A BOY believed to be just ten years old stole a scooter belonging to German tourists outside a city supermarket – and nearly crashed into a woman as he drove off.
The young joyrider made off with the Honda 125cc scooter from the car park at Morrisons on Waterfront Broadway, in Granton, as his gang of friends looked on.
The scooter had been parked outside the store by a German couple in their late 50s who were touring Scotland with the vehicle.
The incident was witnessed by George Alexander, who alerted police and tracked down the scooter’s owner in the store.
The 60-year-old, who works in logistics for British Gas, said: “My wife and I had come to Morrisons to get our weekly shop and we saw a group of about 12 to 15 boys wearing hoodies hanging about in the car park, all aged between about nine and 15 years old.
“As I was getting out one of the car, one of these youths on a pushbike came very close to the rear of my vehicle. Then suddenly this scooter came screaming out from where this group had been standing. The scooter just missed the car in front and it was coming right towards us so my wife had to jump back of the road to avoid it.
“One of the boys was on the back of this silver scooter, which had German licence plates. He could only have been about ten years old. All of his friends were laughing as he drove off then they ran away too.
“The scooter had obviously been stolen so I called the police right away. I went into the store to see if I could find the owner. I noticed a man carrying a crash helmet so I thought it must be him.”
It turned out the scooter belonged to a German couple who had been using it to travel around Scotland for the past three weeks.
The couple, who have since returned home, said they had been all over the Highlands on it and were understood to be very upset by the incident.
Mr Alexander, who lives in West Pilton, added: “I asked the store security guards if they caught the theft on CCTV but unfortunately they didn’t.
“I’m not sure how this boy managed to get the scooter started. He might’ve used a screwdriver or something.
“Where I live, you often see boys riding scooters or motorbikes in the street.
“After this happened I went to the area and drove around for a bit to see if I could see the scooter but there was no sign of it.”
The scooter, which was stolen at around 5.20pm on Friday, was later found abandoned but no arrests have been made.
A police spokesman said: “We are investigating the theft of a scooter from Morrisons car park, Waterfront Broadway, on Friday night. The scooter has since been recovered, but inquiries are still ongoing to trace whoever took it.
“Anyone with any information should contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131.”