The California Highway Patrol says it’s receiving more reports of illegal street racing throughout San Diego County, particularly in the North County.
Thursday evening, the CHP and the Escondido Police Department teamed up to conduct a street racing enforcement operation.
CHP Officer Jim Bettencourt told NBC 7 that in the last month, there have been several reports of cars racing on the Interstate 15 corridor from Escondido to Fallbrook. One group of racers is known to gather in the parking lot of Target along West Valley Parkway in Escondido.
NBC 7 went to that location and saw at least 100 people gather near the store around 9 p.m. At one point, two cars sped around the parking lot as families left Starbucks and Yogurtland.
Alexis Blackwood has worked in the area for three years and says the group of racers make her feel uncomfortable.
“When people leave the parking area, they'll speed down here over by this light,” Blackwood said.
The CHP says, although that’s dangerous, they’re worried about what those drivers will do when they leave the parking lot.
“In reality when they crash and they do something horrific like that, it ends in death,” said Officer Bettencourt.
Officer Bettencourt believes movies like "The Fast and the Furious" and "Need for Speed" are contributing to this problem of illegal street racing. He says they glorify the dangerous activity.
“In reality, when they crash and they do something horrific like that, it ends in death,” he said.