Philly police confiscating dirt bikes
It happened. The philly dirt bike police came back in the kenso woods this past sunday.
To make a long story short, they took our bikes, but we got them back the next morning since they’re street legal / registered / insured / we have mc licenses etc… They did it just to fuck with us.
So… the full story goes like this:
- We went back in the kenso woods at 2pm on sunday.
- We were only back there for maybe 10 mins in the open sandy area where the big tabletop jump is.
- About 5 dirt bikes cops rolled back there. We saw them coming so we hopped off our bikes and just hung out and waited for them to come to us.
- Right when they got to us they were pretty nice and were all actually pretty pumped and said it was awesome back there and everyone was smiling. They were pretty pumped on our bikes.
- We told them all our bikes are legit and we have all our paperwork and they immediately kind of laughed and said to one another; “shit, they’re legit, we can’t do anything. damn, we thought you were ghetto kids on stolen bikes, and we’d confiscate them.”
- So, we sat around for 20 mins kind of just shooting the shit with the dirt bike cops. They were actually pretty nice since we weren’t ghetto kids on stolen bikes. They all had new Suzuki 4 stroke enduros. Probably 600cc. Watching them ride in the dirt was funny. No offense to them, but they def suck at riding in dirt. They said as a cop, you sign up to be on the dirt bike division, and you get 2 weeks of dirt bike training.
- Then they said their lieutenant was in a cop SUV out on the street and we had to go out and see what he would want to do. They said they assumed he’d just yell at us and tell us to get out of here.
- When we got out to the street and talked to the lieutenant, he told us he didn’t have any good news for us. Obviously we knew we’re trespassing. But then he told us he was going to take the bikes and have them impounded. I think we were all pretty shocked.
- Lawyer Brian had looked into it previously and said cops can’t take your bike if it’s all legit, they can only ticket you.
- The lieutenant initially threatened to give us Violation 7702 which is “all terrain vehicle”. He said that based on this violation it’s a $2000 fine and our bikes get taken. Lawyer Brian looked it up on his phone real quick and it clearly states 7702 only applies to vehicles with 3 wheels or more… so it clearly doesn’t apply to us.
- The lieutenant then says he’s trying to do us a favor and not give us Violation 7702, and instead he’s going to give us Violation 6308 which is “police investigation”. So under this code they are going to confiscate our bikes.
- We explain to the lieutenant that our bikes are street legal, and we don’t understand how he has the right to take our bikes. We tell him we’re totally cool with a ticket and expected that, but since we do own our bikes and all our paperwork is legit, how can he take our bikes.
- He then tells us that he’s getting orders from above him… to take the bikes. The lieutenant was actually being decent, he wasn’t a dick. It seemed they had a hidden agenda to make a certain quota.
- Again, we ask him to explain where in Violation 6308 it states they can take our bikes.
- Again, he says he’s trying to help us out and its better than getting a Violation 7702 – ATV (even though that clearly doesn’t apple to us).
- So, there was nothing we could do. Our conversation just started to go in a circle.
- Basically the lieutenant said the Violation 6308 we were given has $0 fee associated with it (although Brian looked it up and it says it’s a $130 fine). Then the next day we’d be able to go to the impound lot and get our bikes back with no impound lot fee, since we do own them. So, it seems like total complete illegal bullshit they took them based on no actual law.
- It’s almost as if they used “6308 – Police Investigation” as an umbrella to confiscate the bikes… knowing we’d be able to just go get them tomorrow. Like… “we need to confiscate it pending our investigation bullshit blah blah”.
- Based on everything I’ve researched the past day, cops can 100% not (legally) take your bike if you have a license, registration, insurance.
- Even in this article by NBC10, Lt. Stanford of the Philly police states twice; “Police can only confiscate a dirt bike under two conditions — if the operator doesn’t have a license or the bike is not registered.”
- So, what happened to us seems to be illegal confiscation.
- The next morning neighbor Brian drove us up to the impound lot right when they opened at 8am. Our bikes were held at Whitaker Ave & Macalester St. We walked in, and told them we were here to get our bikes. They looked at our paperwork and said “Sounds good, here ya go.” We took our bikes and rode away.
- So, based on all this it seems like total bullshit they took our bikes totally knowing we’d be able to just go get them in the morning since we were legit. They 100% did it just to be dicks.
- I will say this… the dirt bike cops were pretty cool. I think they felt shitty having to take our bikes. It wasn’t their decision.
- The lieutenant or whomever it was “above him” that made the call to take our bikes regardless… whoever made that call can suck it hard. Real hard. Basically they pulled some shady illegal shit and there was nothing we could do about it.
- Yes, we were trespassing. I won’t argue that… Give me a ticket and then let me go on my way. My bike and all my paperwork is legit for a reason – so you can’t take my bike.
- The lieutenant told us they’re doing sting operations every sunday through the summer to confiscate any and all illegal dirt bikes and ATV’s.
- I still plan on riding back in the kenso trails. Just not on Sundays. Stay tuned for more info from me regarding all this shit and where we’ll be riding this summer.
Our buddy Chris shot the first two photos and the rest are crappy iPhone pics.
This was a bummer to see.
They just plopped them all leaning on each other and then ratchet-strapped them down pretty tight.
Tons of quads and dirt bikes in the impound lot. Ours were the only 4 with legit license plates. Go-figure.
This is what they were threatening us with. The ATV 7702 violation. So fucking dumb. It doesn’t apply to us at all. We didn’t break code 7702. We can’t. We have 2 wheels. Regardless, they cops gave us this paper and said this is how we’d get our bikes back. So dumb.
My “property receipt”. Notice under bullet item 1, the cop wrote “public property” accidentally instead of private. ha.
After we got them out below.
So, in conclusion –
1) Make sure your bike is all legit with:
– mc license
– registration (Vermont is totally cool)
2) Don’t go back in the Kenso woods on Sunday
3) Although everything we find says cops can’t take your bike if your paperwork is all legit. Even in the article by NBC10, Philly lieutenant Stanford confirms this… cops will do whatever they want and take it anyway to be dicks, but you’ll be able to go get it the next day.
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Published - Aug 4, 2013
Adam and I leave for our trip in a few days. Since doing the engine rebuild I haven’t ridden the bike more than 20 miles. I finally got it dialed in and rode it to a website conference in DC I’m at for a couple days. It was a successful shake down run. No oil […]