Planned Santa Clarita street race foiled with Instagram, authorities say

Planned Santa Clarita street race foiled after details posted on Instagram, authorities say

A planned Santa Clarita street race was foiled by sheriff’s deputies after an anonymous tipster spotted the details on Instagram, authorities said.

The tipster saw an invitation for a street race to be held near the 18500 block of Via Princessa in Canyon Country, near the 14 Freeway, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The person contacted sheriff’s deputies at 5:30 p.m. Monday, telling them about the race set to begin at 11 p.m. that night. Deputies patrolled the area and later saw several vehicles that arrived but immediately left after their drivers apparently saw patrol cars, the sheriff’s Santa Clarita Valley Station said.

A possible second race location had been identified as the 33400 block of Crown Valley Road in Acton, but the Los Angeles Police Department, California Highway Patrol and the Lancaster and Palmdale sheriff’s stations had been notified ahead of time and no race occurred.

Earlier this month, dozens of law enforcement officials and community members met to discuss what police are calling a growing epidemic of illegal street racing.

The LAPD, CHP and sheriff’s department agreed to create a multiagency task force in the summer to combat street racing. They talked about possible legislative efforts to fight illegal racing, as well as finding alternatives for the street-racing community.

“I think we all know that we share a problem with street racing that encompasses multiple jurisdictions,” said John McMahon, LAPD Valley Traffic Division captain. “Although the problem has been around for decades, addressing it collectively from a multiagency standpoint is something that we need to improve upon.”

The meeting came on the heels of recent street-racing crashes, including one in Chatsworth in February that killed two spectators and another in Gardena on March 31 that left one dead and two injured.

Authorities have asked the public to report street racing activity about to occur or in progress and to provide license plate numbers, descriptions of vehicles and people involved. Anonymous tipsters can call 800-222-8477, text the letters TIPLA plus the tip to CRIMES (274637) or use the website lacrimestoppers.org.

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