9 Bird scooters dumped in woods, now unusable

9 Bird scooters dumped in woods, now unusable

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Several bird scooters won't be back on the streets of Memphis.

Shelby County Sheriff's Office said a road crew found nine scooters dumped on Cuba Woodstock Road near Shelby Forest.

Deputies said the GPS modules had been stripped off of the scooters.

Bird operates on a "dockless" model, meaning scooters can be picked up and parked almost anywhere in the city.

Riders use the Bird app to unlock the scooter, and are then billed for every minute they ride.

The damaged scooters were turned back over to Bird, according to Earle Farrell with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

It's not clear if the vandalized scooters were ridden to the rural area or transported in another vehicle.

Bird scooters can be rolled or picked up even when in "locked" mode, but will sound an alarm and upload their location to deter theft.

A Bird spokesman would not reveal what type of vandalism was done, or say if thieves were seeking electronic parts, battery packs or something else.

Bird would also not comment on how many scooters have been stolen or vandalized since the Memphis launch, but did send the following statement:

"Our mission at Bird is to provide an affordable and reliable transportation option to communities everywhere. That's why we offer our One Bird discounted program for qualified low income riders, and our Red, White and Bird discounted program for active military service members and veterans. When Bird vehicles are vandalized or knocked over on the sidewalk, it's like breaking windows in our own neighborhood. We hope that when people see available Birds, they are mindful of our friends and neighbors who rely on our vehicles to get to work on time or make it to their next appointment. We encourage people in communities to report incidents of vandalism to Birds, and irresponsible behavior on Birds, to local authorities and to the company. Bird investigates all reports of vandalism and takes appropriate measures, including working with law enforcement and removing people from our platform." 

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