CLINTON, Md. - As police in D.C. and Maryland are attempting to track down dirt bike and all-terrain vehicle riders illegally riding through city streets – often in large packs – there are questions about where some of these bikes are coming from.
DMV Baggers in Clinton is one of several businesses that sells dirt bikes and ATVs across the region and these vendors are now being targeted by thieves.
At Ellicott City Motorsports in Maryland, store manager Cayle Price said suspects broke into their store twice back in April. They smashed a window to get in and made off with a total of ten bikes. Three 16-year-old boys and a 15-year-old boy have been arrested and charged with burglary in this case.
“It's been [happening] for a long time, but it's definitely gotten worse. It's an epidemic now,” said Price. “We think there is a combination of kids trying to sell the dirt bikes for quick money. They are not tagged units for instance. There are usually no keys with these bikes. That or they just end up on the street being ridden.”
There have been several similar burglary reports from bike shops up and down the East Coast.
At the DMV Baggers store on Monday, police arrested a man for trespassing. Police said they were called to the store about a suspicious person walking on the roof. When they questioned him, he admitted he intended to steal a bike.
For some time, FOX 5 has reported about illegal riders traveling around in large groups. D.C. police released video of a huge pack of 54 suspects completely ignoring traffic rules on city streets. They were caught on camera on June 25 at several locations in D.C.
On the video, you can see the riders basically take over intersections, and at times, some of them head the wrong way down the street putting other drivers in danger. Investigators have combed through video and isolated closeup photos of each of the 54 riders.
A large group was also captured on camera riding through National Harbor in Maryland. They are seen operating their dirt bikes and ATVs on sidewalks and it is suspected this is the same group or riders who rode through the H Street corridor in D.C. popping wheelies.
Police do not chase these illegal riders out of fear it will put people at greater risk, but they are trying to track the riders down.
Police in Prince George’s County and D.C. have been cracking down on illegal riders by monitoring gas stations where they fuel up and using helicopters to track them down. They also want help from the public. If you do spot them illegally on the street, police are asking you to contact them.