(NBC News) — Electric scooters and bikes have exploded in dozens of American cities, but some business owners and landlords are frustrated with the deluge of dockless two-wheelers.
In California, a tow company called ScootScoop is impounding thousands of devices parked on private property in San Diego.
Dan Borelli and John Heinkel founded the company back in January. Since then, they’ve seized and stored thousands of e-scooters in local warehouses and garages.
“We do fill out tow ticket for every single one, we take a picture of it, show data where that scooter located,” said Borelli, who owns a local bike shop, which is likely taking a hit from the surplus of electric vehicles vrooming around the city.
Scooter companies must pay $50 – plus $2 a day in storage fees – just to get their devices back from the impound lot. Some brands are playing ball, but Bird and Lime are fighting back. Both companies have filed lawsuits against ScootScoop, seeking an immediate end to the so-called “tow company scheme.”
“Their attempts to deputize themselves as an extension of the city is not only unlawful, but it is nothing more than a property theft scheme to generate income,” said Lime in a written statement about the ongoing lawsuit. We are confident that the court will agree and put a stop to their conduct so that Lime can get back to the business of providing the San Diego community with an environmentally friendly and convenient mode of transportation.”
For its part, ScootScoop hopes to expand the company if it wins the legal battle. In the meantime, their lot in San Diego – as well as the bill for scooter companies – continues to grow.
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