Close your eyes and imagine you just bought a brand new electric scooter. You ride the scooter to a local cafe and park it outside, then walk inside to meet your friend for coffee. After your coffee meet-up, you walk out the door and… your scooter has vanished! You shake your head in despair. You never bothered to turn on the anti-theft alarm when you went inside, but now you wish you had!
In the European Union, there are an average of 697,000 stolen motor vehicle reports each year. But for Fredrik, a 35-year-old father and musician from Sweden, this stolen vehicle statistic was also a harsh reality.
How does an anti-theft system work? And how was his stolen vehicle recovered? We recently caught up with Fredrik to hear his electric scooter theft story.
Fredrik purchased his NIU scooter in March of 2018. He bought it as a daily commuter vehicle from the south side of Stockholm to the city center, but he also found some other creative uses for it.
“The scooter is in my band’s official tour image! It was even used as a tour vehicle for my band when we did a series of performances,” recalls Fredrik.
One weekend, Fredrik planned a relaxing vacation with his partner, and everything was off to a perfect start. “We rode the NIU scooter to the hotel, parked it outside, locked the steering, and set the alarm.”
Fredrik enjoyed some quality time with his partner, but later received some warning signs that someone was planning a mischievous act. The anti-theft movement alarm on his electric scooter triggered messages from the NIU app that his scooter was receiving some unexpected attention.
“After a nice dinner and evening we fell asleep and woke up to the NIU app warning about unauthorized movements. Got up, looked out the window and the electric scooter was still on the street, and all seemed normal.” Fredrik fell back asleep, assuming that his scooter was safe and there was nothing to worry about.
However, the next day, he woke up to a shocking surprise. “The next morning we checked out of the hotel to find that the scooter was gone!”
Fredrik certainly did not expect his electric scooter to be stolen, but he did not need to panic. He knew his NIU scooter offered GPS location services, and he could easily pinpoint its location on a map.
“I opened the app and could see exactly where my NIU scooter was and where it had been since it left the hotel. As we approached the scooter’s location we could see that it was now on the move! We called the police with the latest development and they were now on their way as they could make an arrest.”
Shortly after, the police arrived at the location of Fredrik’s scooter, where they arrested and questioned the two men who had stolen the vehicle. The GPS location function in the NIU app had reunited Fredrik with his electric scooter! Hooray!
How to keep your scooter safe
If you are already a NIU scooter owner, here are a few quick tips to keep your electric scooter safe.
In order to protect yourself, pay attention to these anti-theft settings in the NIU app:
- Customize your phone alert settings (vibration, leaning, movement, location threshold)
- Adjust your movement alarm sensitivity by pressing and holding the red key fob button
- Set the location threshold alarm sensitivity
Your phone will receive a notification when the electric scooter sensors are disturbed, based on these settings. You can always check on the GPS location of your NIU scooter, if you are concerned.
In particular, one feature that Fredrik may have found useful in his situation is the location threshold alarm.
This feature notifies the NIU scooter owner when it moves outside of a set perimeter after parking. You can even set the sensitivity of the threshold to high (100m), normal (1km), or low (1.5km). When the scooter leaves the designated area after it has been parked, you will be notified.
If you know what to look for in an electric scooter, then you know that anti-theft features are critical. It is important to know how an anti-theft system works, whether you are already an owner or just doing research.
Fredrik’s story is just another example of how stolen vehicles are recovered, thanks to anti-theft systems from companies like NIU. We are glad to hear that he was reunited with this scooter, and we hope these anti-theft features help many more like Fredrik in the future.
[Special thanks to Tedd Soost for the interview and photos.]