SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Police are investigating a scooter chop shop believed to be operating in the area in the wake of a rash of thefts.
Scooters, minibikes and motorcycles are stolen in the city at the rate of about five or six a week, police say. Authorities on June 19 found several stolen motor scooters, parts and accessories at a residence, a search warrant document says.
Police discovered six scooters, four scooter frames, seven scooter engines/transmissions and more at the home, the warrant says. Police seized the vehicles and equipment.
The search warrant that led to the stolen vehicles was requested after a June 18 incident in which an officer responded to a call to check out a person of interest at the address, the warrant says. Just southwest of a blue, two-story frame house at the address is a detached garage. Inside the garage, Miller says in the warrant he noticed several motor scooters that were partially disassembled, according to a police report cited in the News-Leader. A VIN check turned up at least four stolen scooters.
The suspect was arrested last year and still faces charges of receiving stolen property in that case.
Joe Berrer, who operates Kiss My Gas Scooters! in downtown Springfield, keeps a stolen scooter database on his shop’s website. He said on a single day recently he received three calls about thefts from people who had bought scooters from him.
Berrer advises riders to store their scooters indoors and record the VIN numbers in case the vehicle is stolen.
“If you lose the VIN number, the police probably won’t even talk to you,” said Berrer. “Thieves will take them (stolen scooters) apart, mix up the parts, put them back together and sell them locally or on Craigslist.”
Posted by Holly Wagner