BALTIMORE (WJZ)– With the weather warming up, Baltimore City police are warning of the uptick in illegal dirt bikes cruising city streets.
Last month, a number of shops also reported having several bikes stolen.
Police say six stolen dirt bikes were recently recovered, three of them were found thanks to tips from the public.
It’s a huge win for police, but authorities are well aware much more work needs to be done to keep them off the road.
In the middle of rush hour Tuesday, WJZ captured a slew of illegal dirt bike riders along Reisterstown Road in Northwest Baltimore.
Death defying and often dangerous stunts are performed by riders and is often a worrisome encounter for drivers.
[Reporter: “How close for comfort have they gotten to your ride?”]
“Uncomfortably, doing wheelies and stuff and almost hitting my vehicle sometime,” says one driver.
For years now the rampant illegal dirt bike culture has been at odds with the public and City police.
Just last month, a number of shops in the area reported an increase of thefts.
Security footage obtained by WJZ captured a group of teens stealing several bikes from Ellicott City Motorsports. They were later arrested.
Last year Baltimore City Police created a task force to crackdown on the problem.
Tuesday was a victory for them when a tip from the public led them to three illegal bikes, one of which had been reported stolen.
Later on three more illegal bikes were found.
“We’re getting calls from citizens, we’re getting calls from our constituents that have an expectation that we address this issue, this quality of life issue that’s affecting them and their communities,” says Baltimore Police spokesman T.J. Smith.
One former rider says he understand the public safety concerns, but says until the riders have a permanent place to go they aren’t going anywhere.
“They gonna do what they do until you find somewhere for them to go, but the fun comes from riding on the streets and bringing your city out,” says the former rider.
For police the emphasis remains on cracking down on the illegal activity and keeping everyone safe.
Police say the fire department had to be called out during one the bike pick-ups because they were leaking gas.
Anyone with information on illegal dirt bikes is asked to call or text information to 443-902-4474. You can also email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org