Police Confiscate Nearly 100 Illegal Mopeds In Queens Crackdown

Authorities in Queens have seized almost 100 unregistered and uninsured mopeds during a four-day operation aimed at curbing illegal scooter use. The initiative, conducted by the Queens District Attorney’s Office and NYPD officers, resulted in the confiscation of 99 illegal scooters and five legally registered ones that were parked illegally, according to the New York Post.

The operation, which took place from June 4 to June 8, targeted specific areas known for illegal scooter activity. Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz highlighted the growing issue of illegal scooters being used in violent crimes. “Illegal scooters have become a significant concern in our city, as we see them increasingly being used while carrying out violent crimes,” Katz said in a statement.

This effort is part of a broader citywide initiative to combat moped gangs, which have been linked to a 400 percent increase in the use of scooters for major felonies since 2022. A substantial number of these crimes have been associated with newly arrived migrants, who are reportedly involved in approximately 80% of moped-assisted robberies.

One notable case involved 19-year-old Bernardo Raul Castro Mata, a migrant accused of shooting two police officers on June 3 while riding a scooter. Mata allegedly confessed to being recruited into a “snatch and grab” gang. It remains unclear if the recent crackdown included scooters at the East Elmhurst shelter where Mata was staying.

Since February, over 500 scooters have been seized by detectives and police officers as part of this ongoing effort to curb the use of illegal mopeds in criminal activities, according to the New York Post. This significant enforcement action reflects the authorities’ commitment to reducing crime and enhancing public safety in the city.