A high-tech take on cow tipping has invaded San Francisco, with vandals going after ultra-compact Smart cars.
— KOGO Radio (@KOGORadio) April 8, 2014
Four Smart cars were pushed over in San Francisco between Sunday night and Monday morning, according to NBC Bay Area. Resident Shelley Gallivan told the station’s website that her friend’s Smart car was among the vehicles leaning on its side.
"Whoever is doing this just has misdirected anger," she said.
Resident Dyche Mullins told San Francisco ABC affiliate KGO he heard noises and went to investigate the commotion. He then took pictures of a tipped over Smart car.
"I heard the sound of a vehicle kind of idling outside and then a loud crash and then the vehicle speeding off," Mullins told the station. "It just didn't look like a wreck."
Smart cars, which are ultra-compact and are adept at fitting into tight parking spaces, have also been a popular target for vandals. KGO noted that Smart car tipping was conducted during the 2011 riots in Vancouver. The latest incidents are the first time that vandalism was observed in the Bay Area.
Bay Area resident Andrew Smith said his wife’s Smart car was vandalized. He theorized that the crimes may stem from the changing demographics of San Francisco.
"The Smart car and the gentrification of San Francisco are linked in some people's minds," he told KGO.
Smith’s Smart car was flipped completely over.
“It was pretty hard to believe,” Smith said to the San Jose Mercury News, adding that some things simply don’t shock him anyway after living in San Francisco for two decades. He told the paper he’s still waiting for insurance adjusters to determine if the car can be repaired or if it’s a total loss.
"That will be pretty upsetting," Smith added. "Actually, I thought it was kind of funny. It is just an object. I have lived in San Francisco for 20 years and I am not immune to the insanity that takes place in this city."
The incidents caused the hashtag #smartcartipping to trend on Twitter. Smart car owners were not pleased.
“I am a retired licensed, clinical social worker,” said Bay Area resident and Smart car owner Kathy May. “But if you turn over my sweet, little car, we will not be talking out your problems. I will go directly for vengeance.”
As far as who is behind the car tippings, police believe between six and eight people are responsible, according to KGO.
"All we have right now are multiple suspects wearing black hooded sweatshirts," San Francisco Police Officer Gordon Shyy said. He urged Smart car owners to put their vehicles in a garage while suspects are still on the loose.