New London police are asking for the community to help them keep illegal dirt bikes and ATVs off the road.
Illegal bikes and reckless riding have been a problem in New London, and across Connecticut, for years. The police say it is a dangerous situation.
Officer Chris White showed NBC Connecticut videos that were shared with police from community members. In the videos, you can see a group of dirt bikes and ATVs weaving in and out of different lanes.
"Cutting in front of the motorist that was actually recording them," explained White. "They ride through all lanes of traffic and go through stop lights, stop signs."
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Police Chief Brian Wright said the bikes, which are usually not registered, can be a hazard.
“When they zoom past us, popping wheelies and things of that nature, that’s usually another big red flag," said Chief Wright.
A city ordinance allows police to cite the riders and seize the illegal bikes. In the last four years, the city has seized about 40 bikes and ATVs, according to Officer White.
“Obviously they do it knowing we are not going to chase them so they are really emboldened by that fact," said White.
The police department is asking people to share any pictures and videos by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org. They are also encouraging people to send in information anonymously via the New London Tips 411 system. People are invited to text "NLPDTip" to Tip411 (847411). They want to know who the riders are and where the bikes/ATVs are kept.
"It is going to take the collaboration of our partners and community stakeholders," said Wright.
Todd Watson, a New London resident, said that he is happy to hear that the city is doing something about the issue.
“One came closer to me than I wanted it to and that made me feel a little uncomfortable," said Watson.
Wright said he has seen the bikes involved in crashes in the city. He is hoping to prevent any crashes or injuries in the future.
"If something should happen, there's not just one life that is changed. There is a collection of lives that are affected and changed forever," said Wright.