ATLANTA - Picking up and charging scooters is a big business in metro Atlanta. It's called “Bird hunting.” Many teenagers and young professionals are making extra cash by scooping up Bird scooters and taking them home to recharge them.
A midtown Atlanta woman said the popular electric scooters are putting her life in danger, saying it's becoming a major fire hazard in her neighborhood.
Elisa Forsgren said someone is using their car and apartment outlets to charge dozens of scooters at a time.
Channel 2's Michael Seiden spoke with Forsgren and the company that owns the scooters.
"It’s just scary. It’s just scary to think I could wake to flames in an old house," Forsgren said.
Forsgren said the problem began in September.
“There’s a new resident that moved into our building and apparently his only job is to charge these Birds,” she said.
Not just one or two, but dozens of electric scooters were seen here in photos Forsgren sent to Channel 2 Action News.
Forsgren said she started snapping pictures after becoming concerned for her own safety.
“They’re putting my life at risk and the buildings are so close and there’s another building so close," Forsgren said.
Forsgren said her neighbor ran an extension cord from his second-floor apartment down to the parking lot where he used his car to charge the scooters.
She said he didn't stop there.
“Having those things charging in a bunch of pine straw and bushes under a tarp," Forsgren said. “They had decided to use the outdoor power source that our landlord actually pays for people mowing lawns or doing hedges.”
Fed up with the situation, Forsgren attempted to confront her neighbor.
On Friday, we stopped by her neighbor's home, but no one answered the door.
A spokeswoman for Bird would not confirm or deny if the incident is under investigation, but she did release the following statement. It said in part:
"Bird encourages our charger community to safely pick up and charge our vehicles in a number of ways, including requiring chargers to use their own power sources. We recommend reporting concerns to Bird, as we have a team dedicated to charger safety and support that is available around the clock to address questions and reports we receive. Bird provides a number of ways for people to reach us including by email (Hello@bird.co), through our in-app messaging feature, and by phone."
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