RPD: 22 ATVs and illegal dirt bikes taken off streets on Sunday

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Rochester Police Department continues to crack down on illegal dirt bikes and ATVs being ridden on our streets. On Sunday, police confiscated 22 of these bikes.

Rochester Police conducted what they called an “expanded detail,” with help from up in the air and on the ground.

“It’s not that these vehicles are bad. It’s how it’s being used on our streets,” said Rochester Police Lieutenant Greg Bello.

One shed at the city’s impound lot is running out of room after police, with the help of the Monroe County’s Sheriff’s Office and State Police, confiscated and towed nearly two dozen illegal bikes Sunday afternoon. Bello says the riders of these bikes put themselves and the public in danger.

“Typically, these riders are not wearing helmets. They’re operating them in a dangerous manner and certainly we don’t want to create the danger that’s out there. The whole purpose of these details is safety and the increase of safety in our community,” said Bello.

The “expanded detail” was operated throughout the city, but North Clinton Avenue was an area of focus, a longtime hot spot for illegal dirt bike and ATV riding. Sheriff’s deputies say the detail was a complete success.

“With the 15 vehicles that we got along with the additional ones that the City of Rochester took in from the regular patrol for that day, I thought was a very successful detail,” said Lieutenant Brian Unterborn with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

A State Police helicopter was used to track riders from the air, giving officers on the ground important information on where these bikers were gathering. The chopper also served another purpose.

Trooper Lynnea Crane said, “As you can see, we’ve reduced the amount of pursuits that we potentially could’ve have potentially gone into. We increased public safety by reducing the amount of pursuits that could’ve happened yesterday.”

News10NBC asked police what happens next for these bikes, and those who claim to own them.

“The owners have a certain amount of time to get their paperwork together, prove ownership, and pay the associated fees and fines if they’re able to get the dirt bike out or the ATVs, if it’s legal to be removed from here. If not, somebody is unable to claim it, or doesn’t claim the dirt bike after a set period of time — at that point it’s scrapped, and we destroy them,” said Bello.

Owners wishing to get the bikes back will pay a first-time fine of $500. A second-time fine is $2,000.