CMPD seizes 60 cars, charges dozens in illegal street racing crackdown

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has charged more than 50 people and seized 60 vehicles as part of a crackdown on illegal street racing.

CMPD said Thursday morning that the aggressive driving round-up was one of the largest of its kind.

At a news conference Thursday, the department said it started the operation late last year after a series of complaints over aggressive driving and street racing across Charlotte. CMPD said over the course of six months, officers from several agencies made more than 2,500 traffic stops that included 3,500 violations.

Some of those violations include:

  • Nearly 2,100 speeding violations
  • 400 reckless driving violations
  • 32 DWI violations
  • 10 spontaneous racing violations

“The activity was so dangerous and so prevalent that we received multiple complaints from our community stakeholders,” Maj. Dave Johnson with CMPD said.

CMPD said during the operations, officers would often find hundreds of vehicles gathering in various places around Charlotte to participate in “hooning,” which is when groups of motorists engage in aggressive and reckless driving in the form of burn outs, donuts, intersection and highway takeovers in addition to both spontaneous and pre-arranged street racing.

After identifying suspects and vehicles involved, CMPD said it worked with the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office where a Grand Jury indictment was made on 54 suspects, and warrants were issued for the charge of pre-arranged racing. In addition to making the arrest, this charge also authorizes the seizure of the vehicle used in the offense.

Thursday morning, the department said it conducted a regional round-up resulting in the seizure of 60 vehicles. 51 people were charged, CMPD said.

The department said the investigation also identified a large number of other people and vehicles either seen watching or participating in the street racing events. Around 300 of those people will soon be receiving a warning letter from CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings detailing the types of charges they could face if they continue to engage in the activities.

“Our sincere hope is that this will discourage anyone’s inclination to engage in this type of behavior and this type of activity,” Johnson said.

According to CMPD, the scope of the operation was significant in both size and complexity and was made possible through collaboration with The North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, Union County Sheriff’s Office, Gaston County Police Department, Matthews Police Department, Huntersville Police Department, Cornelius Police Department, Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and the York County Sheriff’s Office.

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