BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s a dangerous tradition in Baltimore–illegal dirt bikes zooming through the streets of the city.
Police announced Wednesday a new initiative to stop them.
Monique Griego has more on what they’re asking the public to do.
Sky Eye Chopper 13 has captured it countless times–packs of dirt bike riders dangerously zooming through Baltimore with no regard for the law.
“They do everything, man. They do wheelies, they go in and out of traffic,” said Rodney Ockimey, driver.
Riding in the city is illegal, but riders often taunt police, knowing officers aren’t allowed to chase them. That’s forcing the department to come up with new ways to get them off the streets.
“Innocent people are hurt by these things and they knowingly break the law. We all see it,” said Lt. Craig Hartman, Baltimore City Police.
Baltimore Police announced Wednesday an initiative to pump up community outreach and the investigative forces used to track down illegal bikes.
The campaign also creates a new way to anonymously report activity through email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to police, at least 29 percent of the dirt bikes on Baltimore’s streets are stolen.
“People are going to take charge in their communities and that’s what we want,” said Major Johnny Delgado, Baltimore City Police.
A stretch near Reisterstown Road and Druid Hill Park has become known as “the strip” for dirt bikes. As part of the new campaign officers will be handing out flyers with that email address so people can notify them of any dirt bikes they see.
“They can cause accidents and other traffic jams. Other people can get hurt,” said Monica Logan, driver.
Last April, a dirt bike rider lost control and hit a 6-year-old boy. Illegal riders have also been linked to numerous homicides and shootings–the most recent of which happened this weekend.
Police are hoping the community comes together to fight the problem.
“If you don’t get them off the street now, it’s going to get worse,” a driver said.
While police aren’t allowed to give chase, they are allowed to seize bikes within the city. If you can’t prove it’s yours, it will be destroyed.
You can email email@example.com to report dirt bikes anonymously.