|Photo by Instagram User Type_R_Jose|
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.
UPDATE: At least one person was arrested for allegedly having a stolen engine according to a report by insidesocal.com. 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.”