Police arrested more than two dozen people at illegal street takeover events across Los Angeles County Friday, including in Long Beach, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The arrests were made by a task force made up of the LAPD, the Los Angeles County Taskforce for Regional Auto-Theft Prevention, the Alhambra Police Department and the Long Beach Police Department, authorities said.
The joint operation resulted in over 23 misdemeanor arrests countywide, as well as 15 people who were apprehended on suspicion of an exhibition of speed and street takeover activity, the LAPD said in a statement Monday. Additionally, 14 vehicles were impounded and nearly 30 enforcement stops were made where officers conducted an emissions compliance inspection that identified various California Vehicle Code violations.
Authorities weren’t immediately able to provide details on how many of those stops, citations and arrests took place in Long Beach, but the LBPD, like many local agencies, has put an emphasis on shutting down street takeovers.
“Social media has fueled street racing takeovers,” the LAPD said in a statement Monday. “Street racing and intersection takeovers are illegal, pose a danger to participants, spectators, and the community at large. This activity is not tolerated and enforcement action will continue.”
In March, the Long Beach City Council unanimously voted to approve a new ordinance that made being present at any street takeover event a misdemeanor offense. A person is considered present if they’re found to be within 200 feet of the reckless driving exhibition.
More recently, the California State Assembly passed AB 2000 yesterday, which, if it becomes law, would prohibit street racing and sideshows from occurring in parking lots across the state.
Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), who authored the bill, cited two incidents in the last year where at least one person was killed as a result of street racing.
“Far too frequently, street racing and illegal sideshows devastate families, harm innocent bystanders, and cut short young lives,” said Gabriel. “Communities in the San Fernando Valley and across California are sick and tired of this reckless behavior.”
Gabriel’s office said there’s been a “sharp rise” in street racing activity, something he blamed on empty roads during the pandemic. Last year, the CHP “responded to more than 25,000 calls involving illegal street racing activity statewide, an alarming increase of more than 3,500 calls from the year before,” his office said in a news release.
The new state law would also allow courts to suspend a driver’s license if they are arrested for the exhibition of speed during street takeovers—an area not currently covered under California law, according to state officials.
The assembly bill will now go to the Senate, where it is expected to be heard in a policy committee in the coming weeks.