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ST. LOUIS • A city crackdown on ATV riders began Monday with the arrest of a man and woman officers say were spotted on Natural Bridge Road.

The pair tried to flee from police, but officers arrested them after they parked the ATV in the rear of a home, the St. Louis Police Department said. Officers found what they believe is narcotics.

Police arrested the two — a man, 34, and a woman, 22 — on suspicion of operating an ATV on a highway, felony fleeing and drug charges. They have yet to be charged.

The department announced a crackdown last week following publicity in recent weeks about groups of ATVs violating traffic laws and intimidating drivers in the city, though the problem is not new.

The department said it plans to begin immediately enforcing a state law that prohibits all-terrain vehicles on "highways," saying it interprets that as applying to "the entire width between property lines of every way ...  when any part thereof is open to the use of the public, as a matter of right, for purposes of vehicular traffic.”

A 55-year-old man was shot in the arm after honking at a group of ATV and dirt bike riders in the Bevo neighborhood earlier this year.

The victim in that case told police that the ATV riders kicked the his car and refused to let him leave. As he tried to drive away, one of the people fired shots, and he was struck in the arm.

The pair arrested Monday were spotted onNatural Bridge Avenue near Clara Avenue at about 12:50 p.m. An  officer tried to stop them, but they fled to the rear of a home in the 4200 block of Kossuth Avenue, where they parked the ATV.

Police arrested the driver in the alley, but the passenger got into another car and fled. Officers then stopped that vehicle and arrested her.