Skip to comments.Crushing blow to street racing
Posted on 06/21/2007 4:48:29 PM PDT by radar101
RIALTO - Charles Hoang shook his head and paced as he watched window glass cascade to the ground, tires burst and metal crumple. The 18-year-old Chino man wasn't watching his own vehicle being crushed into a brick of scrap metal, but he knew it would soon be his car's turn.
"I want to cry right now," he said. Hoang's 1998 Acura Integra GSR was seized by Ontario police several months ago when he was caught street racing along Airport Drive. On Wednesday, police destroyed the car he spent a year and thousands of dollars building from the ground up.
He was one of six people whose vehicles were crushed at Ecology Auto Parts in Rialto through the area's San Bernardino County Regional Street Racing Task Force.
It's an operation run by numerous law enforcement agencies including the California Highway Patrol, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, as well as the Fontana, Chino, Upland, Ontario Airport and Montclair police departments.
Police are able to destroy the vehicles through court orders.
Ontario police say the program has reduced the number of street racers coming to the area by 80 percent in the past two years. Fatal and injury crashes caused by street racing have also declined, police said.
Five of the vehicles were seized not because their owners were street racing, but because they contained stolen engines and transmissions, police said.
Daniel Maldonado snapped digital photos as he watched his black 1992 Honda Civic being crushed.
"It's my life in there," he said. "That's all my money. That's all I've worked for."
His transmission didn't have an identification number. Police said it had been stolen. But Maldonado said he didn't know that and that older Japanese cars have ID stickers that can fall off.
Ontario police Cpl. Jeff Higbee said that's not possible.
Older Japanese cars bought in Japan and brought to the United States may have that problem, but American manufacturers affix mylar stickers to Japanese car parts.
"If they're not there, they've been removed by the owner," he said.
Ontario police pulled over Sergio Zavala in Ontario last year for a burned-out headlight. When officers popped open the hood of his 1993 Honda Civic, they also saw an engine with no identification number.
He later replaced that engine, but the new one also had no ID number on it. He said he didn't have the time or money to go shopping around for an engine.
But having his car seized was enough of a reality check.
"In the end, it's not worth it," he said.
Some of the vehicle owners lost a lot more than their wheels.
After Hoang's car was seized, he got fired from his job because no one would give him a ride to work. He was kicked out of school because the long walk made him late too many times, he said.
But he has plans to start over on a new car. This time, he says he doesn't plan to race unless he's on a legal track.
"It was worth it," he said. "I have no regrets. I'll live and learn."
Contact writer Melissa Pinion-Whitt at (909) 386-3878 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And I have no problem incarcerating or smashing the cars of the hard core types you refer to, but those types generally blow like a 0.15. If someone did that repeatedly, proven with criminal level due process (not asset forfeiture “we want it and you can’t prove it’s yours” due process), and the car they were in belonged to them, I say crush it.
OK Skippy. Remove the VIN labels on all your cars and tell us how that works out.
Keep a diary while awaiting your court date.
I see what you’re saying. And I can’t imagine cops can be bothered with checking serial numbers on transmissions, blocks etc. Is there something omitted from the story?
“After all, it worked for me!”
The feds bribe the states to do a lot of things, Seat belts, helmets for motorcycles. legal drinking age of 21. Its a damned shame a Marine cant drink a beer at 19. As long as he stays off the road he should be able to have a brew
FEDERAL BRIBERY SUCKS AT ANY LEVEL.
The states should be allowed to pass their own laws and no be bribed by Federal Highway money.
I was at youtube yesterday watching those videos and LOL.
“Older Japanese cars bought in Japan and brought to the United States may have that problem, but American manufacturers affix mylar stickers to Japanese car parts.”
So the cops concede that there may be parts without serial numbers that aren’t stolen? Is it illegal to put an engine or tranny imported from Japan in a car, assuming it meets the smog regulations? And lots of parts for Japanese cars are imported from Japan, as there are engines and trannies available there that aren’t here, and Japanese regulations mean that cars with parts with lots of usable life left in them get junked. Were any of these guys whose cars were seized charged with possession of stolen property? If not, why not? I’m still not convinced that this is a legitimate approach to the problem of street racing.
I love 'em. Peter Stormare is so great. Those and the Evil Sport Ka commercials are my favorite car ads.
” Crush their damn cars. “
Destroying perfectly usable property is just stupid. It makes society as a whole poorer. They should seize them and resell them and then give taxpayers a refund.
What if a drug dealer buys an office building? Are you going to blow it up just because the owner was a criminal.
Jeez, the whole world has gone insane, starting with law enforcement officers.
But thats who it will effect. Government bureaucrats have NO common sense. They will apply any law on the books so that the people who get screwed the most will be minor offenders. The real criminals always anticipate getting caught, so for instance, in this case, the real drunks will all be driving $200 junkers. It will be the ordinary social drinker who drives a nice car that will pay the price for your moral indignation.
Be careful what you ask the government to do, because the only thing you can count on the government to do well, is to screw up everything they do. The victim of your moral outrage could be you.
Huh? Why would anyone want to have their cars confiscated by the gestapo? The point is that just because thats what the gestapo does, doesn’t mean that thats what the gestapo should be doing.
Can I just type that into youtube? don't know what it is.
Thank you. You said it in a lot less words and a lot more clearly than I did. I think that may be important in this case. Ahem.
I have no idea. Maybe. Maybe they’re having a rash of car thefts where the cars get parted out and kids like these buy them. I can see that as a rationale for being more aware of the issue and alert to look for suspicious things that might be used in an investigation or trial, but not for suspension of the BOR.
Yep, as big as it gets. Dual port heads, ported and polished, dual Webbers (pain to sync), solid motor mounts, etc. You worked on VW's, I take it?
Yep, back in the day. Probably built 50 hot motors. Only got one left though, sons 71 Cal looker. Sand buggies, off road race cars, and few streeters.
Don’t mess with em anymore though, other sons have me into motorcycles now!
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