When the dust settled and the exhaust fumes cleared, a street-racing bust in unincorporated South L.A. early Monday led to dozens of arrests, hundreds of citations and more than 50 vehicles towed, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials said.
The operation launched late Sunday near West Imperial Highway and Broadway when sheriff's deputies and CHP officers swooped into the area and trapped about 250 to 300 cars that had arrived for illegal street races, the Sheriff's Department said.
Authorities had been monitoring smaller local races from a helicopter and saw the vehicles converge on the area about 12:30 a.m. Monday, CBS Los Angeles reported.
Deputies arrested 44 people for warrants or drug-related crimes and cited 209 others for driving without a valid license, the sheriff's department said in a statement. Authorities also towed 54 vehicles.
"We have problems with these racers coming out. They have high-end cars with modifications, they drive fast," Lt. Jodi Hutak told KTLA.
Drivers and spectators have died in street races in Los Angeles County in recent months. In February, two people were killed in Chatsworth when a car spun out of control and barreled into a crowd of spectators, and a driver was killed March 31 during a suspected street race in Gardena.