Boston Police Auto Theft Unit Continues to Address Quality of Life Issues; Recovers Three Stolen Motorcycles during Operation

At about 12:20 PM on Thursday, August 24, 2017, members of the Boston Police Auto Theft Unit began an operation focusing on the District D-4 (South End) neighborhood due to a recent significant increase in motorcycle thefts in this area. While conducting the operation, 911 dispatch advised units of two males observed pushing a green motorcycle from 500 Commonwealth Avenue toward Mass Ave. ATU officers responded to the area but were unable to locate the suspects or the green motorcycle. Further investigation revealed that the green motorcycle had earlier been reported stolen to the Transit Police. Based on this information, ATU officers responded to the residence of a 17-year-old motorcycle thief known to police, who only six weeks prior, was found to have four vehicles stolen from the South End/Back Bay stored in the rear of his residence on Cheney Street in Roxbury. 

Upon arrival on Cheney Street, officers observed the above 17-year-old male push a motorcycle down the street, lock it to a light pole, and cover it with a tarp before entering his residence. Officers confirmed the vehicle was the stolen green motorcycle. Shortly after, officers observed the 17-year-old male riding as a passenger on a gray and white Honda motorcycle away from his residence with a second 17-year-old male (also known to them as a motorcycle thief with a revoked driver’s license from previous incidents). Officers maintained surveillance, and at about 4:10 PM observed both males return to the area, both operating motorcycles without registration plates. The first male proceeded to abandon his bike and sprint into the residence, while officers were able to stop the second 17-year-old and place him under arrest for Operating after License Revocation (2 counts). Further investigation revealed that both motorcycles had been reported stolen, therefore, he was additionally charged with two counts of Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle. Complaints will be sought for two counts of Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicles for the first 17-year-old male as well. In all, three stolen motorcycles were recovered during the operation.

BPD Auto Theft Unit Continues to Take Illegal Off-Road Vehicles Off the Roads

In the morning hours of Thursday, April 13, 2017, members of the Boston Police Auto Theft Unit with the assistance of the Boston Housing Authority Police, MA Environmental Police, Boston Code Enforcement, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau executed the first phase of an ongoing enforcement operation focused on illegal off-road vehicles. This particular phase was focused on the improper and dangerous storage of these vehicles in Boston Housing Developments throughout the city. These vehicles have come to represent a constant annoyance in the city’s neighborhoods because individuals operate them dangerously throughout public ways and parks.

As a result of the ongoing investigation, officers issued several violations and seized a total of 16 off-road vehicles that were observed to be stored in manners that presented fire, health, and safety hazards and in violation of City Ordinances, Boston Housing Regulations, and/or Mass General Laws. These seizures occurred at the West Broadway Housing Development (South Boston), the Mary Ellen McCormick Housing Development (South Boston), the Franklin Field Housing Development (Dorchester), Gallivan Housing Development (Mattapan), and Fairmount Housing Development (Hyde Park). The officers, as well as Code Enforcement officers, spoke with the residents to educate them on the hazardous conditions presented by the improper storage of these vehicles.

Daily Dose of Great Police Work: Officers Arrest Dirt Bike Operator for Driving to Endanger

On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, members of the BPD Auto Theft Unit along with members of the Massachusetts Environmental Police were on patrol in District B-3 (Mattapan) area in response to numerous community complaints about off road vehicles operating dangerously throughout this section of the city.

As officers patrolled, they observed a male operating a red and white dirt bike on Blue Hill Avenue. Over the course of several blocks, officers observed the operator run multiple red traffic signals, “pop wheelies” and stand on the seat of the bike, ride off road through a park crowded with children, weave between vehicles, and cause operators of other vehicles to slow or stop in traffic to avoid hitting or causing injury to the bike operator.

Officers finally found an opportunity to safely stop the dirt bike motorist. As the officers approached, the operator revved the bike’s engine as if attempting to flee or run the officers over. For their safety, the officers grabbed the brake handle of the bike and the vehicle stalled. The operator could not produce a valid license to ride a motorcycle at that time.

Officers arrested the operator, 27-year-old Eric D. Lott of Dorchester, and charged him with Unlicensed Operation of a Motorcycle, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle/Driving to Endanger, and Disorderly Conduct. He was also cited for Operation of an Unregistered Motorcycle on a Public Way, Operation of an Uninsured Motorcycle on a Public Way, Operation of a Motorcycle without a Helmet, Red Light Violations, and Operation of a Recreational Vehicle on a Public Way. 

Officers Arrest Seven and Seize Seven Dirt Bikes in Mattapan in Ongoing Effort to Address Reckless Operation of Motor Bikes on City Streets

At about 6:25 PM Sunday, October 25, 2015, Investigators assigned to the Boston Police Auto Theft task Force, officers from District B-3 (Mattapan) and Massachusetts Environmental Police Officers arrested seven suspects while seizing seven dirt bikes at two separate locations in Mattapan.  Officers were conducting surveillance of a large group of off road vehicles which were operating in violation of the auto laws and refusing to stop for police. Officer across the city have received numerous complaints from residents regarding the wantonly reckless behavior of such groups. Officers followed five of the riders to the rear parking lot of a building at 1020 Harvard Street where they observed the suspects loading the bikes into the back of a U-Haul truck. Officers placed all five suspects in custody without incident and seized the dirt bikes as well as the U-Haul truck and a pickup truck belonging to one of the suspects. The suspects were identified as Jonathan Frye, 26, of East Falmouth, Brenden Mendes, 21, of Wareham, Casey McElroy, 28, of East Falmouth, Sean Aylmer, 18, of Cataumet and Domenick Hicks, 19, of Mashpee. The suspects will appear in Dorchester District Court on multiple motor vehicle violations including Operating a Motor Vehicle without a License, Failure to Stop for a Police Officer and Driving to Endanger.

As those suspects were being placed under arrest, additional units observed two other suspects placing their dirt bikes into the rear bed of a pickup truck in the area of 24 Tennis Road.  Officers stopped the truck nearby on Almont Street and placed both suspects in custody without incident.   Officers then seized the two bikes and towed the pickup truck. The suspects were both identified as 17 year old juvenile males, one from Canton the other from Abington. The suspects will appear in Dorchester Juvenile Court on multiple Delinquent to Wit motor vehicle violations.

These arrests come after a summer long effort to address quality of life issues pertaining to the unlawful operation of these kind of off road vehicles on the streets of Boston.  After listening to concerns from residents throughout the city, Commissioner Evans made it a priority to take these dirt bikes, motor scooters and ATV’s off the streets and out of the neighborhoods.  To date, the Boston Police Department has seized over two hundred of these vehicles in a coordinated effort involving the Boston Police Auto Theft Unit, HAZMAT Unit, the Environmental Police, the Boston Fire Department and the City of Boston Inspectional Services Unit.

Commissioner Evans continues to encourage the community to inform the police when they observe these types of dangerous vehicles and to report any locations where they may be stored.  Community members wishing to make an anonymous tip can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of all those who wish to help in an anonymous manner.

BPD in the News: BPD Auto Theft Unit with MA Environmental PD Continue Crackdown on Illegal Motor Bikes in Boston

Thank you to Jan Ransom of the Boston Globe for highlighting the ongoing effort of the Boston Police Department to alleviate the problem of illegal off-road vehicles on city streets.



Just a day after this article went to press, the Auto Theft Unit made yet another discovery of motor bikes being illegally and dangerously stored at a garage in Dorchester:


In collaboration with the Massachusetts Environmental Police, the BPD Auto Theft Unit has launched several investigations to address the numerous community complaints regarding off-road vehicles causing disturbances and operating illegally in Boston’s neighborhoods. At about 12:15 PM on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, the Auto Theft Unit, MA Environmental Police, Hazmat, and BFD responded to 233 Hancock Street, Castillo Tire, to conduct an inspection of the premises.


Upon arrival, a Code Enforcement Inspector from the City of Boston Inspectional Services Department and a Boston firefighter observed numerous motorcycles and off-road vehicles parked at the curb which appeared to be for sale along with numerous off-road vehicles, scooters, and motorcycles in various states of repair on the property and inside the open bay door.

The inspector asked for the permits for the repair facility, and the individual who identified himself as being in charge indicated that there were no permits. There also were no permits for the sale of vehicles out front. The firefighter conducted his inspection and as a result issued a Boston Fire Department Abatement Order for the property and ordered all vehicles removed. Officers requested a tow to have all vehicles removed for safekeeping until the owners could retrieve them, as the repair shop did not keep a repair log with the owners’ information. The owners of several vehicles made themselves known and were allowed to remove their vehicles at their own labor and expense upon providing documentation proving ownership. The 24 remaining vehicles were removed from the premises until the owners could arrange to retrieve them.