Off-Roading in Brea


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Brea residents sound off on off-roaders
Complaints regarding the racket near Olinda Ranch have led to more patrols and penalties for trespassers.
The Orange County Register

BREA - For years, illegal off- roaders disturbed only wildlife as they raced through the night over tight and twisty hillside tracks north of Carbon Canyon Road.

These days, the whine of engines is rattling residents in nearby housing tracts, among the first of many being built in the region.

Police have stepped up patrols to drive off-roaders out of the area, and residents see some progress in the fight.

"We understand kids having fun, but this isn't the place for it," said Jean Chocholak, who moved into Olinda Ranch with her husband, Peter, in March.

"It happens really late at night, and it's real annoying when you're trying to get to sleep," she said.

The Chocholaks say off- roaders hit the region up to five times a week.

"Sometimes there's one and sometimes there's six," neighbor Sandra Swank said.

"I believe they feel this is their right to be here. They've been here for years and we are trouble to them."

Steve Wiseman, owner of Fantasy Mufflers in Buena Park, said the off-roading has gone on for years.

Local four-wheel-drive aficionados like the hills because of the easy access and proximity. In the early '80s, Wiseman said, he practiced there for motorcycle races.

Police have responded to concerns by assigning at least two officers to patrol the area Fridays through Sundays.

"We are going to make a concerted effort and target that area," Brea Police Lt. Martin Needham said.

BreitBurn Energy, the owner of the land north of Olinda Ranch, has agreed to prosecute violators caught for trespassing. Previously, off- roaders could only be told to leave.

BreitBurn also erected barriers to prevent off-roaders from gaining access off Trolley Court, a street in Olinda Ranch.

Results are already showing. Police arrested two off- roaders just before 10 p.m. Sunday. Trespassing fines start at $75. Impound costs are $143 for the first day, and $18 a day thereafter.