GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — “I hate to say, I think it will get worse because we are just seeing it every weekend,” said Asst. Chief Ric Alston from the Greensboro Police Department. He is talking about the loud noise of cars backfiring and tires squealing.
Over the last two weekends, police have made seven arrests and officers fear that as we head into summer – the problem is only going to escalate.
It’s pretty easy to spot the aftermath of one of these events and the tire marks left behind on the pavement. It’s not isolated to one parking lot or one area of the city, they are happening all over Greensboro.
“I think it is important to address driving culture and these kind of incidents,” said Jorge Ochoa who works at Steinway Piano Gallery in the shopping center just off of New Garden Road. He has witnessed reckless driving in the parking lot. “It makes it just a little more sketchy, instead of being a nice shopping center where you can come and know you are secure,” Ochoa said. “It kind of does devalue the comfort level.”
From New Garden Road to the Lawndale shopping center and most recently, on Wendover Avenue. “I think it is multiple groups because you will see different individuals every weekend but it is so big you just don’t know who is going to show up,” said Asst. Chief Alston.
Greensboro Police are dedicating officers to this issue every weekend to try to get these types of events under control. “It gets difficult when you get between 50 and 80 cars in one parking lot and they are engaging in bad behavior,” Alston said.
In the past two weeks, Greensboro police have charged people with traffic citations, vandalism and speed to elude tied to large gatherings in parking lots. “Your car can be seized and you run the risk of not getting your car back,” Alston said. Police did take one car this month and it’s likely it will go to auction and the owner won’t get it back.
“The biggest thing is when you want to engage in careless and reckless driving and you have blatant disregard for public safety, that is when it becomes an issue and we take that very seriously and we have to step in and address those issues,” Alston said. The officer shortage makes stopping these dangerous stunts challenging. They are asking the community to help them. “Call us when you see a couple of cars, don’t wait to call us when it is 50, 80, 100 cars,” Alston said. “If you see this please call so we can address this quickly.”
If you see it happening the most helpful information to get for officers is the license plate number or any pictures or videos of the vehicles.