Philadelphia police cracking down on illegal ATV, dirt riders

Publish Date: 
Aug 7, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Police here are cracking down on illegal ATV and dirt riders that sweep across city streets and parks each summer.

Sunday, police confiscated 37 ATVs and dirt bikes in Kensington, North Philly, Fairhill, Hunting Park and Cobbs Creek, and authorities promise enforcement will continue.

"The police department is going to take a more proactive approach in confiscating these vehicles," Deputy Commissioner Thomas Wright told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We won't get into the details of our strategy, but we will be doing more frequent operations in the future, where the element of surprise is key."

Wright said a task force of about 10 officers fanned out around 11 a.m. Sunday, seizing 26 quads and 11 dirt bikes from garages and streets. If the owners can show proof of ownership, registration and tags, they'll get their rides back — after they pay storage fees and citations.

Ironically, the department turns over unclaimed vehicles to the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which sells them at auction. Sometimes the buyers are the people from whom they were confiscated.

Wright said the police department's legal experts are drafting legislation that would give cops more leeway to hold confiscated vehicles and allow them to be destroyed if illegal riders are caught more than once.

Posted by Holly Wagner