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Battle of the ATVs Cont. New MPD Program Offers $250-500 Reward if Call to 911 Results in Confiscation

by Prince Of Petworth August 12, 2015 at 2:06 pm 19 Comments


From MPD:

“Bonu$ to Phone Us: Off Road” is a program that offers DC residents the ability to call 911 when they know the location of an illegal ATV or dirt bike in Washington, DC. If the information results in the confiscation of an illegal dirt bike or ATV, the caller will be authorized to receive a $500 reward.”

Read the MPD Brochure:

Bonus 2 Phone Us – Off Road Brochure (PDF)

Ed. Note: The postcard above says $250 and the Brochure (PDF) says $500 reward.

  • anonymous

    I hate these ATV people!!
    they threatened to run my husband and I over when we were crossing U street with our dog at a red light. fortunately they let us cross but not without scaring us and our dog and then they all ran the red light.

    • BK2H

      Hmmm…. I wonder what they look like… “Maryland drivers?”

  • Damn. I’m just gonna stand on H Street every night at 7PM and take photos from now on. It’s really not hard to anticipate where and when they will be riding…

    • Eponymous

      I doubt that will lead to confiscation though, given the no-chase policy. You’d be better off walking through alleys to see if you can spot where they are parked.

      • hopeless

        the whole thing is pointless. if you see one being used on public space and you call it in, MPD won’t chase them and your call will never lead to a confiscation. If you see one parked in an alley, MPD will take 3 hours to show up (if they show up) and will say “well we can’t know if it was ever driven on public space” and won’t confiscate it.

        The only way this will work is if someone sees one being driven, calls it in, MPD shows up in an unmarked car and is able to follow it to where the person got off the bike, and then manages to confiscate it. Not likely.

        • Patrick Division

          hopeless gets it!!

        • Yeah exactly. The two different descriptions between the poster and the body of the post (one alludes to actually being ridden, the other implies it’s standing still) should tell you all you need to know about the likelihood of anyone ever cashing in on this. If anything I would be surprised if it’s used more often by friends of these riders to turn them in for quick cash.

    • jonah

      Chief Lanier was at the last 4D meeting in July and talked about this program. They specifically are looking for leads on finding the atvs/bikes when they are stopped (garages, gas stations, etc). Since the likely can’t allocate urgent resources you probably just want to share which garage/houses/sheds they are being stored in along with a description.

    • H Streeter

      Same goes for Florida Ave NE

  • shaw

    Now THIS is something I can get behind my tax dollars being used for! Combine this with a policy that once recovered, the bikes are crushed every time, with no exception, rather than being re-sold at auctions where they just end up right back on the road again. We don’t auction the bricks of cocaine we confiscate, even though it’s valuable! Don’t auction these bikes and atvs either!
    If the program has limited success, I say raise the reward. I will happily allocate more taxes to actually resolve an ongoing issue like this one!

    • Auctioneer

      You’d be surprised how few bikes the city does auction for that exact reason. When sold, they’re sold in lots of 5-10, and those in the District are not allowed to buy them. 95% of those auctioned are missing parts and rusted out due to being held so long. The city is trying.

  • Curious George

    I know where one parks overnight. Have been on hold with the number above for 20 minutes trying to report it. Is this just for show or do they actually intend to do anything (starting with answering my call)?

    • Patrick Division

      “Is this just for show or do they actually intend to do anything (starting with answering my call)?”

      The tone with which you asked this question suggests you already know the answer.

    • textdoc

      MPD is not the same as OUC (the Office of Unified Communications, which handles 911 and 311 calls), so MPD is not to blame for not answering your call.

  • Marty

    Just last week my neighbor and his buddy had a minibike out on the sidewalk. they were tinkering with the engine and then riding it up and down the sidewalk to test it out. Either the cops stumbled upon them or one of the other neighbors called, but two officers got out of their car and spoke with these two gents for a few minutes. I thought that someone would get a ticket, or maybe that the bike would get seized. Alas, the officers simply left and the two guys kept working on the bike on the sidewalk. They didn’t ride it again that I saw, but they certainly didn’t seem to be in any trouble.

    • jonah

      In the last 4D meeting with MPD Chief Lanier was clear that owning a bike/atv is not illegal in DC so its possible without them having proof it was being driven they couldn’t confiscate it. My best guess is they are collecting locations so that they can find them once they can ID them on video.

  • say what

    this all sounds good in theory but if I am supposed to report a parked ATV how will the cops know it was driven on “public space”–its like giving a speeding ticket my car once its parked in the driveway.

  • NE res

    I texted a tip in on where some are stored and the response says the text line is used for “serious crimes and homicides.”

    So yeah – I don’t feel too confident about MPD execution here…

    • textdoc

      They shouldn’t be listing the 50411 text number on the flyer — MPD has been doing a rather poor job of getting the word out that they want 50411 to (now) be just for tips on serious crimes that have already happened, as opposed to being a text equivalent of 911 (which is for both emergencies and non-emergencies).


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