NYPD battles gangs, illegal guns and scooters, calling them 'a dangerous combination'

Thursday, April 18, 2024
NYPD battles gangs, guns and scooters
N.J. Burkett has more on the NYPD's battle to crack down on gangs, guns and scooters.

LOWER MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- The NYPD is dealing with its latest challenge in their attempt to crackdown on crime: mopeds, scooters and motorcycles.

They have become the getaway vehicle of choice in the city. It comes after masked men on scooters fired ten rounds onto a crowded street in The Bronx, leaving four people wounded and one dead Tuesday night.

Police officials said they are now convinced the incident was not a random crime.

"We're confident that this is a gang-related, gang-motivated incident with all gang members," said NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry.

NYPD Patrol Division Chief John Chell said the scooters, illegal guns and gang members make for a dangerous combination.

"Why? Four people get shot, one is dead," he said.

Police are stepping-up their community response teams. Patrols have already seized nearly 10,000 illegal scooters so far this year, while making 1,300 arrests.

"We've taken a record number of scooters off the street and we've taken a record number of gang members and taken them off the street," Chell said. "So this will be no different for our detective squad as it goes after these people who did this."

Overall crime is trending lower, but felony assaults and robberies have continued at a steady pace. While some of those arrested are migrants, many others are not.

But the solution, Chell says, is not so simple.

"No, it's not that simple," he said. "We've had gangs here, you know, every borough, multiple gangs, different types of gangs. We've been dealing this for years, and we've done it well."

Professor Jeffrey Butts of John Jay College says the department needs to focus on the root causes of crime, although cracking down on scooters sends an important message.

"And until we do that, a lot of problems are going to continue," Butts said. "Not just crime, but dangerous behavior on scooters. So I hope people deal with that."


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