Electric scooters have become a favored mode of transportation for city dwellers across the country. That’s because they’re convenient, portable, and a joy to ride. After investing in one yourself, you’ll quickly realize why these vehicles are such a hot commodity.
Due to their increasing desirability, electric scooters are a magnet for thieves. Many people would love to get their hands on a free e-scooter if the opportunity presented itself. Thus, it should come as no surprise that an estimated one in ten e-scooter owners may have their precious ride swiped by a thief at some point during their riding journey.(1)
So, how can you prevent your electric scooter from getting stolen?
To help you safeguard your e-scooter investment, we’ve put together this list of four helpful electric scooter theft prevention strategies.
How to Prevent Theft of Electric Scooters: 4 Strategies
Whether your electric scooter costs $300 or $3,000, it’s an investment worth protecting.
Fortunately, there are several effective security measures you can employ to evade thieves. Each of these tactics is designed to make the job of a thief that much harder. They offer the best protection when used in combination.
With that in mind, let’s dive into four effective ways you can protect your electric scooter from theft:
#1 Avoid Leaving Your Electric Scooter Outside Unattended
If you’re briefly stopping by a coffee shop or grocery store, you may assume that your electric scooter can be safely left outside for a few minutes. Unfortunately, thieves prey on this assumption with exceptional expediency. If they see an unattended e-scooter left outside, they’ll jump on the chance to swoop it up.
Remember, experienced e-scooter thieves are masters of their craft. If a chance presents itself to steal an e-scooter in broad daylight, they’ll take advantage of it. Locking your electric scooter can make their job a little more difficult, but keeping it by your side is an even better theft prevention method.
Thanks to electric scooters’ portability, this is actually quite easy to do. All you have to do is:
- Fold up your e-scooter and bring it inside the coffee shop or store with you
- Place your e-scooter safely beneath your desk after riding it to work
- Store your electric scooter in your home or garage when you’re done riding it
#2 Choose Outdoor Parking Locations Wisely
While you should try to avoid leaving your e-scooter outside, there may be circumstances where you have no other choice. In such situations, you can deter potential thieves by choosing your parking location wisely.
Look for a spot that has:
Good lighting – Thieves operate at their best under the cover of darkness. Don’t give them this advantage. Instead, park your electric scooter somewhere that will remain well lit no matter what time of day or night it is.
Security camera surveillance – Thieves may be less inclined to swipe your electric scooter if they know that their crime will be caught on camera. Luckily, many public places are under continuous video surveillance these days. (2)
If you can find a parking spot near a sign that calls attention to the active video surveillance taking place, you can reduce your chances of becoming a target of theft.
Secure locking structure – If you must leave your electric scooter outside, you should always secure it with a lock. Leaving an e-scooter outside unlocked is as good as giving it away.
We’ll review several lock options below, but regardless of which one you choose, you’ll need a secure structure to attach it to. Look for a parking location that has a sturdy bike rack, light pole, or some other type of immovable object that you can lock it to.
Onlookers – An aspiring thief may be tempted to try to break open your e-scooter lock if no one’s looking. However, most people behave differently when they know they’re being watched. (3)
The process of breaking locks can be noisy and time-consuming. In turn, most thieves won’t do their dirty work around onlookers. By parking your electric scooter in a public place, thieves may think twice about messing with your e-scooter lock.
If you can park your e-scooter in a location that’s visible to you from your final destination, even better.
Now you know why some locations make for safer e-scooter parking spots than others. Selecting a safe parking spot isn’t adequate protection on its own, but it can bolster your theft prevention plan.
#3 Lock Your Electric Scooter
Locking an electric scooter is an essential step in protecting it from theft. If you plan to leave your electric scooter outside for any period of time, you need to lock it up. There are many types of electric scooter locks you can choose from, including:
U-locks – U-locks are metal locks made of hardened steel that feature a stiff U-shaped shackle and straight crossbar. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
To use a U-lock, all you need to do is fasten it snugly around your electric scooter’s stem and secure it to a sturdy object. Your U-lock should be small and short enough that it won’t slip over your electric scooter’s handlebars.
Even though U-locks are a popular option amongst electric scooter riders, they don’t always offer the strongest protection. Many U-locks can be cut through quite easily with bolt cutters or power tools.
Cable locks – Another common electric scooter lock is the cable lock. Cable locks are made of steel cable, which is usually coated in plastic to prevent the steel from scratching your electric scooter. They can be locked with a key or a combination lock.
Many riders are drawn to cable locks for their light weight and affordability. Unfortunately, cable locks are the easiest type of lock to cut through, due to their comparably flimsy construction.
Chain locks – Chain locks are made of interconnected steel links. These links are usually covered by cloth or plastic to prevent chain corrosion and electric scooter scratches.
Chain locks offer stronger protection than U-locks and cable locks. They’re too robust to be broken apart by basic wire cutters. If a thief wants to take on a chain lock, they’ll most likely need some specialized machinery. As a result, chain locks are a good option if you have to leave your electric scooter in a high-crime area.
The main downside of chain locks is their heavy weight. Carrying around a chain lock can be quite burdensome.
Disc brake locks – Disc brake locks attach to your electric scooter’s brake caliper. They secure your e-scooter in place by preventing its wheels from turning.
By freezing your electric scooter in place, disc brake locks make it harder for thieves to roll your electric scooter away without being noticed. Some disc locks also sound an alarm if your e-scooter is moved while locked, only worsening the prospects for potential thieves.
Unlike chain locks, disc brake locks are lightweight and small enough to slip into your bag. However, they may not offer sufficient protection if your e-scooter is on the lighter side—a thief could always evade the disc brake lock by picking your electric scooter up and carrying it away.
Grip locks – Grip locks are mounted onto your electric scooter’s handlebars. They keep your handlebar brakes pulled down while you’re away, effectively rendering your e-scooter immobile.
If a thief isn’t strong enough to pick up your e-scooter, trying to drag it down the street with a grip lock in place will attract a lot of unwanted attention.
As with disc brake locks, grip locks may not provide enough protection for lighter e-scooter models if used on their own.
Folding locks – One final lock option is the folding lock. Folding locks combine the benefits of U-locks, cable locks, and chain locks all in one. They provide robust protection in a compact, lightweight form. These locks are made of foldable steel bars that attach to one another using metal rivets. After unfolding these bars, you can secure the lock around your electric scooter as you would with a cable or chain lock.
While not in use, you can fold the bars of your folding lock together like an accordion and slip it into your bag. You also have the option to keep your folding lock attached to your e-scooter at all times, which can prevent you from misplacing it.
At Apollo Scooters, we carry an ETook Folding Lock that can prevail against a variety of lock-breaking equipment, including saws, drills, and cutters. It also features a convenient bracket that can hold it in place against your e-scooter.
The right lock for you from this list will depend on your budget and protection requirements.
Luckily, you can double your protection by using two different types of locks at a time. This simple strategy can throw an unexpected curveball at potential thieves. Many of them may be savvy enough to break open one lock, but tackling two within a limited time frame presents a much greater challenge.
How to Lock a Personal Electric Scooter
If you haven’t locked an electric scooter before, just follow these simple steps:
- Find an immovable object in a safe location (such as a bike rack or pole)
- Place your electric scooter beside the sturdy object
- Locate a secure locking point on your electric scooter (most riders secure their lock around the e-scooter’s stem or through its folding mechanism)
- Secure your lock in place
- Make sure you don’t forget your key or lock combination
When you position your lock around your electric scooter, try to leave as little space between it and the lock as possible. This way, it will be harder for a bad actor to slip an object in between the two in an attempt to break the lock.
Along the same lines, don’t let your lock sit on the ground while it's in use. If your lock is laying on the ground, a thief can strike a heavy object against it and break it open quite easily. A lock that’s suspended mid-air is much harder to break.
#4 Invest In Additional Electric Scooter Anti-Theft Devices
Locks aren’t the only useful theft prevention tool at your disposal.
You can fortify your theft prevention efforts with the following anti-theft devices:
Alarms – As we mentioned earlier, some locks come equipped with alarms. You can also purchase a standalone anti-theft alarm to achieve the same protection.
At Apollo Scooters, our Anti-Theft Alarm can scare away thieves in an instant. To use it, just attach the soundbox to your electric scooter. If someone touches your e-scooter while you’re away, the alarm will sound and alert onlookers.
GPS tracking devices – Even if you follow all of the theft prevention tips we’ve discussed so far, there’s always a small chance that a thief will succeed. In this worst-case scenario, a GPS tracking device can come in handy. Just attach it to your electric scooter in a stealthy location.
Rather than chasing down the thief yourself, it’s more prudent to share your GPS tracking data with the police and let them pursue the perpetrator on your behalf. If they’re able to locate the thief and retrieve your e-scooter, you’ll be very happy you invested in this device.
As you can see, these additional anti-theft prevention devices can offer you multifaceted protection and even greater peace of mind.
Stay One Step Ahead of Thieves With Apollo Scooters
Now you know how to lock an electric scooter properly and elude potential thieves in the process. By staying one step ahead of these unscrupulous actors, you can protect your precious electric scooter and enjoy it for years to come.
Are you in the market for an e-scooter that’s worth protecting? Here at Apollo Scooters, we design e-scooters that offer unparalleled power and portability. Our electric scooters come with all of the high-performance features you need to enjoy a safe, smooth ride every time.
No matter the size of your budget, we have an electric scooter model that can suit your needs. Explore our selection of high-performance electric scooters today.
(1) Statista. Share of people who have experienced theft of a bicycle or electric scooter in Poland in 2021.
(2) NPR. In More Cities, A Camera On Every Corner, Park And Sidewalk.
(3) BBC. How being watched changes you – without you knowing.