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Sheriff Nanos reacts to street racing bust that leaves 48 arrested

Sheriff Nanos reacts to street racing bust
Posted at 8:07 PM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 10:52:35-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A street racing bust near Swan road and Los Reales Road over the weekend lead to 48 arrests. Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos tells KGUN9 the sheriff’s department has been dealing with these types of illegal events for years.

The difference now is that they have shifted their focus to putting the brakes on street racing.

“We just can’t have that on our public streets. It’s way too dangerous,” said Sheriff Nanos.

If you watch the video you’ll quickly notice items like it’s out of a movie, except it’s real footage from an illegal street racing event that happened right here in Pima County

Roughly 75 cars were lined up for a race.

PCSD: 48 arrested for street racing

There, participants watched as some vehicles reached speeds as fast as 100 mph, that’s according to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

“Several of these vehicles were actually trailered in. These are special vehicles that they put on trailers and took them to this location and then there was quite a crowd there, so these are organized events,” said Sheriff Nanos.

These are events they’ve seen for several years now--so this isn’t anything new in Pima County.

“Our numbers in 2019 were 35 arrests or citations, and then last year it went up like 45 to 50. And this year, with Friday’s arrest it’s already at 50,” he added.

RELATED: PCSD, TPD cracking down on street racing in Tucson area

Nanos says there’s a reason for the increase in arrests made this year.

“I think it has to do with...these things have been going and we’ve been getting calls in the past. We’ve just never been really able to really catch them or focus our concentrated efforts on them. This time we threw in a lot of resources,” Nanos told KGUN9.

The effort of deputies in the air and on the ground led to 48 arrests.

“These people who were caught last weekend...the minimum fine is $250.00 and next time it could cost them a lot more monetarily and jail time as well. And...and god forbid it doesn’t get worse where we have someone get injured or hurt,” he said.

Sheriff Nanos says last year there were at least two fatalities linked to street racing. To prevent this, he says they will be doing special operations to crack down on illegal street racing.

“Our roads aren’t designed for that. The public’s not prepared for that. There’s just so many things that can go wrong at those speeds. So quickly. Don’t street race. Period. At any time. Whether it’s a pandemic or not. This is not an excuse,” he told KGUN9.