Gardaí are concerned about a sharp rise in e-scooter hijacking – a violent crime some say should now be reclassified as robbery.
According to the Irish Independent Since the beginning of last December, there have been 63 hijackings nationwide, most of which involved electric scooters.
While 55 of these offenses happened in Dublinonly three of the violent crimes were classified as “detected” by officers.
“This is a matter of very serious concern. It’s a growing problem, but there doesn’t seem to be a coordinated plan to address it yet,” a source said Irish Independent.
“These are inherently extremely violent crimes and it has also been found that the stolen e-scooters are not generally put back into circulation for resale in Ireland.”
This means senior detectives believe the e-scooters are being stored and then shipped out of the country to be sold.
While incidents of this type of crime have been collected from all areas of the capital – from Balbriggan in the north to Donnybrook in the south – incidents in inner city areas are said to be “relatively rare”.
Of the three kidnapping crimes uncovered nationwide, Gardaí solved one of the incidents in Limerick, while the other two uncoverings took place in Dublin.
“Previously, the crime of hijacking involved motor vehicles — for example, in 2017 there were 17 incidents of this type of crime — but the popularity of e-scooters has changed all that,” the source said.
A case in point of an e-scooter hijacking occurred on March 6th when a 14-year-old rode an e-scooter through a park in Lucan, Co. Dublin.
The youth was attacked by three people who attacked him and took his electric scooter before fleeing the scene.
While there have been no arrests in this case, Gardaí at Ballyfermot in Dublin are following a clear line of inquiry into an incident where six men attacked a 16-year-old who sustained head injuries in a canal attack last November.
Unlike theft of vehicles such as cars or motorcycles, e-scooters are not legally registered to their owners. That makes it difficult for the police.
The scooters can reach speeds of between 20 km/h and 40 km/h and have a value of over €2,000 at the top end.
At a hearing in Dublin District Court last September, a judge was told that a then 14-year-old boy had been arrested after nearly driving an electric scooter into a police car.
The now 15-year-old boy admitted on the evening of July 31, 2020 that he had been driving without a license or insurance.
According to the Road Traffic Act, the e-scooter is classified as a mechanically powered vehicle, but the monitoring of this legislation is not consistent throughout the country.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/gardai-have-no-plans-to-tackle-growing-problem-of-e-scooters-being-hijacked-41505438.html Gardaí “have no plans” to address the growing problem of e-scooter hijacking