Car meetups at OC shopping center leave residents, businesses frustrated

David González Image
Tuesday, August 2, 2022 4:22AM
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Some Orange County residents are frustrated and fed up with dangerous car meetups that take over shopping centers at night during weekends.

GARDEN GROVE, Calif (KABC) -- Some Orange County residents are frustrated and fed up with dangerous car meetups that take over shopping centers at night on the weekends.

Mike Garcia said this type of activity is getting out of control.

Garcia said, "You start hearing the wheels spinning, the donuts, the burnouts."

He said one car meetup takes place at a Garden Grove shopping center on the corner of Brookhurst Street and Katella Avenue near his home.

"It gets so bad you can actually smell the burning tire," Garcia said.

Surveillance video from Harvest Fresh Market captured drivers pulling stunts and dangerous maneuvers in the parking lot as large crowds take over the area.

Garcia says once they leave, tire marks stain the pavement.

He said he's called police several times, but he doesn't think authorities are taking the problem seriously.

"I've actually seen cruisers going down the street while this stuff is going on and they do nothing about it," Garcia said. "They just allow it to happen."

Garden Grove police said they are aware of these car meetups at this specific location and have issued tickets and towed away cars in the past.

They added it is an ongoing problem across Orange County.

Car enthusiast Anh Tran, who had his ride imported from Japan, said he's seen this type of wild behavior on social media.

"There's a time and a place for all that, like you go to the track," Tran said.

Also, Tran and Garcia said it's a matter of time before someone gets hurt.

"To me, it's reckless because us older heads we like to cruise it because we get in trouble for their mistakes," Tran said.

Garcia said, "We want to take back our neighborhood. It's just getting out of hand where people are doing whatever they want to do, and it's OK."

Garden Grove police said they've also partnered with other Orange County agencies to create a street racing task force that specifically targets this issue.

They said on average they issue 40 citations a week.