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Theft Ring Targeting Scooters, Motorcycles In Philadelphia

By Elizabeth Hur

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With sky-high gas prices, Scooters have become a popular mode of transportation.

Unfortunately, police say Scooters have also become an easy target for thieves.

On Friday, Philadelphia police released surveillance video and pictures from recent thefts in the 100 block of Church Street in Old City and in the 400 block of Fairmount Avenue in Northern Liberties.

What you see in the surveillance video is quite incredible. Once the thieves spot their scooter of choice, it takes one suspect just about five seconds to cut the chain. Then when his accomplice backs up their van, another twenty seconds that’s all it takes for the two suspects to scoop up the scooter and place it in their van.

According to police, that was one of 39 scooters and 14 motorcycles stolen between July 1 and September 24, 2012 from South and Central Police Divisions.

Of the 53 stolen, thirteen scooters have been recovered, ten of which have been recovered in Camden, New Jersey.

Police describe one of the suspects as a black or Hispanic male approximately 40 years-of-age, wearing a long bandanna on his head. The suspects are shown operating a white van and a white box truck, both with New Jersey license plates. In one of the thefts, the 2nd male stayed in the back of the van after the stolen scooter was placed inside.

Investigators believe several groups of unknown males from Camden, New Jersey are involved in the scooter thefts using work vans, fifteen seat passenger vans (church vans), and box trucks to transport the scooters. The bikes are being taken back over to Camden, New Jersey to sell on the streets after the thefts. The majority of thefts occur between the hours of 12:00am and 5:00am.

Anyone with information about these crimes or these suspects is asked to contact: Major Crime Unit Auto Squad 215-685-9133.

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