ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A bizarre carjacking in Midtown Atlanta has people asking questions about a popular means of transportation. Police say the crooks used e-scooters to sneak up on an elderly man and steal his car near the intersection of Peachtree and Ponce De Leon on Monday night.
With that crime still top of mind, the safety of e-scooters was brought up at the National Night Out event in Midtown.
Doug Evans says he's had several close calls with e-scooters while walking on the sidewalks near his home in Midtown.
"I've been almost hit twice by an e-scooter. No, three times. One time someone came up behind me going about 15 miles an hour, and I didn't even know they were there. They just grazed me. I'm just waiting to be hit," Evans said.
Now, Evans says, people up to no good are using them to commit crimes.
"All they do is hop on a scooter and go do it and haul butt," said Evans.
Victoria Shiman says she rides e-scooters.
"It's fun for those who live here to get around, but they're also starting to get dangerous," said Shiman.
Not far from where the National Night Out event was held, just 24 hours earlier, two guys on scooters carjacked a man in a rental car. Atlanta Police Zone 5 Commander Major Darin Shierbaum said the fact that the crooks used scooters is irrelevant.
"We're in the business of putting criminals out of work. It's not how you get there, it's what you do, and we don't want you doing that, and we are going to arrest you," said Shierbaum.
Midtown business owner Vijay Kumar says the scooters have been nothing but trouble.
"People are constantly just dropping them in front of my door. There will be five or 10 of the scooters here," said Kumar.
Kumar owns a convenience store near the carjacking that happened on Monday. He says thieves have come into his store, swiped items, and used scooters to get away. Kumar says there are just too many scooters, and he would like to see them banned.
Of course, not everyone feels they should be banned. At the Midtown Night Out, neighbors talked about working together to learn a safer way to live with scooters.
"Tonight is about connecting the police, the community, civic association and trying to educate the public on how to use e-scooters and stay safe and embrace this new alternate transit," said Courtney Smith with the Midtown Neighbors Association.
Since APD began enforcing the e-scooter laws June 1, 217 citations and warnings have been handed out in Zone 5. Most of them have been warnings. Police hand out flyers to educate people on where and how to operate an e-scooter.