The police are tired of burnouts, fighting, looting, and shooting.
In case you haven't heard, California has officially started a battle with gas-powered cars. Various non-profits and residents are also tired of street racers and so-called street takeovers, which is why they want to protest the latest installment of the Fast & Furious franchise.
Because these illegal car-based activities are receiving excessive attention, the LAPD and several other law enforcement agencies had a massive raid on the streets of LA last weekend. The raid led to 40 arrests and 34 cars being impounded.
The goal was to disrupt street racing and street takeovers. Street racing is pretty self-explanatory, but the uninitiated might require an explanation for the infamous takeover.
Basically, cars block an intersection or a bridge from all directions, creating an ample open space where people can do donuts. There's a particularly famous intersection in Angelino Heights, close to the home of a famous fictional street-racer-cum-super-secret-agent-man, Dominic Toretto, where such takeovers are a regular occurrence. Dom owned an absolutely stunning 1970 Dodge Charger R/T, so perhaps one of the criminals nabbed by LA's Boys in Blue in his own modern Charger felt like he was paying homage to Toretto.
The problem with street takeovers is that they've become more dangerous in recent years. When the trend started, it was a bunch of car guys doing burnouts and donuts until somebody eventually phoned the police. These days, street takeovers have a habit of leading to looting, shooting, and even fatalities.
KTLA 5 reported on the vehicles impounded during the raid last weekend and again during several street takeovers this week. It's clear that street racers are not easily intimidated and won't be giving up their hobby anytime soon. According to the news outlet, the same group was involved in each of the takeovers during the week.
In an update on its Twitter feed, the LAPD gave a recap of what happened over the weekend. The raid resulted in four guns being recovered, at least one arrest for possessing a loaded Ghost Gun (an untraceable firearm you can buy online and assemble at home), and one individual with a wanted in connection with a suspected hit-and-run. The LAPD estimated that roughly 22 takeovers were stopped due to its action.
The impounded vehicles will be kept for 30 days to teach their owners a lesson.
To ensure the message got out, the LAPD not only impounded cars doing idiotic stunts but also the cars of spectators. The spectators are hardly innocent, given the nature of the crime. As you can see in both videos, it takes quite a few cars to block an intersection.
The law clearly states that spectating these events is a punishable crime. At the very least, the police will disperse the crowd and write citations. This past weekend, 82 citations were issued.
In severe cases, it's within the police's rights to impound your car for being a spectator. It's pretty evident that the police went for the harshest possible punishment in the hopes of hitting these miscreants where it really hurts.