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NYC Mayor Adams, NYPD Commissioner Caban Announce Enhanced Summer Enforcement Efforts to Remove Illegal Mopeds and Scooters From City Streets

Eric Adams and NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban announced an enhanced summer enforcement strategy to remove illegal motorized vehicles, such as scooters and ATVs, from city streets due to their role in increasing crime. Since the Adams administration began, nearly 42,000 of these vehicles have been seized, with additional measures planned to further curb their illegal use and improve public safety.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Edward A. Caban today announced the NYPD’s enhanced summer enforcement strategy to help remove illegal motorized scooters, mopeds, bikes, all terrain vehicles (ATVs), and other unregistered vehicles from city streets as warmer weather months typically see an uptick in crime patterns involving these illegal vehicles. In 2023, the NYPD confiscated 18,430 illegal and unregistered motorized scooters, bikes, and ATVs — the highest number in city history —  representing a 128 percent increase from 2022. This year, the NYPD has already removed more than 13,000 illegal two-wheeled vehicles and ATVs, bringing the total number to nearly 42,000 since the Adams administration came into office. The 42,000 figure represents the largest number of illegal moped and scooter seizures in a 30-month span in New York City history.

“When it comes to protecting public safety, this administration is crushing it and that includes our efforts to crack down on the ongoing issue of illegal mopeds and scooters on our streets and sidewalks,” said Mayor Adams. “Mopeds and scooters are not only endangering pedestrians when they are driven recklessly, but we have also seen an exponential increase in criminals using them to ride around and snatch property from New Yorkers. That’s why the NYPD will be ramping up a summer enforcement strategy to curb use of these illegal and unregistered vehicles. We are sending an important message to everyone who drives on the streets of our city: no one is above the law, and if you drive an illegal vehicle, you will face the consequences — and so will your vehicle.”

“These illegal vehicles have no place in New York City,” said NYPD Commissioner Caban. “These motorbikes are dangerous and reckless, and they put everyone on our streets and sidewalks at risk. On top of that, these bikes have become the vehicle of choice in the commission of robberies and other violent crime patterns across our city. The NYPD takes this issue seriously, as proven by the thousands of vehicle seizures we have made so far this year. We will continue to listen to concerned New Yorkers who correctly demand that these hazards be removed from their neighborhoods, and we will keep working closely with City Hall, the city’s Department of Transportation, and all the people we serve to keep our roadways safe.”

Since 2022, crime patterns for street robberies and grand larcenies involving the use of illegal scooters and mopeds have steadily increased. In the first five months of 2022, the NYPD tracked 10 total robbery patterns, made up of 44 complaints involving these types of unregistered vehicles. Over those same five months in 2023, the number of robbery patterns increased to a total of 22, while the number of complaints jumped to 104.

Through just the first five months of 2024, the NYPD has already identified a total of 79 robbery patterns (almost eight times the figure in the same period in 2022), with more than 415 complaints (almost 10 times the figure in the same period in 2022).

While overall index crime across New York City dropped another 2.4 percent in May 2024, compared to the same month last year, robberies and felony assaults experienced increases in May, largely fueled by offenders fleeing crime scenes on illegal, unregistered motorized scooters, bikes, or other vehicles.

Scooters and similar modes of transportation enable criminals to quickly commit offenses — often physically assaulting a victim in the process — without ever getting off their vehicle or simply by temporarily dismounting while a second individual stays seated. In both instances, mopeds and scooters facilitate a fast escape. For example, the NYPD recently made arrests following a citywide crime pattern where two individuals used a motorized vehicle to commit, and quickly flee, 112 separate chain-snatching incidents. Scooters have also been increasingly used in attempts to evade police because these two-wheeled vehicles can be driven onto sidewalks and into tight alleyways through which police cars cannot fit.

In response, the NYPD has strategically deployed Public Safety Teams to the locations and times at which many of these crimes are most likely to occur. Further, investigators are working to uncover any criminal networks that are enabling offenders.

The NYPD’s enhanced summer enforcement strategy includes intensifying efforts to curb the illegal use of motorized scooters, bikes, ATVs, and other unregistered vehicles on city highways and streets through the strategic redeployment of Community Response Team (CRT) officers to focus on removing these illegal vehicles. NYPD officers will also increase the use of strategic checkpoints staged at bridges, tunnels, and other major roadways and crossings across the five boroughs. Such operations have already proven highly successful, contributing to more than 40,000 illegal motorized scooters, mopeds, ATVs, and other bikes seized since the start of the Adams administration.

The Adams administration has also been advocating for state legislation in Albany to help crack down on the proliferation of illegal and unregistered vehicles on city streets. This critical piece of legislation (S7703/A8450) would close the “moped loophole” by requiring registration and licensing at the point of sale for these vehicles, helping stem the tide of new unlicensed mopeds on the street and holding sellers accountable.

“There are too many unlicensed mopeds on our streets, and even worse, on our sidewalks,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal. “I’m grateful that Mayor Adams and the NYPD are taking action to keep pedestrians safe by removing as many of these illegal motorized vehicles as possible. In Albany, I am also working to address this problem with legislation, along with Assemblymember Bores, which would require moped registration at the point of sale (S.7703). This will hold dealers responsible for registering mopeds and motorcycles, which in turn will help reduce the number of unlicensed and unregistered vehicles on our streets, and lead to less traffic related incidents and more accountability for the operators of these vehicles.”

“Mopeds always required registration, but because of confusion or deceit very rarely were,” said New York State Assemblymember Alex Bores. “With this bill, we closed a loophole and will now require mopeds to be registered before they leave the store, stopping the flow of illegal mopeds onto our streets, and making moped riders and pedestrians much safer. This is a true win-win.”

“Seemingly ubiquitous, illegal and unlicensed scooters and mopeds fly flagrantly in the face of our traffic laws, making our roadways and commercial corridors less safe, and worsening the quality of life for all New Yorkers,” said Staten Island District Attorney Michael E. McMahon. “Worse yet, these illicit vehicles have become increasingly involved in criminal activity, posing a direct threat to the public safety of both pedestrians and law-abiding motorists. In fact, just two days ago, a violent assailant in Queens used an illegal moped to commit a brazen act of gun violence which sent two brave members of New York’s finest to the hospital. These unregistered and dangerous vehicles have no place on our streets, and while the men and women of my office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold these literal drivers of crime accountable, I commend Mayor Adams and the NYPD for their proactive efforts and look forward to working alongside them in the weeks ahead to rid our communities of these traffic and public safety hazards and better protect all Staten Islanders.”

June 5, 2024 New York, NY

Sources: Midtown Tribune newsNYC.gov
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