Hail transport and electric scooter companies want Americans to use their personal cars less. You know that the idea became commonplace when even the urban bank robber chose public transit over a private vehicle.
In September 2018, a burglar from Indianapolis, Indiana, used a Bird electric scooter to carry a wallet, a laptop and a backpack. In December, a man from Baltimore, Maryland, stole a cell phone under the threat of a gun and fled aboard a Bird scooter. Also in December, a 19-year-old robbed a bank in downtown Austin, Texas, and jumped on one of the Uber's Jump scooters to escape. Earlier this month, a bank robber in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, took a Lyft to the bank, made him wait outside while he was committing the robbery, and then drove the same vehicle at O'Hare Airport.
You can see how shared transit can interest an inexperienced criminal: you perform the act and then find yourself anonymous on an electric scooter, a Cassidy Butch for our modern era of micro-mobility. Except it does not really work that way, as the Washington Post reports:
As regular users know, to light a rental scooter, the rider must use an app containing his phone number, email address and credit card information. You're probably not surprised to learn that this is the kind of personal details that allow the police to easily find criminals.
The detectives in Austin, after seeing a Jump scooter used as a leakage vehicle in surveillance footage, sent Uber a search warrant asking for geolocation data and user information. The company provided a phone number, an email address and a credit card number. Police arrested Luca Mangiarano, 19, and charged him with robbery about a month after his alleged crime. "It was a learning experience for me and the burglary unit," Austin police detective Jason Chiappardi told the Washington Post. "We had never had a scooter involved in a robbery."
Police took less than five hours to locate and arrest Jonathan Decorah, 43, after allegedly stealing nearly $ 6,000 from a bank in suburban Chicago. Decorah took a Lyft to Ben Franklin Bank of Illinois around 9:30 am on February 9th. The Lyft, a white car with a carpool sticker, was waiting outside during the robbery of the bank. It is not known if the driver knew what was going on. and then took him to the airport after he returned and updated his travel destination to the United Airlines terminal at O & # 39; Hare. On the way, Decorah would have asked if there were Chase banks where they could stop. The driver said no.
Oh and then there was this guy:
ROCHELLE PARK, NJ (Gray News) – A man who was trying to rob a New Jersey house ran away when he woke up the victims, but he did not get far before accidentally getting into a police car instead of the Lyft he had ordered .
These stories are absurd and yet they really happened! Did Mangiarano think that Jump did not use the same software that he had rented the scooter to track his position? Did Decorah imagine that Lyft could be his own Baby Driver? Shared rides and scooters create an illusion of stealth and anonymity – you may never see the same driver or scooter again – but never forget that they follow you. (Related: Fitbits released by the company.) If all our burglars exchanged private vehicles for shared climbs and electric scooters, we might never have a hard time catching a thief again.
An earlier version of this article was published in Oversharing, a newsletter on the sharing economy. Register here.