Police link teen to bank robbery thanks to his getaway e-scooter

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A teen in Austin, Texas, was arrested by police Thursday after an electric scooter linked him to a bank robbery, the Austin-American Statesman reports.

Police charged 19-year-old Luca Mangiarano with robbery by threat after a BBVA Compass bank was targeted on Dec. 18.

According to the arrest affidavit, the incident began when one of the bank’s tellers was approached by a young man in a hooded sweatshirt and given a note demanding cash. After being handed the money, the robber was spotted, by another employee, fleeing the scene on an e-scooter.

Upon reviewing surveillance footage from outside the bank, investigators saw an individual matching descriptions given by witnesses “riding a Jump scooter on the sidewalk” away from the scene.

Jump, owned by ridesharing giant Uber, was given a subpoena by police shortly after demanding information on the specific scooter. Investigators were able to determine that Mangiarano had used the scooter at the time of the robbery and were given his phone number, email address, and credit card number.

Law enforcement then obtained surveillance footage of Mangiarano in his apartment complex and determined that he matched the individual spotted at the bank. Police went one step further and also contacted Mangiarano’s cellphone provider and determined that his smartphone was near the bank at the time of the incident.

In a statement to Gizmodo, Uber praised the officers involved in the case for quickly apprehending the suspect.

“We appreciate the Austin Police Department’s work in this case that led to an arrest of this individual,” an Uber spokesperson said. “We fully cooperated with law enforcement and will continue to provide any information to them that may be helpful on their investigation.”

While the incident highlights why using a mode of transportation linked to your identity to commit felonies is unwise, e-scooters are a poor choice in more ways than one.

UCLA researchers recently examined two emergency rooms in Los Angeles-area hospitals and discovered that 249 people had been admitted with injuries related to e-scooter accidents in just one year.

H/T Austin-American Statesman

Mikael Thalen

Mikael Thalen

Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.