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More dirt bikes seized in Dorchester

Seized dirt bikes in Dorchester

Ready to roll - to the BPD evidence warehouse. Photo by BPD.

Boston Police report officers sniffed out a cache of street-unready dirt bikes - and an ATV - in Dorchester yesterday morning.

At about 10:20am, on Friday, October 23, 2015, officers from District C-11 (Dorchester) accompanied members of the Boston Fire Department to investigate a strong odor of gasoline emanating from a residential property located at 157 Adams Street in Dorchester. On arrival, officers were able to trace the smell of gasoline to the rear of the location. A search of the rear of the property enabled officers to locate six dirt bikes and one four wheel motor bike. Several of the bikes appeared to be in some state of disrepair. When officers attempted to locate the owners of the dirt bikes, no persons on the property claimed ownership of the bikes. In light of the aforementioned, the bikes were towed from the property and impounded.

Police say this is part of an ongoing effort to get poorly maintained and poorly driven dirt bikes and ATVs off city streets. Last month, the City Council approved an ordinance written by Mayor Walsh to crack down on dirt-bike stunting.

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Comments

... to the bikes after they are confiscated and processed? I rebuild all kinds of motorcycles as a hobby, and I could always use parts; do these confiscated bikes go to auction?

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Plus most (if not all of us, including the most murder-prone folks) are more likely to die in a traffic accident, so efforts to make traffic safer are not without merit on the save-a-life scale.

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Now let's catch as many killers as we do dirt bikes. BPD you are FOCUSED ON THE WRONG THINGS!!!!

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No homicide detectives were diverted to seize these dirtbikes. You do realize that BPD is large enough that it can work on both murder investigations and quality-of-life-before-they-become-murder-investigations investigations, right?

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And one of these days, a reckless dirtbike rider is going to hit and kill a kid crossing the street. That will divert some homicide detectives away from catching murderers.

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Zomg, really? Inconceivable !

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Actually, BPD should be focused on all of these issues. I do not want the issues that affect our daily lives, like dirt bikes, drug use, litter, traffic violations, etc. to be ignored. That is the stuff that makes life miserable here.

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There's a decent-sized motorcycle/scooting community in Boston, who does not appreciate the fact that every time they park, their motorcycle/scooter is under attack by thieves, many of whom are riding or selling them in this illegal stunt-riding black market.

My husband had 1 Vespa stolen, and a second was smashed in two attempted thefts (he'd chained it) and had the ignition permanently damaged in a third. His license plate was stolen once. He had several torn and dirty covers stolen as well, presumably by thieves who assumed there was something "good" under the cover and then abandoned ship when they saw the heavy chain he'd used to secure it (and also, by that time, it was beat to crap and nothing "good" to take.)

Legitimate riders don't like having their property vandalized, they don't like carrying around ten pound, $150 alarmed chain-and-lock setups, and they don't appreciate being mobbed on the street by threatening gangs of young men daring them into trick competitions with dangerous driving moves. The motorcycle/scooter community in cold weather cities is small, but it deserves to be able to go about its business without being bothered by dumb gangbangers.

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After having been almost run over by a guy who I am sure was trying to scare an unknowing pedestrian walking through the middle of Ronan Park, I can attest that the house in question is a big source of the problem in this neighborhood and the obvious dirt path with tire tracks could have been a big clue for police too, but I'm sure it would only take watching this house for an hour to know they were being stored there. And yes - they are most likely stolen.

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Every time you witness something shady going on, and hopefully the house will be placed on problem property list. Once that happens, the slumlord will either finally boot the thugs out, or get stuck with the police detail bill.

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Other cities with a similar problem are working with the bikers to set aside an area where they can enjoy this "hobby' without interfering with others. Maybe Boston should think of that approach rather than figure we'll just arrest our way out of this problem.

For decades part of Memorial Drive has been shut down to cars for use of bicyclists and pedestrians. Why not some weekends for bikers? In the Seaport District, the City is willing to shutdown streets for Indy racing. Why not shut down a few for bikers? Maybe the haul road?

And there must be a few acres in Franklin Park or somewhere that could be setup fro off-road use.

There is a precedent even in Boston.... skateboarders finally are getting their park.

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Just no.

This isn't Denver. There is no land to just rip up with unlicensed and often stolen vehicles.

Note the theft issues, too, above.

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How would they get off-road vehicles to an off-road park?

How do you get a vehicle that isn't registered or that you cannot register to an off-road park?

There are plenty of facilities for this in New Hampshire and they could form a club to rent some paved areas at Hanscom just like the motorcycle safety people and skid school people do. Getting there would be difficult, however, unless they made their rides street legal and licensed them or found some other way to transport them.

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Landscaping companies hauling around lawn mowers and a swarm of weed whackers and leaf blowers commonly tow them behind their pickup trucks. Or notice what the police have done with a flat bed tow truck, also able to transport many bikes at once.

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Perhaps this community can reach out to the city and work to find a place where their vehicles can be used safely.

Or they can do the crap like the did in the Tip O'Neill Tunnel over the summer and continue to run completely red lights while driving the wrong way down the road.

Sadly, though the former would be better, I'm betting the latter will be the course they take.

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Popping wheelies and acting like reckless idiots. I'm all for finding a place for them to ride in a legit way but it's really on them. From what I've seen, riding dangerously and giving the middle finger to everyone around them is a big part of the fun.

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Sounds fair to me.

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Loud, awful, unruly dirt bikes are already all over Franklin Park - it's a huge safety and noise problem. Park users want them GONE. Police have to help.

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Have them race around the Indy track at the Seaport.

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So, the BPD went onto private property without a warrant, saw motorcycles that were not in use, but in storage, asked a few people who they belonged to, and when no one said that the bikes were theirs, BPD confiscated them.

Isn't that unlawful search and seizure?

What if BPD decided they didn't like Hondas. or televisions, or some other property?

Not trying to troll, I just truly don't get the legality of what's happening...maybe someone can explain.

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You can't just push these under your porch - that's illegal storage right there.

Now, if the "owners" show up with the titles to these, that will be interesting. I'm betting that they don't have titles for them, though.

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No one was arrested, no one in the residence claimed to own them, and they were stored unsafely, so don't worry about it, since no one was harmed in this action.

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They are claiming that "a strong smell of gasoline" (a health and safety hazard) led them to the bikes, which sounds like complete nonsense to me. I'm fine with that. The fact that none of the residents would even say who they belonged to tells you that they're stolen.

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I think that's an enormous leap of logic and almost certainly not probable cause. If this was happening in Westwood and not Dot there'd be lawyers on the ground in a heartbeat. Anyone know who owns this boat? No? Probably stolen, haul it away...

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at top speeds through traffic, through parks, and on highways in and around Westwood you can be damn sure the cops would have been all over it long before now. If anything the response is more lackadaisical because it IS happening on Columbia Road and in Franklin Park and not, say, the Esplanade. And read the story again--no one wanted to claim these bikes as their own property because they're--duh--illegal and/or stolen, hence the confiscation. Given the impact on quality of life and the public safety issues, I have zero problem with this.

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If an individual is caught riding an unregistered vehicle on the street, BPD can issue a citation and impound the vehicle. My point here is that the bikes are being confiscated without any probable cause whatsoever and with zero due process. The police can't just walk onto a property and take whatever they want without a warrant...if they have reason to believe that the property is stolen, and they observed the property in the course of a lawful investigation, they can present their evidence to a judge who will issue a warrant.

And, duh, I did read the article, and there was no indication that people weren't saying who owned the bikes because they knew that they were stolen; what they said was that they didn't know who owned them.

We can't just cast aside the law for convenience or when dealing with a population that doesn't have the means to defend itself legally. This kind of 'broken window' policy has been shown over and over to be an utter failure and leads to the kind of racial tension and violence we saw this past year in the Midwest.

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Who's making leaps now? You sound savvy about the law--about reality not so much. Part of the problem with issuing a "citation" for these things is that it is virtually impossible to stop them without serious risk to both the riders and people around them--if you'd ever seen the way these guys ride you'd know that. No license plates, nothing. So the only way they can get rid of these things is to do what they did which is basically tackling it from a public safety standpoint--if they were storing canisters of gas or fireworks, they'd be confiscated too.

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There was no one who claimed ownership.

I suppose the owners could go to the police station and nicely ask for them back, but we all know they won't.

Hey, there were a few less dirt bikers than usual driving down by the Public Garden tonight. Too bad.

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I'd hope if my neighbor is storing a bunch of gasoline on their property that nobody will claim responsibility for, the police would come and take it. It's a safety hazard, just look at all the fires in the last couple weeks on uhub

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For someone who seems to think he knows a lot about Fourth Amendment law, you seem to be forgetting one of its most important exceptions: the plain view exception. These people have illegal, unlicensed, probably stolen dirt bikes on their property, and from what I gathered from the article, they're making no effort to hide them from the eyes of the public or the police.

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I was driving home from the Mass Ave/Melnea Cass intersection last night when a group of ~20 kids on dirt bikes and scooters ran the red light deliberately, flipping people off and creating a dangerous situation for everyone. Hope they get more of these off the streets.

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There's never one around when you need it.

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Adams St west of Dorchester Ave, so many memories!

I remember looking at an apartment either in or next to the house where the bikes were seized, hard up against the hill of Ronan Park. Not much light on the right side of the house due to the hill, but also due to an alley being full of trash, junk, whatever. The apartment was a little frightening really, even though it was empty and clean. A hodgepodge of ugly, mismatched carpets over neglected wood floors.

I remember looking at a house for sale not far from there either, right on Adams. Had a driveway and yard, pretty impressive. People told me I was lucky not to be living over there, rather than Ashmont/St Marks, where I am now. Yet I still regret not buying that house, though renovating it probably would have cost me double what I have had to spend on my current house, likely bankrupting me.

On Ronan Park itself, whenever I mention homes on Adams St, my friend will tell me about the time when as a prospective tenant, she met a landlord who liked to do a neighborhood patrol of the park. He ended up being murdered by muggers that he had confronted. http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/05/12/at_park_hope_turns_...

My mom worked not far away at the Mather School, the first public elementary school in America. I remember the day she couldn't get back on Meeting House Hill to attend after school conferences. The cop pantomimed for her, a shooting, nobody gets in! She later learned there had been a shooting right on the hill, in front of the school, fire station, and church. We later discussed how much better it was for her to be out of the building and sent home, rather than cordoned and stuck inside with her fellow teachers and staff. Another year, her school's crossing guard was killed protecting students from a DUI/reckless driver.

Thinking back on all this, it's so much better to read only about dirt bikes being seized. People arguing about improper search and seizure make me laugh! Yes, BPD has found a bit of a loophole, but they're on pretty solid ground. And they're leading the way to improvement of the neighborhood, which has made a lot of progress, but could do better and go further.

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