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Gunman uses hoverboard as getaway vehicle, cops fail to catch him

Is the hoverboard about to become the modern-day criminal’s getaway vehicle of choice? With a top speed of 6 mph, probably not, but one shooter in Dallas has reportedly just used the machine to flee the scene after gunning down a guy at a gas station.

The victim, who is expected to survive the apparently unprovoked attack, told cops he was in his car Thursday morning when a man approached him on a hoverboard, pulled a gun, and shot him in the arm. The assailant then fled the scene on his self-balancing scooter, evading cops who were unable to locate him during a search of the immediate area, Fox News reported.

The incident follows an even more bizarre happening last month when an 18-year-old Orlando man riding on a hoverboard – with a gun in hand – reportedly lost his balance and, tumbling off the machine, accidentally shot his 13-year-old cousin dead.

Related: Colleges are now banning hoverboards from their campuses

It seems the hoverboard just can’t catch a break. Weird one-off events aside, the personal transporter – one of the big-selling items of the last holiday season – has been the subject of numerous news headlines in recent months thanks to a growing number of sub-standard models suddenly catching fire, and in some cases burning down entire homes in the process.

Airlines have banned them from planes; Amazon, Toys “R” Us, and Target have kicked them off their sites; and the government has even told hoverboard owners to keep a fire extinguisher close by should the thing decide to ruin your day by spontaneously combusting.

The hoverboard’s sudden rise in popularity toward the end of last year prompted a bunch of inexperienced businesses to try to cash in on the craze, but many lacked the skills to create a safe device, or simply chose to reduce costs by incorporating sub-standard batteries and other components.

A new certification process introduced recently by product-testing organization Underwriters Laboratories (UL) should enable the authorities to successfully root out dodgy units in the coming months, giving reputable manufacturers the chance to compete in a market that’s currently high profile for all the wrong reasons.