Yaphank-based AVR Realty has equipped Suffolk County Police’s Seventh Precinct with a new all-terrain vehicle to help police officers pursue and arrest trespassers who illegally drive off-road motor vehicles in nearby neighborhoods.
AVR says it hopes the donated vehicle will help officers maintain a presence to deter those driving the three- and four-wheel ATVs in the wooded areas of the residential community.
Whispering Pines and Colonial Woods residents said trespassers driving ATVs have negatively impacted the community and property.
ATV use escalated in 2010 and destroyed underground LIPA lines, which cut off power to the community as well as the nearby sewage treatment plant, county officials said.
“The problem is police can’t get back there with police cars to catch the trespassers,” said Legis. Kate Browning (WF-Shirley). “Now police can arrest them.”
Browning wrote legislation, passed in 2011, to strengthen the county’s ability to target illegal ATV use. The law was introduced in reaction to problems emanating from the area.
Suffolk police officers can now impound a four-wheel- drive vehicle in addition to smaller ATVs, and the combination of law enforcement and tougher laws has greatly decreased the illegal activity in the area, county officials said.
Some Whispering Pines and Colonial Woods residents agreed.
The increased police patrols coupled with the barriers installed by AVR to prevent vehicle access have significantly reduced incidents of trespassing, resident Michael Cain said.