Philly police successfully impound roughly 150 illegal ATVs, with more to come as weather warms up

As temperatures warm up, more people are outside and in Philly, that means the sight of more illegal ATVs on the roads. 

So far, police have confiscated roughly 150 ATVs since the beginning of the year. FOX 29’s Kelly Rule visited the impound lot to get the scoop. 

Regina Felder was out and about in Monday’s summer-like weather in Fairmount, but says there’s something frustrating about this time of year in the city. 

"It’s very dangerous out here on the city streets and then they want to hold up traffic and do their flips and turns and what have you and they’re not appropriate for the city streets at all," said Felder, Philly resident. 

FOX 29 got a firsthand look at the growing number of ATVs, dirtbikes, and side-by-side off-road vehicles at the Philadelphia Police impound vehicle lot in South Philadelphia Monday.

Staff said they had just emptied the dumpster that also had vehicles inside.

Police say the ATV and dirt bike detail, made up of police from various districts, confiscated 23 vehicles over the weekend. Three of which were stolen and they made two arrests related to those stolen vehicles.

It takes a combination of patrol work, criminal intelligence, and other investigative techniques to implement the crackdown. 


"There’s a lot of behind the scenes stuff a lot of other units that help and assist with this," said Lt. Trevor Peszko, PPD. "If they see any of the vehicles parked on city streets they’re obligated to enforce our city code."

Something they have and continue to do at the Art Museum steps, a popular meeting spot for the vehicles, police say.

Enforcement includes confiscating the vehicle and writing a city or state citation, which carries a fine, plus there’s a court process and if found guilty, the vehicle is destroyed.

"There’s a lot of traffic down here, a lot of foot traffic, it’s a giant safety concern we can’t have these off-road vehicles up on the sidewalks," said Lt. Peszko. 

Police say tips from the public have also been extremely helpful and they encourage people with information on where the bikes are being stored to report it.

Malique Royal has a different perspective.

"I actually love bikes so I’m not against that only ones that reckless just have fun with it but don’t ride up and down the art museum steps when people are out here," said Royal.