ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It worries residents on city streets and keeps them up at night, but officers are getting creative in their fights against drag racing.
“I think it’s getting worse every year, I’m born and raised here and it seems to be getting worse,” said Albuquerque Resident Mary Ann Lucero.
Residents say they’ve had it with drag racers. Endangering other drivers just for the thrill of it.
Lucero said, “I mean, I think we’re concerned as citizens but how do you combat that, you know, this tragedy that can happen, I don’t know.”
Law enforcement officials agree there’s no simple solution.
“The problem is for every group that we do catch there are ten or twelve other groups doing the same thing,” said Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Lt. Aaron Williamson.
Showing off high performance cars, like in a video posted to YouTube Friday night. BCSO says summer months are the busiest time for drag racing. Anyone they catch can face fines, jail time or losing their cars, but actually catching them is the challenge.
“We’ve got to catch them in the act and that’s part of what makes it difficult for us to bust some of these people, because cars together in a pack doesn’t necessarily mean illegal activity was taking place,” said Williamson.
Officials say the racers have a jump on deputies. While look outs are still being used, now these individuals have scanner apps to know when officers are headed their way.
Williamson said, “There’s a little bit of a delay, but generally we’re coming from five, ten minutes away and there’s about a ten or fifteen second delay, so even that gives them the technological advantage over us.”
That means deputies have to set up stings, like the ones we recently tagged along on back in May, and last summer, and because they can’t be everywhere they need the public to be their eyes and ears.
“We rely a lot on citizen input, when they see them in their area, when they see them drag racing, call us,” said Williamson.
Both uniformed and under-cover officers are always on the look-out for racers, and they’re also lurking online, using technology to their advantage, too.