"It was like they didn't know how to start it and ripped it apart," he said.
Scott's scooter was stolen on June 8, just a month before police say they began noticing an uptick in scooter and motorcycle thefts in the Central and South Divisions, an area extending from the Delaware River to the Schuylkill, mostly south of Poplar Street.
Since July 1, 53 vehicles - 39 scooters and 14 motorcycles - have been swiped from sidewalks in Old City, Bella Vista, South Street and Queen Village. Thirteen have been recovered - and 10 of those 13 were found in Camden.
Most of the thefts have occured between midnight and 5 a.m., and police have captured video of suspects in two separate incidents in the 400 block of Fairmount Avenue and the 100 block of Church Street.
In the videos, the two men - one of whom is a black or Hispanic male about 40 years old, wearing a "long bandanna," police said - drive a white van and a white box truck, both with New Jersey plates.
Scooter thieves use bolt cutters to snip chains and typically load the vehicles into work vans, passenger vans and box trucks.
"If it's not the same crew, it's a group of crews that were doing it. It's a bunch of guys doing the same thing," said Lt. Ray Evers, a Philadelphia police spokesman.
Victims of these thefts say the thieves are quick to pick up the scooters and leave without a trace. One waitress, whose scooter had its steering column locked in front of the Center City restaurant she works, said her scooter was taken after midnight from in front of the restaurant. She said she "went inside and came out minutes later and it was gone."
Brendon Baker of Center City said his unlocked scooter was taken from outside his apartment building in June; he gave up hope on it about a month later and bought a new scooter.
In the summer of 2011, Evers said, police dealt with a string of similar scooter thefts, although they weren't as extensive as this year's wave. They even made several arrests, Evers said, but the thefts have continued this year anyway.
Evers said scooters are lightweight and fairly easy to transport, and a quick sell on the street: They're a cheap mode of transportation in cash-strapped times.
"There's value on the street for them," he said.
Tipsters can watch surveillance videos at the Philadelphia police's YouTube channel or visit www.phillypolice.com/news.
Anyone with any information on the incidents should call the department's tip line at 215-686-8477 or text 773847. Tipsters can also call the Major Crime Unit's auto squad at 215-685-9133.
Contact staff writer Aubrey Whelan at 215-854-2771 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter at @aubreyjwhelan. Contact staff writer Sean Carlin at 215-854-2771 or email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter @SeanCarlin84.