PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Mayor Jorge Elorza and other Providence city officials authorized the destruction of 27 recreational vehicles seized by police Tuesday, officials announced.

Officials say police seized illegal ATVs and dirt bikes that were subsequently deemed property of the city through a Municipal Court forfeiture process.

“We’re once again sending a clear message that we will not tolerate the illegal operation of dirt bikes and ATVs on our city streets,” said Mayor Elorza. “This risky activity has disrupted and caused a wide-spread concern in our city for far too long. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this issue and working to ensure our roadways are safe and inviting to all who rely on them.”

In 2017, the Providence City Council passed an ordinance that permitted the Providence police to confiscate recreation vehicles operating illegally on city streets, according to officials.

Bulldozer destroys illegal ATV’s and dirtbikes in Providence Tuesday. (WPRI)
Bulldozer destroys illegal ATV’s and dirt bikes in Providence Tuesday to ‘send a message.’ (WPRI)

Last year, the city destroyed 17 of the 46 vehicles forfeited after the ordinance went into effect in 2017.

There were 27 vehicles destroyed Tuesday, with 17 still pending forfeiture, according to officials.

“I want to thank the hardworking men and women of the Providence Police Department for their dedication in helping rid our streets of these unauthorized vehicles,” City Council President Pro Tempore Michael Correia said. “ATVs are not meant for city streets; they are a disturbance in our neighborhoods and because of the way they are recklessly used they can cause serious damage to the drivers, pedestrians, or other motorists.”

Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré said those who engage in this unlawful activity will have their vehicles confiscated by police, and in some cases, destroyed.

“As the summer months approach, this event sends out a strong message that Providence police will continue their efforts to rid all dangerous and illegal vehicles from our streets,” said Paré.

To report the location or operation of an illegal recreational vehicle, contact 401-272-3121.