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Ridgewood’s 104th Precinct reclaiming local streets, one illegal motorbike at a time

Sep. 1, 2023 By Anthony Medina

Stand outside on Myrtle Avenue in Glendale and Ridgewood long enough and it’s easy to find an e-bike or motorbike on the road. More often than not, those motorbikes use the sidewalk as an secondary road to evade heavy traffic or even ignore traffic signs. 

It’s the many unregistered, unlicensed and reckless motorbike drivers who ruin it for the thousands of honest food delivery drivers and city residents looking for another means of travel. At the 104th Precinct, getting these illegal mopeds, dirt bikes, e-scooters and other varying forms of motorized bikes under control was a top priority throughout August. 

“Over the past month, we have approximately eight robberies in the Ridgewood area involving bikes, whether they fled on a bike or they actually committed the robbery while on the bike,” Deputy Inspector Kevin Coleman, the commanding officer for the 104th Precinct, said in a conversation with QNS. 

Officers from the 104th Precinct continue to tackle illegal mopeds and e-scooters off the streets, and the increase in them across the city is only cause for more concern. On the Precinct’s profile on X (formerly known as Twitter) there were 16 posts related to illegal moped/bike confiscations and towing operations

According to data shared with QNS in August, 258 illegal bikes were confiscated and over 900 summonses were written for motorbike infractions. The precinct alone confiscated 162 motorbikes since the start of the year in June, meaning 96 illegal bikes were confiscated over the span of two months. 

Incidents involving motorbikes are more common now, regardless of if crime is committed while on a unlicensed moped or if used to get away, according to Coleman. On Saturday, Aug. 26, the suspects of a violent mugging of a man in Ridgewood could be seen in a photo captured of nearby surveillance video fleeing on a moped. 

Crimes and incidents involving illegal mopeds are connected to much larger issue of car thefts in the area, according to Coleman. The added emphases on towing operations since the start of this year, and continuing in August, was purposeful in attempting to decrease the consistent problem in Queens North. 

“A lot of our crime going on, whether it’s auto theft, whether it’s robberies, it’s happening using vehicles and or stolen vehicles and or illegal motorbikes. So that’s why a large part of our plan to combat crime is to confiscate an illegal motorbike, conduct car stops, make arrests on fraudulent plates. Because not only are cars being stolen, or unregistered, but they’re also being used in crime,” Coleman said. 

Honda, Kia and Hyundai car models remain the most targeted cars for criminals. Manufactures have addressed these concerns with most car owners, but the precinct encourages drivers to practice other safety measures like hiding an AirTag in the car. An AirTag is used to track items using an app on your iPhone or smartphone. 

Another quality-of-life issue being addressed in the precinct is loud music from modified cars. As the peak summer months come to a close, the precinct still continues dampening the noisemakers and their cars. Three vehicles were confiscated in August, from what the precinct shared on Twitter.

The 104th Precinct encourages the public to continue making officers aware of these ongoing quality of life issues through use of the 311 system or by visiting the station.

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