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NYC crushes over 200 seized mopeds and scooters amid crackdown on illegal vehicles

New York City authorities have seized more than 200 illegal mopeds and scooters from the city’s streets as part of a crackdown on what officials describe as the “tools of their trade” for many criminals who commit crimes against the city’s businesses and residents.

NYPD Sergeant John Chell joined Mayor Eric Adams and NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Cabán at the Freshkills Landfill on Staten Island on Wednesday to announce increased enforcement against illegal vehicles throughout the summer. “These illegal bikes are the number one quality of life problem in our city and also the tool of many crimes,” said Sergeant Chell. “They are an absolute menace to the streets of New York City.”

Chell said 41,000 illegal mopeds and scooters have been seized in the past two years, with 13,000 of them seized since Jan. 1. He added that seizures are on track to reach a record 30,000 by the end of 2024.

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Two bulldozers flattened a row of seized illegal mopeds and scooters after police and city leaders announced an intensified crackdown on illegal vehicles. (FOX5 New York WNYW)

“Not only are these bikes illegally registered, but they are ridden by murderers, shooters, robbers and reckless drivers who put our citizens at risk,” Chell said of the more than 200 bikes abandoned at the landfill.

Bulldozers crush mopeds and scooters

NYPD Sergeant John Chell said illegal mopeds and scooters have become “tools of trade” for many criminals on New York City streets. (FOX5 New York WNYW)

After the press conference, bulldozers ran over illegal mopeds and scooters, crushing the vehicles.

Crushed mopeds and scooters

NYPD Sergeant John Chell said the NYPD expects to seize a record 30,000 illegal mopeds and scooters by the end of the year. (FOX5 New York WNYW)

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The announcement came after two NYPD officers were shot and killed early Monday after pursuing a suspect who was driving an illegal scooter on the wrong side of the road. The suspect, an illegal immigrant from Venezuela who was suspected of using the scooter to commit multiple crimes, was also shot and killed during a foot pursuit. Both officers and the suspect survived the shooting.

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As of Sunday, public police data showed that while citywide crime was down, robberies and felony assaults were up 6.3% and 5.1%, respectively, compared to the same period last year.