Officers from the capital city went undercover this weekend to seize dirtbikes and ATVs and arrest riders who they say terrorize the city and surrounding areas, and endanger themselves and others.

Following roll call on Sunday, 25 members from Hartford, Newington, Wethersfield police departments, as well as State Police and some federal law enforcement members, set out on an all-day police operation to nab ATV and dirtbike riders.

Hartford Police Department Commander Gabriel Laureano spoke exclusively with Channel 3 on Sunday on the dangers that these riders pose to the community.

“I urge people not to do this. Stop it,” said Commander Laureano. “I know YouTube and Facebook and social media have glamorized it, but it’s extremely dangerous resulting in tons and tons of accidents and fatalities on ATVs and dirtbikes. They’re just not made for city streets.”

Commander Laureano said these activities are illegal, too. These riders are violating a city ordinance for prohibited operation.

“They’re out there willy-nilly driving around going high rates of speed,” said Commander Laureano. “Our city streets are congested, so it’s extremely dangerous, and they’ve been unchallenged for a long time.”

Using the added manpower, street surveillance, and patience to corral the riders in, police said they made 10 arrests and seized 16 dirtbikes and ATVs, as well as a U-Haul truck and a pick-up truck.

Police said eight of the 10 arrested are from out of state.

They all range in age from a teenager to 28 years old.

“Once they see the police, they like to scatter and go crazy in all different directions so we wanted to take into their well-being into consideration as well, innocent bystanders and the well-being of my officers as well,” added Commander Laureano.

Commander Laureano said these people likely will not see their bikes or ATVs again.

“We’re no longer going to sit on the sidelines here in the city and watch you terrorize our citizens,” said Commander Laureano.

The Commander said today was the first day of a series of details in the future in hopes of curbing the dangerous dirtbike and ATV riding in Hartford.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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