WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH)-- Police in Waterbury are now cracking down on illegal dirt bikes and ATVs. They're a nuisance to neighbors and they can be a safety hazard.
If you talk to folks living near parks in Waterbury, they'll tell you, first they hear them, then see them.
"They come down through here and they be flying in there. The dirt bikes and the mopeds, they be going round in circles and just be tearing up the park," said Cliff, a neighbor.
Tracks from ATVs and dirt bikes are visible in fields and along trails. The city is blocking paths by putting down rocks, so riders use neighborhood streets.
"You see they blocked it off, how these kids are going to get from point a to point b, the streets that is another concern," said Dean, a neighbor.
So Waterbury police are cracking down, showing News 8 the bikes seized over the weekend when several riders were arrested .
"This is a surprise operation. We want to catch these people off guard," said Acting Deputy Chief Chris Corbett, Waterbury Police Department.
Detectives aren't actually going up into the woods on the trails, but they are working undercover in unmarked cars, so when these riders get to the street and they can be safely cornered, surprise they are under arrest.
"We want to avoid getting into a pursuit with these ATVs. It's highly dangerous so utilizing undercover officers, we are able to isolate where the ATVs were," said Corbett.
This isn't a one day operation.
An officer circled Hamilton Park, a popular spot for ATV riders.
"I see them doing it here and they are just tearing it up, tearing it up, and it don't make sense," said Cliff.
Some residents think the city should look at setting aside certain trails or parks for ATVs and dirt bikes so they wouldn't have to use the streets.
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