Reporting Alex DeMetrick
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– They’re illegal on Baltimore streets but that doesn’t keep dirt bikes off roads and even sidewalks.
They’re too dangerous to chase but, as Alex DeMetrick reports, police are finding new ways to stop them.
Police have rules before they roll with lights and sirens. They don’t chase dirt bikes.
“We can’t chase them with police cars because we all know how that’s going to end up. Dirt bike riders may seriously injure themselves and you may get a civilian, an innocent bystander, seriously injured,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City Police.
It’s a lethal possibility that leaves riders to seemingly do whatever they want to do on streets and sidewalks, forcing everyone else to get out of the way.
“You worry about people getting injured–small children, other traffic and the guys who ride the bikes themselves,” said Chanton Middleton.
“They don’t care. They don’t respect your cars. They haul in and out of traffic. It’s terrible,” said Juanita Price.
Which makes this haul of dirt bikes something new. Fifteen bikes and all terrain vehicles–many of them stolen–were seized by Baltimore police at a self-storage center on Druid Park Drive. Adopting a strategy of watch, wait and track with surveillance cameras and the department’s Foxtrot helicopters, riders can literally be followed home, often without ever noticing they’re being watched. But more than modern technology led police to this stash of bikes. It took the public’s help.
“We get constant calls from the public, from motorists. When these individuals converge into a neighborhood, we’re taking action. We’re responding,” Guglielmi said.
Because not every run down a city street ends with a trip home.
“And you see so many accidents. I saw an accident yesterday–boy fell off the bike. He has a concussion,” Price said.
And stunts put riders and everyone they pass in jeopardy.
No arrests were made when the dirt bikes were seized, although police say the investigation is ongoing.