Police Crackdown Tries To Curtail Sideshows In Oakland

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — At least three people had their cars seized as part of a crackdown on sideshow activity by Oakland police over the weekend, according to authorities.

Police said one of the cars that was impounded came from Long Beach.

Late Saturday night, drivers were screeching tires and doing donuts just a few feet from dozens of spectators.

Video posted on social media just before 11 p.m. showed one incident at 36th Avenue and International Boulevard in East Oakland involving several cars.

Officers eventually rolled up and started shutting it down. As of Sunday evening, it was not clear if police made any arrests and they have not released an exact number of cars that were impounded.

There was also video posted of another incident at East 14th Street where hundreds of people could be seen blocking traffic to watch drivers do dangerous stunts.

Participants in sideshows insist that they are just a fun activity, a way for young people to let off steam. Police insist that’s not the whole story.

“It’s very dangerous,” said Oakland Police Lt. Rachael Van Sloten. “We’ve had numerous homicides, shootings, violent events, fatal traffic accidents, all associated with sideshow activity.”

Van Sloten told KPIX 5 Saturday that sideshow participants were expected to arrive all weekend from as far away as Southern California.

“We want to let them know we’re aware they’re on their way here and we’re not going to tolerate it,” said Lt. Van Sloten.

There were rumors that drivers were planning on trying to hold a sideshow on the Bay Bridge Sunday, but there were no reports of any issues beyond heavy traffic.

With the possibility of more sideshows in store for Sunday night, police and CHP still have extra patrols out in force in several areas just in case.

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