Many videos of illegal street racing surfaced on the social media site Instagram on Thursday.
The videos included individuals drifting, spinning doughnuts and burnouts at the West Valley Mall parking lot in west Tracy.
Tracy Police said more than 500 performance cars and 1,000 people gathered Wednesday night for the “Bay Area Racing” meet-up.
The group usually meets Wednesday nights at the Sonic parking lot. However, this Wednesday the witnesses said the crowd grew tenfold.
“The group is usually peaceful,” Lt. Kami Ysit of the Tracy Police Department said. “We have gone out there in the past, and we will continue to go out and do proactive enforcement.”
The event is not sponsored by the mall or by the other stores nearby. The organizing company, “Bay Area Racing,” advertises “ALL CARS WELCOME. NO DRAMA, BURNOUTS, JUST FUN.” However, many participated in illegal street racing.
FOX40 spoke to “Sam,” a representative from the company, who told us they absolutely do not condone illegal activity. If their participants choose to do so, they are not responsible.
“That’s kind of along the same lines as if people were at a football game,” the representative said. “Would you blame the San Francisco 49ers if someone got in a fight at the parking lot? Or if they left trash at the parking lot? Or if they drove recklessly at the parking lot?”
In response, West Valley Mall manager, Mike Donaghy told us, “they have been there for well over two years, and it has gotten out of hand. We wish it would stop.”
Tracy Police said technically, the group can be at the mall to gather because it is a public access property. But once they partake in illegal activity, they are given citations.
“The concern is, we don’t want anyone to get hurt, so the reckless driving won’t be tolerated,” Lt. Ysit said. “We will issue citations, and we will tow your car if we are able.”
When police officers arrived, many fled the scene. California Highway Patrol told us, they received reports of at least ten vehicles speeding on 205 Eastbound, some even doing donuts. However, no arrests were made.