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The Moped Crisis: Cops Seize Illegal Vehicles from Central Park Vendor

The NYPD says it seized a handful of mopeds from someone renting the illegal two-wheeled devices near Central Park.

3:53 PM EDT on September 1, 2023

Photo: NYPD|

No plate? Yes problem.

The NYPD says it seized a handful of mopeds from someone renting the illegal two-wheeled devices near Central Park.

According to police, a 39-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was “soliciting passersby” to rent out his four unregistered mopeds from a white van that he had parked by Center Drive and Central Park South.

Police said they charged the alleged malefactor with four summonses for illegally renting a “motorized scooter” and one more for unlawful solicitation in a park on Aug. 29, thought a passerby and the social media account of the E-Vehicle Safety Alliance had tipped off cops to the impropriety on Sunday, Aug. 27.

The NYPD, which incorrectly refers to mopeds as "scooters," says the illicit rentals were not part of a real business. But according to social media posts, the man may be working for, or the owner of, Ez Scoot, which has a website and has posted pictures on social media.

An associated account on Instagram, which did not respond to Streetsblog’s request for comment, was taken down this week. 

The NYC E-Vehicle Safety Alliance bills itself as “victims and potential victimsof rogue e-vehicle riders,” said it was grateful to the NYPD for shutting down the operation.

“E-VSA applauds the efforts of the NYPD for quickly taking action against this illegal business that was renting unplated motorcycles, advertised to speed up to 60 mph, to children in Central Park,” Andrew Fine, one of the founders of the group, wrote in an email to Streetsblog.

The NYPD declined to answer other questions about the business or the bust, such as whether it was the first time the moped-rental business appeared in Central Park, or elsewhere.

The bust comes amid a proliferation of fast, gas- and electric-powered illegal mopeds. Police have conducted sporadic busts of moped riders, many of whom are delivery workers, but have not seriously tackled the points of sale for the illegal devices.

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