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LimeBike scooters have secret alarms built-in that blare loud noises and threats to call the police, but the company says it's getting rid of them

Rachel Sandler
electric scooter san francisco limebike


  • LimeBike scooters were found blaring loud alarms and threats to call the police, The Guardian reported Thursday.
  • Lime says it's phasing out the alarm, and that no scooter actually called the police.
  • The warning was triggered if someone tried to tamper with a scooter without paying beforehand on the LimeBike app.

Limebike scooters were emitting loud screams and threats to call the police if they were tampered without being paid for, The Guardian reported Thursday. But the company said it's phasing out the anti-theft alarm, and that no scooter actually ever called the police. 

While all scooters in San Francisco are temporarily banned until they get permits from the city, The Gaurdian's Sam Levin noticed a Lime scooter in Oakland, California loudly emitting robot sound effects and a woman's voice saying, "Unlock me to ride me, or I’ll call the police.”

The warning is triggered when a person who hasn't unlocked a scooter through LimeBike's app attempts to press buttons on the scooter, stand on it, or otherwise fiddle with the two-wheeler, according to The Gaurdian. Though a spokesperson told The Guardian that while threatening to do so, no scooter actually called the police.

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This week I discovered the new scooters in Oakland shout loud threats to call the police on you if you stand on them but don’t buy a ride https://t.co/NqDDP3AYwEpic.twitter.com/tyKQfk9JEU

A LimeBike spokesperson told Business Insider that the reason for the message "is to deter theft and damage to the scooters" and that "theft and vandalism has occurred in less than 1% of our scooters across all markets, which we attribute to this audio alarm."

The spokesperson added the company has updated the alarm to no longer blare a message. 

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