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Bratton Wants to Crush Cars Seized for Illegal Racing

September 05, 2003|Sharon Bernstein | Times Staff Writer

A new ordinance allowing police to confiscate the cars of people who drag race on Los Angeles streets is getting its first test this week.

LAPD Chief William J. Bratton said he would push to destroy the souped-up cars allegedly driven by 21-year-old Pedro Cabrera and 20-year-old Isidro Ocampo in an illegal street race Aug. 30. The two were arrested as part of a San Fernando Valley sting operation over the Labor Day weekend.

Police conducted the sting as part of a citywide campaign against street racing, a year-old effort made more urgent by the deaths of four people in street racing accidents in June.

The two cars, both Chevrolet Camaros, were impounded under an ordinance introduced last year by East Valley Councilwoman Wendy Greuel.

Instead of selling the vehicles, as the city had planned, Bratton said, "I'd rather take these two cars down to a junkyard and crush them and have these two nitwits watch."

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