Condo complex says dockless bike & scooter employee broke in to retrieve scooter

Manager calls vehicles a 'plague' on the complex
Posted: 7:53 AM, Apr 09, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-09 17:17:15Z
Bird Scooter employee caught breaking the law
Bird Scooter employee caught breaking the law
Bird Scooter employee caught breaking the law
Bird Scooter employee caught breaking the law

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A condo complex in Pacific Beach has had recurring problems with dockless bikes and scooters being left all over the property. Managers say the problem escalated earlier this month when a person broke into one of the parking garages to retrieve a scooter.

"They're a nuisance," says Chuck Levine, the Facilities Manager at the Plaza Condominiums.

"We find them left in our elevators, in our hallways, in our landscaping, everywhere," he says.

Levine says he and his staff regularly find the bikes and scooters around the complex. Because of liability issues, they collect them and put them in a storage closet. He's tried to get the companies to arrange a pickup, to no avail.

"The first time we called Limebike, we got a promise they'd come and retrieve the bikes," he says. "They even thanked us for returning them. But they never came."

The problem came to a head on Easter Sunday. Levine showed 10News security footage that shows a person forcibly lifting a garage door at the Plaza, breaking the arm. That person then walks through the garage to the storage closet and breaks the lock on the door. He searches the closet and grabs just a Bird Scooter, then walks out.

Levine believes it's a Bird Scooter employee because he left everything else in the closet.

"There's a 2,000 dollar generator, a 3,000 dollar pressure washer; there are all sorts of things in here that are worth a lot of money. He bypassed all of that," says Levine.

10News contacted Bird Scooter about the footage. They told us the people who collect their bikes are independent contractors, called "charger-partners." In a statement, they said: 

"Our charger-partners are given explicit ‚Äčinstructions about how to take Birds off the road for the evening. We take any allegations about improper or illegal behavior very seriously. Once we were notified by the condo association about this incident, we launched an investigation to determine what happened. Based on our findings, we have deactivated this charger-partner's account and removed him from the platform."

Bird Spokesman Ken Baer told us the charger-partner had only been working for Bird for about 2 weeks and this was the first report they've had of any incident like this.

Levine says he wants to work with the companies to find a way to keep the bikes and scooters from becoming a bigger problem.

"We want to offer the people that live here the enjoyment of the beach, a beach community. We want them to feel comfortable in doing that," he says. "I don't think anyone feels comfortable with people breaking into the complex to retrieve scooters that were left in hallways."