Boston Police Auto Theft Unit, MA Environmental Police Address Quality of Life Issues in Boston Neighborhoods, Prepare for Heightened Enforcement in Summer Months

On Thursday, March 30, 2017, members of the Boston Police Auto Theft Unit, in collaboration with members of the MA Environmental Police, conducted a joint operation to combat the roving gangs of off-road vehicles that have plagued the neighborhoods across the city, particularly Roxbury, Mattapan, and North Dorchester, causing quality of life and safety issues for residents, as well as being a constant source of requests for enforcement by the citizens of these neighborhoods. For example, earlier in the month, officers observed a group of about 20 individuals recklessly operating dirt bikes, ATVs, and mopeds in the area of Blue Hill Ave and American Legion Highway. After riding wheelies, failing to obey traffic signals, weaving between traffic, and operating on sidewalks near pedestrians, one of these individuals abandoned his dirt bike, fled from police, and while doing so, pulled down his pants and underwear to expose himself to police and nearby members of the public. Although this individual made good his escape, officers towed the unregistered, uninsured, abandoned dirt bike.

On March 30, officers were able to identify, issue citations, file criminal complaints, and arrest several other individuals for operating unregistered--and even stolen--off-road vehicles recklessly and negligently, ignoring and riding in contradiction to traffic signals, and causing unsafe conditions for residents in these Boston neighborhoods. In the first week of this ongoing operation, officers seized and impounded three off-road vehicles. In the coming spring and summer months, the BPD Auto Theft Unit looks forward to working with multiple state and local agencies to ensure a safe and peaceful summer for Boston’s citizens.