Since spring break, there have been three larcenies and two attempted larcenies of scooters on campus.
According to Department of Public Safety reports, the scooters were collectively valued at $15,700, but some students said their mopeds were priceless.
Women’s soccer player and sophomore Joanna Boyles said she worries about leaving her scooter alone and said if her scooter were stolen, she would miss the time saved from motor biking to class and practice.
“There’s no way for an athlete that has so much to do in a day to walk from place to place,” she said. “(Scooters) are so convenient.”
Department of Public Safety spokesman Randy Young said the damage observed on the scooters seems to indicate that a thief was trying to gain access to the mechanics. He said the Alert Carolina message was sent out Tuesday in order to alert students to secure their motor vehicles.
“Basically, these (scooters) are considered motorized vehicles so they fall under the Clery Law,” he said. “They fall under the same category as cars, so when there is a series of thefts in motorized vehicles, we are required to report it.”
There are currently 80 scooters registered with UNC’s Transportation and Parking department, and Young said he encourages scooter drivers to secure their scooters with U-locks.
Boyles, however, said the lock can be time-consuming.
“I have a lock, but it takes a long time to lock, and it’s a nuisance,” she said.
Young said the number of scooters on campus has risen in the past few years, but this is the first string of scooter thefts he can remember.
“I never lock mine, and I’ve never had any problem with it,” freshman rower Maggie Berra said.
The Department of Public Safety is searching for a person of interest, described in the Alert Carolina message. The department has not ruled out the possibility that all the thefts are related.
“It’s a call for awareness,” Young said. “If anyone sees suspicious activity then they should go ahead and call 911.”
Sophomore Ethan Smith said he is unconcerned about the safety of his scooter in light of the recent larcenies.
“I think it’s mostly a concern for on-campus residents,” said Smith, who is a pole vaulter for the track and field team.
Artis Swann, a housekeeper at the Kenan Center, said he has been riding his scooter to work from his house in Carrboro for four years.
He said he is upset someone is stealing scooters and wants to see something done to ensure scooter safety.
“I mean, this is my baby,” he said. “I love my scooter.”