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Hooded Car-Tipping Vandals Flip Over Smart Cars In San Francisco

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HollyQuan20100908_KCBS_0017r Holly Quan
Holly was born and raised in Oakland and she graduated from San...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — San Francisco police are looking for vandals who tipped over four Smart Cars in two different neighborhoods early Monday morning.

Police received a call about 1 a.m. that about six to eight hooded suspects were roaming the area near Bowdoin and Sweeny Streets in the city’s Portola District around the same time that a silver Smart Car—the compact eco-friendly vehicles—was found turned on it’s backend on the corner.

Three other similar car tipping incidents were reported in the Bernal Heights neighborhood. One Smart Car was flipped over on its side on Anderson and Ogden Streets.  Another vehicle other was flipped on its roof in the 200 block of Anderson. A third car in that neighborhood was found flipped on its side at Prospect and Coso early Monday morning.

“I thought it 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 then life it up and set it on it’s hind legs,” said neighbor Brandon Michael.

The average Smart Car weighs 1,600 to 1,800 pounds, making it much easier to tip than a full sized vehicle.

There have been no arrests yet as police continue to investigate. It was undetermined whether the acts of vandalism were pranks or if there was some other motive related.

“I think they’re a lightning rod for criticism and obviously very bad intentions,” said victim Andrew Smith, who owned his car for about six moths before it was totaled overnight. “In that period of time, we’ve found a lot of people have very negative feelings about them.”

There is even a Facebook page dedicated to the idea of tipping over Smart Cars, with comments including, “There’s environmentally friendly then there’s just plain stupid which these cars are…Before all the haters start, would never actually damage someone’s property, but mentally, it’s fun to picture em on their sides.”

Though the page only has a few dozen likes, the incidents of car tipping have been popping up around the country.

“I want to say I feel violated, but I don’t really care,” said Smith. “Having lived in SF for as long as I have, I’ve come to expect random acts of violence and mayhem.”

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