Newark Police are reporting that a total of 32 illegal vehicles have been recovered by police since the inception of a new illegal off-road vehicle enforcement initiative.
Police say as part of the operation, officers arrested Mr. Al-Tamir Thornton, 19, of Newark and Mr. Taquan Williams, 26, of East Orange, for illegal handgun possession in separate incidents this weekend.
One of the handguns had been reported stolen from Harrison on September 21, 2020, the other handgun had a high-capacity magazine and was loaded with hollow point bullets.
“The removal of over 32 illegal off-road vehicles and two handguns from our streets is proof-positive that this operation is a clear success,” Director O’Hara said.
“And we will continue responding to the community’s concerns regarding the reckless operation of these illegal vehicles. They not only threaten the safety of those operating them, but also jeopardize pedestrians and other motorists. In the same way that this illegal activity is not tolerated in other municipalities, it will not be tolerated in Newark,” he added. “We are fully committed to ensuring the highest quality of life possible for our residents.”
As part of the illegal off-road vehicle operation, which began on April 23rd, police have confiscated a total of 19 ATVs and13 dirt bikes. Since Friday, police recovered nine ATVs and three dirt bikes, plus an additional dirt bike recovered on April 28th, when police arrested Angel Aviles, 32, of Newark, after he was observed riding in the area of Broadway and Montclair Avenue.
The dirt bike was found to be stolen out of Jersey City. Aviles is charged with receiving stolen property and obstructing the administration of the law.
Police said on May 1st, Melvin Fuentes, 28, of New York City, was arrested after police located him with an illegal dirt bike at the 600 block of Broadway through the assistance of the NPD1 helicopter.
Fuentes faces charges of obstructing the administration of the law and resisting arrest. He was also issued summonses for an unregistered ATV, uninsured ATV among other motor vehicle violations.
Nine ATVs were also recovered from various locations this weekend.
Three ATVs were recovered from Chester and Lincoln avenues; one was recovered from Manchester Place; one from Central Avenue and First Street; another from South 13thStreet near 9th Avenue; two from South 19th Streetand Avon Avenue and one from the 300 block of Springfield Avenue.
While conducting this operation, police also recovered two handguns.
Police said May 1st, Al-Tamir Thornton was arrested on charges of unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, CDS distribution, CDS possession and receiving stolen property.
As part of this incident, police recovered 14 ecstasy pills, $217.00 and a loaded handgun that had been reported stolen from Harrison.
Taquan Williams was arrested on April 30th on charges of unlawful possession of a weapon and two counts of possession of prohibited weapons (large capacity magazine and hollow point ammunition). Prior to the arrest, Williams was observed driving in the opposite direction of traffic while speeding on 4th Avenue.
He also was issued motor vehicle summonses for driving in the opposite direction of traffic, reckless driving, driving without a license, driving while suspended and other motor vehicle violations.
Newark Police have recovered a total of 215 illegal firearms this year, a 41.5 percent increase over the same period in year 2020.