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'We will find you': Columbus law enforcement agencies make arrests in ATV, dirt bike crackdown effort

Police are still seeking out additional suspects and are asking for the public’s help in finding them.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus police, alongside other law enforcement agencies, revealed the results of a months-long operation to prevent reckless use of ATVs and dirt bikes on city streets. 

Columbus Police Assistant Chief LaShanna Potts discussed the operation on Wednesday, alongside Columbus Police Deputy Chief Jennifer Knight. Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin was also in attendance, as well as Franklin County Chief Deputy Jim Gilbert and Whitehall Police Deputy Chief Dan Kelso. 

The Operation 52 task force was created in an attempt to crack down on what Columbus officials have deemed “reckless” ATV use throughout the area. 

So far, 11 people have been arrested or summoned and 11 ATVs or dirt bikes have been seized and impounded as a result of the operation. Additionally, Knight said investigators recovered two stolen dirt bikes or ATVs, as well as five firearms. 

"Who knows how many homicides were saved by just those five guns," said Gilbert.  

In one situation, Knight said police took a juvenile on a dirt bike into custody after he reportedly ran from officers. During the arrest, police learned he had a loaded firearm on him. 

Officers also arrested a large group of riders who reportedly refused to stop for police, resulting in what Knight said was a large crash and injuries. During the arrest, police said they discovered one of the dirt bikes had been stolen. 

Though illegal, Columbus police have said it’s been a struggle to crack down on the drivers because policy does not allow officers to pursue them in most cases. 

Police are still seeking out additional suspects and are asking for the public’s help in finding them.  

"These vehicles are not toys, and our streets are not your playground," said Potts, in a message to those possible suspects. "We will find you, and we will seize your vehicle."