By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The Baltimore City Police Dirt Bike Task Force is out to enforce city laws against riding dirt bikes on city streets.

City police say dirt bike riding in Baltimore is so well known, that there are people coming to ride in Baltimore because they think it’s legal. It’s not.

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“Our conviction rate in the district court and circuit court is a 90-percent conviction rate,” said Task Force Sgt. Christopher Warren.

What riders think of as recreation, drivers, pedestrians and people whose homes are in the neighborhoods they ride in, consider it a nuisance and a safety hazard.

“Bottom line–it is illegal to ride dirt bikes on city streets, it is illegal to possess these dirt bikes inside dwellings inside the city,” said Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith. “Each year–undoubtedly–someone who’s either riding a dirt bike or is struck by a dirt bike, dies or suffers serious physical harm.”

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Since 2016 the task force has seized more than 400 illegal dirt bikes, due largely to anonymous tips from residents.

Sgt. Warren says those tips are part of the task force success.

“The dirt bike riders are a very tight group and in the surveillance we did in the past couple weeks, we’re noticing an influx of outsiders of our city coming in to ride dirt bikes in Baltimore City and even though it’s on social media, my problem with it is, you’re coming into a city and you think Baltimore is this playground for crime. It’s not,” Sgt. Warren added.

Police say drivers in cars following dirt bike riders are also being stopped and ticketed.

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