significant, but consider this: it's a 147 percent increase over last year.
"We can't say definitively the cause for the increase in scooter and moped thefts in the city of Richmond, but we certainly believe a contributing factor to that is the increase in gas prices," says Police Captain Harvey Powers.
Powers says the thrifty gas-sipping nature of the vehicles make them a popular item for thieves. He urges moped owners to be sure to lock their vehicles when parked and record the serial number to help recover if it is ripped off.
Curiously, police in D.C. have not reported a similar trend here.