INDIANAPOLIS — Illegal street takeovers are becoming more of a problem on the streets of Indianapolis.
According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, drivers will shut down entire intersections, obstruct traffic and drive recklessly causing chaos and danger to people all around.
“They immediately think they are race car drivers,” said Indy resident Ronald Jones.
Jones lives and works in an area where there have been recent illegal street takeovers, and he said that lately, it has gotten out of hand.
“They’ll pull up and hold up traffic and do burnouts and I think it’s kind of dangerous,” Jones said. “If one of those cars gets loose it’s going to hurt someone.”
And Jones is not the only one seeing the increase in illegal street takeovers. IMPD said officers have been seeing similar activity all across the city.
“What we are seeing is people are going to intersections, blocking traffic, and they are taking over intersections where other people who would normally be able to use that roadway can’t use it,” IMPD Lt. Shane Foley said. “They are engaged in dangerous activities.”
“We have people hanging outside of vehicles,” Foley continued. “We have people spinning in the intersections and nearly or sometimes actually striking people in those activities.”
Lt. Foley said IMPD is responding to more of these types of incidents than in years past. Police and residents alike have seen enough.
“Part of the reason we are taking more action is we are hearing from the community,” Lt. Foley said. “People are calling us and saying they are tired of it.”
One of the steps to crack down on street racing is to have more officers patrolling problematic areas, Foley said. These increased patrols will start as soon as this weekend.
“Our message to those taking part in it is that what you are doing is illegal,” he said. “And you can expect IMPD as well as other law enforcement agencies to be taking action.”
Additionally, Foley said officers will also be working on other new strategies, some of which cannot be discussed yet.
However, people like Jones agreed that anything involving a larger police presence will hopefully make a difference.
“I honestly think if there was a police presence, I mean just presence, [it would help] because there have been some weekends where a police car will pull up and just sit here and it does not happen,” Jones said.
“But when they’re not here, yes it does,” he concluded.
IMPD is asking anyone with information on these activities to contact detectives by calling 911 or leaving Crime Stoppers an anonymous tip at (317) 262-TIPS.