NYPD crushes seized ATVs, motorcycles

The New York Police Department sent a pretty clear message from the auto pound in Red Hook, Brooklyn, on Tuesday: If you use an illegal dirt bike or ATV on the street it will be crushed.

"We have crushed it and will continue to crush them as we gather more of them," Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.

Two big bulldozers rolled over more than 70 bikes, smashing them to pieces. Hundreds more are set to be destroyed. This is all part of the NYPD's latest crackdown focused on getting the dangerous vehicles off the road.

For example, cellphone video shows two drivers wreaking havoc and doing wheelies up First Avenue just last month. And it is hard to forget an incident in 2013 when a gang of bikers surrounded a family traveling with their child in the back of their car on the West Side Highway.

NYPD officials said the streets will be safer with these bikes off the road.

"These groups of motorcycles pass by you -- it's certainly intimidating," Chief of Patrol Carlos Gomez said. "And it projects a sense of recklessness."

So far this year, the NYPD has confiscated 679 vehicles, which is a 95 percent increase this year over last. The NYPD has taken to Twitter, using the hashtag #USEITORLOSE it, posting about each confiscation. Over the weekend, the 44th Precinct got 4 more bikes off the streets.

As for the destroyed bikes, the NYPD will sell what remains for scrap and nothing more.

"Much like when we seize firearms we don't sell them because we don't want those back into the general public," Bratton said. "Similarly these are illegal. And we don't want to resell them and put them back into the hands of people who use them inappropriately."

One other reason the NYPD is crushing these is to make room for more bikes. The department plans to continue this crackdown throughout the spring and summer.