Cops Confiscate 34 Cars, Stop 22 Street Takeovers in Weekend Sweep

This weekend, 34 fools lost their cars as dozens of others lost licenses and even their freedom in a crackdown on L.A.’s criminal pastime

This weekend, some 34 would-be stunt drivers ended their giddy night of burning rubber and seizing streets by having the car keys confiscated and their vehicles loaded onto flatbed trucks operated by the Los Angeles Police Department, as law enforcement’s two-day crackdown brought up to 40 arrests, 82 citations, and the termination of 22 illegal street takeovers, FoxLA reports.

While video captured one such intervention Friday night, the department did not say where the others occurred. “The collaborative efforts by everyone involved made an impact and sent a message,” reads an LAPD Twitter post. “We will not condone this illegal and often deadly behavior.”

L.A.’s trend of flash-mob street takeovers has reached a deadly critical mass in recent weeks, bringing traffic deaths and murder as well as headaches—ultimately spilling over into looting and destruction of a local business. A few recent arrests reflect the overlap between motor-hooliganism and more serious criminal activity. One arrest was on a warrant for attempted murder, while another was for possession of a loaded “ghost gun”—an unserialized, untraceable handgun built from parts or kits.

Law enforcement’s recent sweep makes good on last week’s threat from the LAPD. “Cars will start disappearing really soon,” LAPD Det. Ryan Moreno said in Thursday press conference, which detailed a new enforcement measures that would impound the vehicle of any street takeover participant or attendee for up to 30 days.

“We really want to stop this from becoming a new trend where they think they can show up and take over a street, freeway or any part of the city.”

Reminiscent of the controversial sweeps of suspected gang members the LAPD ran decades ago, the new crackdown comes after other attempts by the city to use softer modes of persuasion.

These include yellow raised pavement markers, or “Botts’ Dots”: named for a CalTrans engineer and installed them at Compton intersections to discourage laying rubber and doing donuts. As they await more data on the dots’ success rate, city officials are clearly exploring other options.

On Wednesday, LAPD showed off some of the cars it took in the raid, KTLA reports. Also on Wednesday, KTLA updated its report to state that police arrested just six people in the sweep, although other outlets including MSN and FoxLA are maintaining that 40 were busted.

Los Angeles has reached out to LAPD for clarification. Check back for updates.

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