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High Point police: Dirt bike solution will take time
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High Point police: Dirt bike solution will take time

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HIGH POINT — Police say their plan to address illegal use of dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles on city streets will involve more than just writing tickets.

Chief Travis Stroud told a City Council committee recently that he couldn’t yet share details on how the strategy will work, but it will involve arrests and property seizures.

“The plan is, we’re going to seize bikes,” Stroud said. “I don’t mind saying that part. That’s not a secret. We get hold of them, we’re not giving them back.”

Packs of up to about 15 dirt bikes and ATVs riding on major city streets have been a problem, typically in warmer months, according to police.

While they pose threats to other motorists and public safety in general, in most cases department policy prevents officers from pursuing riders if they don’t pull over.

“It’s just become socially acceptable in many circles that this is OK, we can do this, we’re just having fun, we’re expressing ourselves,” Stroud said of the prevailing attitude among riders. “But it’s at the detriment to the rest of the public, and it’s illegal. That’s the bottom line.”

Stroud said police have mapped out a multiphase plan that will be implemented in the coming months.

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He said one aspect will involve getting commitments from local prosecutors.

“I will be having a conversation personally with the (district attorney) for cases for prosecution,” he said. “I have to explain the problem first: ‘When you see these cases come up in front of you and we flag them, we need you to do all you can to help us.’ “

It takes a long time to get cases involving the seizure of property disposed of in court, he added.

“We’ve got to figure out a place to store (seized bikes and ATVs),” Stroud said. “We don’t have the capabilities to do that right now.”

The chief said it will take city government as a whole backing the strategy to make the response effective.

“Once this does go, we’ll need to be on the same page as a city, because we’re going to arrest some people,” he said. “We’re going to seize quite a bit of property.”

Stroud told council members on the committee:

“Some feathers are going to get ruffled. I’m going to get phone calls. You guys are going to get phone calls. And it’s going to be, ‘Hey my kid made straight As in the fourth grade. He plays soccer. Y’all can’t do this.’ I’m not going to listen to any of that stuff,” Stroud said. “You’ve got to be prepared for it too, because it’s coming to you guys as well.”


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