Smart Cars are being targeted in vandalism in the San Francisco area known as Car Tipping.
Three Smart cars were found flipped between 1 and 1:30 a.m. within about 10 blocks of each other, police Officer Gordon Shyy said.
NBC Bay Area found four Smart cars between Sunday night and Monday morning that were targeted in this crime. Two were found in the Bernal Heights neighborhood on Anderson Street, and another was found a bit south on Sweeny and Bowdoin streets, closer to the Portola district. They were either sitting on their headlights, rear bumpers high in the air, or vice versa.
All of the cars sustained shattered windows and body damage. The vehicles were placed back on their wheels and towed away.
A witness said he stepped outside when he saw eight people with hoodies on walk up to one of the cars. “I thought they looked like they were up to no good and then sure enough they walk up to this Smart Car right here, all huddle around it and just lift it up and set it on its hind legs, like a dog on its hind legs, — that’s pretty much it,” said witness Brandon Michael.
Smart cars are a hot commodity for many in San Francisco, where parking is tight and drivers search for eco-friendly ways to get around.
“I think it’s a bunch of pranks,” Dan Gomez said. “I don’t know, it sounds kind of weird. I don’t know why you would want to do that.”
The “Smart car tipping” prank has been around almost as long as the Smart cars themselves, with numerous posts on social media showing photos and videos of the 1,600-pound cars tipped on their sides, roofs or ends.
The car tipping is being investigated by San Francisco police as an act of felony vandalism and police are seeking multiple suspects, but have not made any arrests.
‘Car Tipping’ Trend Alarms San Francisco Residents
Vandals in San Francisco are tipping over smart car models. The act of turning over the vehicle is being referred to as ‘car tipping’, taken from the age-old stunt of cow tipping.
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