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Hartford police make numerous arrests, seize stolen bikes and ATV’s

HARTFORD – Stolen dirt bikes and ATV’s have become a growing problem in Connecticut and it has been happening frequently in Hartford.

Just recently, police have been able to seize several of them, but they want the public’s help to prevent this from happening.

“It’s not only Hartford. It’s happening all over the country,” said Hyacinth Yennie of Hartford.

Yennie is also a neighborhood activist who said she has had enough.

“We are inundated with complaints. We’re getting them on every platform. Social media, walkups at the station, emails, phone calls,” said Lt. Gabriel Laureano of the Hartford Police Department.

Yennie said she has spotted ATV and dirt bike riders out on city streets, typically in large groups. Police said the majority of them are usually stolen and unregistered.

Lt. Laureano said his department has received numerous complaints from residents, some of them have been angry at these riders for disrupting picnics or baseball games by Colt Park.

“When you see them walling down the road on their back wheels, you know, you’ll never know what’s going to happen,” added Yennie.

On Sunday, police said they made five arrests and seized seven vehicles, including a quad, a scooter and a gun.

In the past two weeks, they said they have seized upwards of a dozen bikes.

They added it is tough to chase them since they are in large groups and travel at such a high speed, but that is why they said social media is their go-to place to see where these groups congregate with hopes of catching them before they hit the streets.

“We received one for this past Sunday morning that there was going to be a large meetup at Walmart on Flatbush Avenue,” added Lt. Laureano.

Yennie said if this issue keeps happening, she is looking to take it up with legislators, but in the meantime, she has only one suggestion for bike dealers.

“Go to all of these dealers who are selling these little motorbikes and we’re going to need to make sure that everyone that sold to these young people, they are going to be registered,” added Yennie.

Police said there is a city ordinance on ATV’s and quads operating on city streets. If they are caught, they can face large fines or lose their driver’s license.

They added so far, no one has proved ownership of these bikes, so they will either be auctioned off or destroyed.