Police in Hartford and Newington crack down on illegal ATV, scooter, and dirt bike riders

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HARTFORD - Police in Hartford and Newington are cracking down on illegal ATV, scooter, and dirt bike riders on city and town streets.

On Sunday, September 25, officers from the Hartford Police Department Traffic Division and Newington Police Department Officers conducted a joint enforcement operation.

"With information provided by neighborhood residents and supported by covert law enforcement surveillance, several nuisance riders were targeted for enforcement," Deputy Chief of Hartford Police Brian Foley said in a statement.

Four unregistered dirt bikes, one stolen dirt bike, one ATV and one scooter were seized and towed, Foley said.

Four people were issued a misdemeanor summons and two people were arrested. Police said their investigations are ongoing and they plan to catch more illegal riders and seize more bikes soon.

In April, State Police used Instagram to catch a reckless motorcycle rider.

Almost a year ago, police in Newington arrested several people for reckless ATV riding.

Foley said riders understand police cannot chase them on their bikes, so the easiest way to catch them is when they're off the road.

"What we really need to know, and what helps us with these types of operations, is if we know where they're being stored," said Foley. "[If we know] where they're being stored, where they're being put to bed at night, what garages are these bikes being parked in?"

South End resident Hyacinth Yennie calls the ATVs a "public nightmare," saying they are easily spotted all around her neighborhood. "They're just out in the street -- Maple Avenue, Webster Street," said Yennie. "They're all over the place."

Foley said the department hears neighbors' complaints. "This is without a doubt one of the greatest complaints we have coming out of our community meetings and out of our neighborhoods from our citizens," said Foley.