Atlanta police shows efforts to crack down on street racing

Police released a new vantage point on their months-long battle against street racers.

The Atlanta Police Department released a video taken from their helicopter showing dangerous drivers gathering in the parking lot of a northwest Atlanta shopping center on Feb. 21.

Around 2 a.m., APD’s "Phoenix" helicopter was monitoring vehicles investigators believed were involved in street racing and reckless driving as they drove into the Kroger shopping center located at 1715 Howell Mill Road. Some of the vehicles parked while others drove around the lot.

Police continued to watch as one vehicle, a red Dodge Charger began "laying drags" doing donuts in the parking lot. That’s when officers moved in and arrested the driver, identified as 22-year-old Jalen Cruz.

Cruz was booked into the Atlanta City Detention Center on charges of reckless driving and laying drags. His vehicle was impounded.

Police released the video shows just one of the ways they are stepping up surveillance and enforcement. They also released the video as a warning to drivers who may want to participate in future events.

"While most of these car enthusiasts appear to be driving safely, we are well aware how quickly these situations can turn dangerous. Once one driver begins acting foolishly, trying to show off their vehicle, others soon follow. There were many vehicles circling this lot, along with pedestrians walking through, which could have led to an accident," APD released in a statement. "We are appreciative of the continued efforts of our officers and our local and state law enforcement partners in addressing these incidents. Street racing activity will not be tolerated on our streets and we will continue working to stop these incidents and apprehend these reckless drivers."

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