More than a dozen ATVs and two handguns were recovered over the weekend in Newark’s crackdown on illegal off-road vehicles, leading to charges for four residents, police said.
Nine ATVs and three dirt bikes were recovered since Friday, making a total of 32 illegal off-road vehicles confiscated since the start of the enforcement initiative on April 23, Newark Public Safety Director Brian A. O’Hara said.
Angel Aviles, 32, of Newark, was arrested and charged April 28 after he was seen near Broadway and Montclair Avenue riding a dirt bike found to be stolen out of Jersey City, O’Hara said.
The department also charged Melvin Fuentes, 28, of New York City, who was allegedly seen with an illegal dirt bike at the 600 block of Broadway and taken into custody after a helicopter search.
Meanwhile, Al-Tamir Thornton, 19, of Newark and Taquan Williams, 26, of East Orange were arrested for illegal handgun possession in separate incidents, authorities said. One of the guns had a high-capacity magazine and was loaded with hollow point bullets while the other was reported stolen from Harrison in September 2020.
“The removal of over 32 illegal off-road vehicles and two handguns from our streets is proof-positive that this operation is a clear success,” said O’Hara. “And we will continue responding to the community’s concerns regarding the reckless operation of these illegal vehicles. They not only threaten the safety of those operating them, but also jeopardize pedestrians and other motorists."
“In the same way that this illegal activity is not tolerated in other municipalities, it will not be tolerated in Newark,” he added. “We are fully committed to ensuring the highest quality of life possible for our residents.”
A total of 215 illegal firearms have been recovered by Newark Police since the start of the year — a 41.5 percent increase over last year’s numbers.
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