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Illegal Street Racers Terrorizing NYC Neighborhood

Just Like In The Movies, They Elude Cops At Moment's Notice
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Illegal street racing in Maspeth, Queens

They turn and burn at all hours of the night. Illegal street racers are driving residents crazy and eluding the police. (Photo/CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Screeching and speeding is out of control in one Queens neighborhood and residents are desperate and demanding action.

Street racers are keeping homeowners up through all hours of the night and police crackdowns haven’t worked to curb this racing nightmare, reports CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

It’s been going on for years – street racing in Maspeth. CBS 2 has obtained videos of the illegal activity from as far back as 1995 and still today the racing is just as bad.

“I swear don’t these guys, didn’t they ever have a mother?” Maspeth resident Deann Roth told Dennis.

Roth lives on Maurice Street in Maspeth, but it might as well as be a drag strip. Her home is surrounded by “for sale” signs from other homeowners said to be desperate to get out.

“Every Friday, Saturday, I can’t sleep, windows are closed. You still can hear them. It’s crazy,” resident Elaine Figueroa said.

“Revving engines, motorcycles, you can imagine the people, music playing, and this is like 1:30–2 in the morning,” resident Felix Rivera added.

Rivera’s house is just steps away from what he says is the starting line. The road — paved just weeks ago — leaves a perfect line in the tar. Add to that the fact that the street is a no-standing zone overnight, giving racers a clear shot up and down the street.

They’re gone before the police even get there.

“They do come. They’ll break it up but they have people, spotters, all over the place so when they see the cops they hear them coming, they’ll just all scatter before they get here,” one person said.

“Drag racers are a pretty cunning lot. They do it at late hours,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

Kelly has acknowledged the problem, and admits crackdowns, like the one by the Queens district attorney in 2005, haven’t worked because the drag racers keep moving.

So what about this idea?

“I don’t know, put a camera up there or something where they can catch ‘em,” Roth said.

“I have to take a look at it,” Kelly responded. “We do use cameras for a variety of things, but we’ll look at it.”

It’s a promise from the commissioner for a neighborhood that’s losing homeowners as quickly as they come.

“Uh, under a year, February makes a year, and I’m already thinking about moving,” Rivera said.

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