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Those cute Euro scooters and mopeds have been a favorite prey of local crooks for a couple of years now, but a couple of recent incidents indicate that scooterjackers have a new MO: Just hop on for a ride.
Last Thursday evening, Zia Koreishi was in Adams Morgan on his scooter when he noticed a couple of teenagers eyeballing him. He was waiting for the light to change at the intersection of 18th Street and Florida Avenue NW when one of the kids walked calmly up to his silver-and-black Yamaha Zuma and took a seat behind him.
“[He] said, ‘Let’s go for a ride,'” says Koreishi, a 31-year-old Brightwood resident. “I turned around and I said, ‘No, I don’t think so.'” But the thief pulled out a gun and pressed it to his spine.
“‘You either get the fuck off…or I’m going to put five caps in your back,'” Koreishi says he was told. He got the fuck off.
Koreishi says the theft took less than 30 seconds. He immediately called the police who sent a few units out to scour the area. But they told him on the spot that he probably won’t see his scooter again.
Less than a week later, a poster on a local scooter discussion board reported a similar theft at a stoplight on Park Road NW.
Despite the new tactics, the number of scooter thefts has been holding steady, says 3rd District Lieutenant Mark Dykes. “There has not been a rash of incidents,” he says.
But that’s not enough to reassure Koreishi. “It was a very skillful operation,” he says, noting that the thieves were very calm “They had no masks; they were completely blending into the Adams Morgan landscape; they didn’t stand out in any way.”