MOTORISED scooter theft is a major issue in Mandurah; one that isn’t taken seriously, according to a leading scooter salesman.
Bill Philip said there are young deviants in Mandurah who get a thrill out of stealing a scooter.
“There are kids out there, aged between 12-14 who are carrying bolt cutters to steal these scooters,” he said.
“Mandurah would have to be the scooter capital of WA but kids are stealing them just because they can.”
The claim comes after a local mother appealed for help following the theft of her 16-year-old son’s scooter at Centro Mandurah last Thursday. The woman, who does not want to be named, said her son parked his black and green scooter with the registration MH 81545 on the post office side of the shopping centre at 7.30pm.
He went to buy his mother a Mother’s Day present and after chaining his scooter under lights, returned to find it stolen. The mother said her son was distraught following the theft as it had been a birthday present to allow him to get to and from football training as she works.
“These kids are even breaking the steering locks to steal them as they just want to trash them,” Mr Philip said.
“Most of the ones that turn up are wrecked, some burnt to the ground.”
The local mother said she did not want her son’s scooter to endure the same fate and is offering a reward for anyone who may have seen the scooter driven up Thomson Street past the netball courts before 8pm last Thursday night.
Mr Philip said he is disgusted by this behaviour and said there were certainly problem areas in Mandurah,
“These scooters do not deserve to be trashed and it angers me that these kids are taking them from those who worked hard to buy one,” he said.
“We have had one missing scooter turn up as far away as Joondalup.”
Centro Mandurah, John Tonkin College and the Mandurah Train Station have been listed as scooter theft hotspots, and Mr Philip said more needed to be done.
“The penalties are not anywhere near harsh enough,” he said.
According to the local mother, after going to the police she was told there was a very high chance she would not be getting the scooter back.
And while there are claims not enough is being done to curb this rising issue, Peel Traffic Senior Sergeant Stuart Mearns said owners need to take more responsibility.
“It is the owners’ responsibility – too many times you see scooters and bicycles left unsecured in inappropriate places,” he said.
“We are aware of the issue of stolen scooters and there are reactive and proactive operations in relation to it, including targeting scooters on the road.
“But from our perspective the first step is the personal responsibility of the owners to secure it effectively.”
Following initiatives undertaken by motor vehicles to curb theft, scooters could be seen as easy targets according to Snr-sgt Mearns.
“Scooters and bicycles are generally seen as softer targets than vehicles,” he said. Anyone with information about a black and green scooter last seen heading up Thomson Street away from Centro Mandurah on Thursday, May 3 should call the Mandurah Mail on 9550 2400.