REDDING, Calif. -

The Redding Police Department started patrolling the downtown and Hilltop Drive areas on bicycles last week.

This change is intended to allow police officers interact with businesses in the community and also patrol areas they wouldn’t have access to in a vehicle or on a motorcycle.

On Thursday, thanks to the new change, officers were able to get rid of an abandoned van that was used by transients and was causing trouble for surrounding businesses.

Officers said Nina Perry, a worker at Banner Real Estate flagged them down during their patrol. They said Perry told them that the van had been there for about a year. She said transients came in and out of it and it was affecting their businesses.

Officers contacted the owner of the lot were the van was and told him if he didn’t move it, the van would get towed. It was still in the same spot Thursday, so officers had the van towed.

Perry said she is happy that police officers are patrolling and that problems like that will get reported.

“Having them be able to patrol these areas and gain access like they can on the bicycles is just fantastic,” said Perry. “They’ve done a wonderful job with that.”

“This is exactly the problems that we wanna know about so that we can come out and take care of these problems, so that people aren’t sleeping in vehicles that are abandoned behind businesses,” said Redding Police Sgt. Brian Barner.

Redding police also said they hope others will start contacting them when problems like this arise.