Philly police continued their three-week-old crackdown on ATVs and dirt bikers racing illegally around city streets and parks with a weekend sweep that netted 29 four-wheelers and dirt bikes.
Officers working in uniform and undercover confiscated 18 ATVs and nine dirt bikes in the 24th, 25th and 26th police districts and two ATVs in Southwest Philly's 12th district, police said.
Combined with seizures made during the previous two weekends, the grand tally of the three-week crackdown: 95 ATVs and dirt bikes. Many riders will get them back; those who can show paperwork proving ownership and registration are legally entitled to retrieve them, once they pay traffic fines and storage fees. Unclaimed vehicles will be sold at auction by the Philadelphia Parking Authority, a controversial practice that the Philadelphia Police Department has called on city officials to end because most of those who buy the auctioned ATVs and dirt bikes are people who ride them illegally on city streets and parks.
The crackdown has irked hundreds of riders, who say the city should create a place for them to legally ride. Some riders have also complained that police seized their vehicles from garages or when they weren't riding them; while it's illegal to ride them anywhere in the city except on private property with permission, it is legal to own them.
But ATV and dirt bike critics are just as adamant in their complaints that riders create intolerable noise, damage property and drive dangerously. Nearly 800 people have signed a change.org petition urging city and state lawmakers to do more to get illegal ATVs and dirt bikes off city streets.