‘We just need the help of the community’: APD arrests at least 13 at north Austin car meet

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — At least 13 people were arrested in a large effort to crack down on illegal activity at a car club meet over the weekend.

Several law enforcement agencies came together to help the Austin Police Department shut it down. Now, they’re asking for the public’s help in tracking where the group moves next.

Video released by the Austin Police Department shows what officers say had become a major problem in an AMC parking lot off Interstate 35 in north Austin. In the video, people can be seen standing near cars doing donuts, burnouts and other maneuvers.

Police say this particular car meet is not permitted and has a history of shootings, auto theft, robbery and often is filled with people carrying weapons and drugs. In July, a shooting at a car meet nearby even took one man’s life.

After enough complaints from businesses and neighbors in the area, APD conducted a planned operation to push the illegal activity out of the area Saturday night.

As a result, at least 13 people were arrested for reckless driving, deadly conduct and illegally carrying weapons, all misdemeanor charges.

“It’s the 911 calls and the calls, the non-emergency calls we get that inform us where all this stuff is happening,” said TCSO spokeswoman Kristen Dark. “As you can imagine, as soon as law enforcement gets anywhere near it, it all breaks up.”

Dark says Saturday’s operation looked a lot like the one the Travis County Sheriff’s Office conducted a couple of years ago in nearby Wells Branch.

“We did this in 2018, and here we are. It took a couple years for it to grow into something organized again, so what we’re doing works. We just need the help of the community to keep us up to speed,” Dark said.

Dark stressed the majority of car club meets are not problematic. She said those that obtain permits to meet aren’t an issue. Those that aren’t permitted, meeting on private property without permission, which often involve illegal activity, she says, are the problem.

In the weeks prior to this weekend’s operation, APD had already arrested 10 other people associated with the car club as part of the initiative.

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