People who live in north Austin worry even after a massive multi-agency sting a couple of months ago, a group known for illegal street racing could be resurfacing.
In March, officers busted a group of hundreds known for doing burnouts, drag racing, fighting and using drugs in a Wells Branch parking lot off MoPac Expressway and Wells Branch Parkway. Fifteen people were arrested and 25 received traffic violations.
“It seems like we were effective with our operation, but, at the same time, it’s probably inevitable that they’re going to surface somewhere,” said TCSO Deputy Chad Carter.
Neighbors in the Copperfield area off East Yager Lane worry the group already has resurfaced in their area.
“[It] began the beginning of April, hearing cars racing along this area,” said a neighbor who asked not to be named.
She says just a month after the March sting, a car meet started in the Yager Lane Food Store parking lot, with car enthusiasts meeting up Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. She says she’s witnessed multiple cars racing out of the parking lot onto nearby streets.
“You have children walking, you have adults walking,” she said of the busy street near the parking lot. “With them speeding again like that, they can lose control, hit anyone and kill them, instantly.”
Along with other neighbors, she has called 911 multiple times. Deputy Carter urges others to do the same.
“If it’s being noticed that this activity is going on, then the residents need to involve law enforcement to get us on board, because a lot of times, we might not realize, with call volume, that this activity is necessarily going on.”
Carter says the Wells Branch meet grew so large that the group was hard to catch. He says they developed elaborate schemes to elude law enforcement.
“They would leave the parking lot that was in Austin Police Department’s jurisdiction, then they would immediately come into Travis County. Then, from there, they would race into Williamson County and Round Rock, so it became a problem for multiple agencies, including DPS,” Carter said.
“They started to figure out ways to combat law enforcement. It seemed like they had scouts. They were monitoring radio channels, and then once they would perform their races, like I said, they would split up, and the end of their race would go into several different roadways,” he said.
Races that weaved through multiple jurisdictions made it harder for law enforcement to track racers down. Six different agencies had to work together to bring down the group last time.
Carter says in addition to asking the public for help being watchful, deputies are watching for smaller sects of the group to crop back up with illegal activity, as well.
“It’s zero tolerance,” Carter said. “There are too many recent deaths that have occurred due to racing, illegal street racing, that we cannot tolerate something like that to happen again.”
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