A scooter was reported stolen from the Goodwives Shopping Center parking lot on the evening of Tuesday, July 12, and another was reported missing from Darien Railroad Station later the same night.
But both vehicles were found not far away by the next day. It appeared the thief or thieves couldn’t start and drive either vehicle. The spots where the scooters were stolen and later found downtown are all within about 1,000 feet of each other.
Darien police gave these accounts of each incident:
Goodwives Shopping Center
Shortly after 8:30 p.m., the driver of a 2009 Honda Ruckus scooter told police the vehicle had just been stolen from the Goodwives Shopping Center parking lot when the rider went into Stop & Shop for about 20 minutes.
The rider, a 68-year-old Rowayton man, had borrowed the black scooter from his 40-year-old son. The scooter (valued at $2,500) was left, unlocked, at the west side of the parking lot (on the side where the entrance to the shopping center is located). The rider’s store receipt showed that he had been at the cash register of the supermarket at 8:36 p.m.
A grocery cart attendant was said to have seen someone pushing the scooter out of the entrance of the parking lot, but by the time a police officer arrived at the scene, the employee’s shift had ended and he had already left for the night.
The scooter was later found in the small parking lot behind 800 Post Road, just a block away from the shopping center. A plastic cover over ignition wires appeared to have been broken, seemingly in an attempt to get the vehicle started without its keys, which the rider still had.
Detectives processed the vehicle and started investigating the incident.
Darien Railroad Station
At about 9:30 p.m., the owner of a brown Vespa 150 scooter told police his vehicle had been taken by the time he arrived back in Darien after taking the train home.
(The police report described the vehicle as a moped, but “scooter” seems to be the more common term for it. Scooters and mopeds are similar two-wheeled, motorized vehicles. A moped is generally considered smaller, and a rider’s feet rest on the sides of it, much like a bicycle or motorcycle. Scooters tend to have platforms in front of the seat [but not always] and are generally considered more powerful than mopeds. This Web page describes the differences.)
The owner, 47, had left the scooter at the train station at about 7:50 a.m. that day. The bike rack at the station was full, so the owner had left the scooter on the ground just to the left of the rack. It had no locking mechanism, although it takes a key to start it.
When the owner arrived back at the station at about 9 p.m., the Vespa was gone. He walked home and called police.
At about 2:30 p.m. the next day, an Eversource employee on a lunch break told police he’d seen the scooter in the woods at Tilley Pond Park.
Police examining the vehicle found that the Vespa was damaged, by someone who seemed to have been trying to bypass the ignition.
As with the other scooter, police detectives processed this vehicle and are investigating the incident.