CHARLOTTE, N.C. William Hanson always dreamed of owning a scooter. He said being an actor and on a fixed income he never had the money for one but that changed last year.

He got his scooter a one complete with its special one of a kind metallic ice blue paint job. Hanson said it had only two miles on it when he got it as a Christmas gift. But his dream gift turned into a nightmare when he went to bed on the fifth of July.

I locked it in place the next morning at nine o'clock and it was gone, Hanson said as he stood by a bike.

Hanson said the thieves stole the bike right off his front porch.

We live in a very safe neighborhood Plaza Midwood area, he said. I don't know how they did it.

Charlotte Mecklenburg police called Hanson within two weeks of his bike theft to notify him that they had recovered his scooter. Good news but Hanson s bike was not in mint condition anymore.

The crook removed the side panel and without having a key for either the ignition or gas cap, the ignition was broken and the gas cap ripped off. The crook used a baby diaper and a make shift gas cap in its place. Perhaps most disturbing was the crook sprayed over the scooter s paint job.

As you can tell, very fine paint job they tried to cover this up, Hanson said sarcastically as he looked at his bike. My baby in here waiting to be fixed.

He brought his bike to the Charlotte Scooter Shop on Central Avenue.

Mike Brabham of the Charlotte Scooter Shop said that he s seen an increase in the numbers of scooter thefts, especially the lower Power 50 CC number because these scooters do not need to be registered, nor insured.

For this reason, many of the owners don t keep up with the only thing they have to prove ownership the bill of sale. Brabham said regardless of where you live, owners should always lock their scooters, even if they will be away from them even for a minute.

Brabham said that if someone is looking to buy a scooter its best to make sure to use a reputable shop.

He adds that if you choose to purchase from an individual you need to watch out for signs of a stolen bike.

Any evidence of spray paint wires hanging. If they don't have a key and they have a story about that's why I 'm selling it so cheap. Don t walk away but run. Brabham said.

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