Photo by Instagram User Type_R_Jose
  by Michael Satterfield
July, 17, 2014

Officers and agents raided a popular El Monte car meet Wednesday night in what was described as a "Street Racing Raid." The meet at Arts Burger at 11629 Valley Blvd in El Monte has been held every Wednesday night for the last few years. The event was coordinated with the restaurant but as it grew it captured the attention of the Taskforce for Regional Autotheft Prevention or 'TRAP'. Agents from the Los Angeles County Sheriff, El Monte Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, L.A. County probation officers and officials from the Department of Motor Vehicles descended on the car meet in force.

100+ cars were on hand for the car meet, agents were looking for stolen vehicles, stolen car parts, and illegal modifications. Several vehicles were impounded and over 50 citations were issued. El Monte police Corporal David Avalos told City News Service that vehicle owners were cited for illegal modifications including ground clearance, engines swaps, and exhaust systems.

According to officer Avalos the operation was carried out to "combat auto theft and an increase in the number of vehicles modified for street racing." It is unclear if any actual "street racing" was taking place. But according to attendees I  have spoken to there was no street racing happening at Art's Burgers. One driver who did not want to be identified said "El Monte PD is just down the street and they cruise by every time we have a meet. Everyone knows better."

The news spread quickly via Social Media with the car community suprised that event that has been going on for years without incident was targeted. Even Art's Burgers the host of the weekly event posted  on their Facebook page "Arts burgers shut down tonight by 5 different police agencies for having to many patrons!" The company was recently named the "Small Business of the year" for the 24th senate district of California.

This video from the scene below was taken by Loudlabs News it shows the insane number of officers and how they completely locked down the entire event. It seems you no longer have the right to park in public without being detained and having your vehicle searched, in Southern California. This raid comes in the wake of the undercover investigation by the CHP to catch Touge Drivers and the recent CHP "report your neighbor" website set up to combat out of state registered vehicles. It seems California law enforcement is cracking down on So Cal Car Culture like they did in the early 2000's.

UPDATE: At least one person was arrested for allegedly having a stolen engine according to a report by This report also gives us one of the best non-car guy quotes by El Monte police Sgt. Richard Luna “The vehicles are modified and have several changes to them for the purpose of racing.”

About Michael Satterfield

Michael Satterfield is a designer, photographer, traveler, and The Gentleman Racer.
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  1. I use to attend that meet, no racing ever happened there. Their where kids that would rev their engines acting immature. Owners of domestic vehicles would show up even though it was a import meet and do burn outs, burning the meet for everyone else.

  2. Sounds like a bunch of pigs had a great time at something they can never do.

  3. Pigs got nothing better to do. ..i guess they rather have everyone gang banging instead one even races there. I've been there numerous times. Glad i wasn't there for the bacon fest. .that woulda been all bad. for everyone there just trying to have a good time

  4. If you ask ME, somebody (and I don't mean the cops) should go after the producers of the "Fast & Furious" franchise, for depicting SIX awful films full of cheese-dick Chachi street-racers blasting around making it look cool (to WHOM exactly is the question) and in densely populated urban areas at that - without hitting so much as one pedestrian in all of these years! Can please have Vin Diesel run over ONE elementary school student at some point? Just to get a point across? Or at least somebody's poodle? They perpetuate this myth that everybody's gonna hear the loud pipes and just leap the hell out of the way. Well, for my own part - I walk with a cane. Best I could do is attempt to poke it through the windshield as I splatter all over it, hopefully skewer the driver & take him down to hell with me. Sure as shit, if I'M on the cross-walk, I'm NOT getting out of the way and it ain't because I'm stubborn. But it doesn't even have to be that - there are plenty of other handicaps, people who couldn't see or hear where the car is coming from or even both maybe, and far far greater statistics of people who are glued into their headphones listening to loud music (surely the tuner car assholes can relate to THAT) there are people WALKING and talking on their cell phones (though far more commonly seen DRIVING while talking on them) Suffice it to say, there are a million and one reasons why people can't or won't, get the hell out of the way. Police harassment is serious bullshit, it's true. But a lot of us deal with that in every other sphere of life even outside of the realms of traffic enforcement. I mean, if it bothers you when they're poking their noses into your car, imagine what it's like they're poking around in your house - let alone your body. And increasingly - your MIND. If you think that this car club raid was a pain in the ass, think about what hassles some other folks put up with at the hands of the fuzz, then maybe get out to one of them legendary California ballot boxes, and fill out the whole piece of paper - of course only IF you've bothered to read up on the issues. That shit ain't like them other multiple choice quizzes from back in the day....