Baltimore police confiscate 15 dirt bikes and ATVs

Seizures part of broader effort to combat use of vehicles in city, police say

  • Shown are some of the 15 dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles Baltimore police confiscated Aug. 8.
Shown are some of the 15 dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles… (Baltimore Police Department…)
August 14, 2012|By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore police confiscated 15 dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles from storage units in the city's Park Circle neighborhood last week as part of a broader effort to combat use of the vehicles on city streets, officials said Tuesday.

Six of the recreational vehicles, which are illegal to drive in the city, were identified as stolen and three others had "obliterated" serial numbers, which is the case for many dirt bikes and ATVs in the city, said Anthony Guglielmi, a police spokesman.

"Dirt biking has been a huge problem in the city," Guglielmi said. "They essentially terrorize motorists and residents, and we're very strategic in how we approach the problem."

A departmental statement on the seizures, which took place last Wednesday, said police obtained warrants for units inside the ezStorage facility at 3006 Druid Park Drive after an investigation found the vehicles "riding from this facility into the city."

Guglielmi would say only that police received "community intelligence" that led them to the self-storage units.

As of Tuesday night, there had been no arrests in the case, though charges may come, he said.

Guglielmi said police are working with the owner of the storage company to identify those using the units in question.

After that, the investigation will largely be a "matter of connecting the dots" to find out how the vehicles got to the storage units and where they were headed next, Guglielmi said.

That process won't be easy, he said.

First, the vehicles change hands often and are difficult to track, he said.

"It's much easier to pass around a dirt bike than it is a Lexus," he said.

Second, while police use surveillance footage from city cameras and police helicopters to track dirt bike and ATV activity, the vehicles are easy to maneuver through the city and hard for police to follow without engaging in dangerous high-speed chases, which the department avoids, Guglielmi said.

"We've just learned that that's not the way to do it," he said.

Instead, the department relies on help from the public and investigations like last week's in its efforts to combat the vehicles' use in the city, he said.

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