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Crushing blow to street racing
Inland Daily Bulletin | 21 June 2007 | Melissa Pinion-Whitt,

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 melissa.pinion-whitt@sbsun.com.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; US: California
KEYWORDS: assetforfeiture; donutwatch; leo; wod
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To: sgtbono2002

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.


41 posted on 06/21/2007 8:41:52 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: Still Thinking
Even if he admits he removed it so what? It’s the police’s job to prosecute crime, not our obligation as their employers to prove our innocence. The burden of proof is theirs.

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.

42 posted on 06/21/2007 10:17:31 PM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Publius6961
IT”S NOT THE VIN. FOR THE HUNDREDTH FREAKING TIME, IT’S NOT THE VIN!! It’s a serial number on a component of the car. And no, while I don’t know what the law is on the matter, I don’t even think it’s our responsibility to run around with ID numbers on our cars. I wasn’t making an argument of what would work in today’s legal system, but what it should be from a principled standpoint. Didn’t a teacher ever ask you in grade school “If everybody else was jumping off a cliff, would you do it?”
43 posted on 06/21/2007 10:58:52 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: Still Thinking

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?


44 posted on 06/22/2007 4:36:10 AM PDT by Disturbin (Goverment is not the solution to any problem)
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To: Lazamataz

“After all, it worked for me!”

LOL!


45 posted on 06/22/2007 4:36:46 AM PDT by Disturbin (Goverment is not the solution to any problem)
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To: Still Thinking

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.


46 posted on 06/22/2007 4:48:28 AM PDT by sgtbono2002 (http://www.imwithfred.com/index.aspx)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

I was at youtube yesterday watching those videos and LOL.


47 posted on 06/22/2007 6:30:06 AM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (I buy gas for my SUV with the Carbon Offsets I sell on Ebay!)
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Does this mean I have to worry about what I replace the parts of my car with? Is a K&N Filter now considered a modification for racing? In a roundabout way this is making the Magnuson and Moss act worthless because now your going to have to use stock looking pieces so your car doesn't get crushed. The guy that can afford the high end cars is benefiting from this one...Another reason to stay out of California.
48 posted on 06/22/2007 6:35:07 AM PDT by Coulda
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To: radar101

“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.


49 posted on 06/22/2007 6:42:06 AM PDT by -YYZ- (Strong like bull, smart like ox.)
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To: K4Harty
I was at youtube yesterday watching those videos and LOL.

I love 'em. Peter Stormare is so great. Those and the Evil Sport Ka commercials are my favorite car ads.

50 posted on 06/22/2007 6:42:38 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Don't question faith. Don't answer lies.)
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To: radar101
Stupid government officials. Destroying property that could have been sold to fund their little gestapo power trips. I guess they wouldn’t be burning through taxpayer money fast enough if they did that. Stupidity runs deep in the law enforcement community.
51 posted on 06/22/2007 7:03:13 AM PDT by monday
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To: sgtbono2002

” 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.


52 posted on 06/22/2007 7:15:44 AM PDT by monday
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To: sgtbono2002
“I am not speaking of the occasional drinker who gets caught after a glass of wine.”

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.

53 posted on 06/22/2007 7:24:42 AM PDT by monday
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To: Publius6961
“OK Skippy. Remove the VIN labels on all your cars and tell us how that works out.”

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.

54 posted on 06/22/2007 7:29:05 AM PDT by monday
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
Evil Sport Ka

Can I just type that into youtube? don't know what it is.

55 posted on 06/22/2007 8:24:45 AM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (I buy gas for my SUV with the Carbon Offsets I sell on Ebay!)
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To: sgtbono2002
The states should be allowed to pass their own laws and no be bribed by Federal Highway money.

Damn straight.

56 posted on 06/22/2007 8:44:29 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: monday

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.


57 posted on 06/22/2007 9:13:48 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: Disturbin

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.


58 posted on 06/22/2007 9:21:37 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: biff
"2180?"

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?

59 posted on 06/22/2007 2:07:55 PM PDT by etcetera (A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. Sigmund Freud)
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To: etcetera

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!


60 posted on 06/22/2007 3:39:51 PM PDT by biff
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