Vandals flip Smart cars on streets of San Francisco - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Vandals flip Smart cars on streets of San Francisco

Updated:

CNN) -- Smart cars are good for the environment, good for parking in cramped cities and good for a driver's bottom line.

Then again, all that thinking gets turned upside down when the vehicles do.

That's what happened to four of these fuel-efficient vehicles in San Francisco, tossed aside like a piece of trash.

Why? Authorities don't know, leaving Bay Area residents to speculate that anything from pranksters to people upset about hipsters.

All Brandon Michael knows is what he saw -- a group of men, in the dark of night, walking up to one Smart car.

"(They) all just huddled around it and then just lifted it up and set it on its hind legs," Michael told CNN affiliate KRON.

The basically vertical vehicle that Michael described -- its front lights pointing toward the heavens -- wasn't alone. Two others in the same 1- to 2-square mile area were flipped on their side and one was on its roof, according to San Francisco police spokesman Gordon Shyy.

Tossing a Smart car isn't necessarily easy, unless you compare to other vehicles. Unoccupied, a typical one weighs just over 1,800 pounds; a Ford Explorer, by contrast, clocks in at about 4,500 pounds.

Authorities have launched a felony vandalism investigation since the first calls came in around 1 a.m. Monday, said Shyy.

The police spokesman said witnesses identified the culprits as six to eight individuals dressed in black. If they end up convicted, they could be facing jail time and a felony.

Authorities haven't identified any suspects yet, and the fact the flippings took place in residential areas -- where surveillance video isn't likely -- makes the investigation a challenge.

Florence Dabokemp, a San Francisco resident and Smart car driver, speculates people simply acting out are to blame. And while she hasn't been victimized, Dabokemp says she's not sure what she'd do if that did happen.

"I would be out of luck," she told KRON. "I would be out of a car, because I couldn't afford to fix it."

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Three more defendants plead guilty in 2013 Tyler Motel murder

    Three more defendants plead guilty in 2013 Tyler Motel murder

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:27 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:27:00 GMT
    Three defendants in a 2013 murder pleaded guilty and avoided a trial Friday.More >>
    Three defendants in a 2013 murder pleaded guilty and avoided a trial Friday.More >>
  • Report: Flint girl's hot car death accidental, dad drug-free

    Report: Flint girl's hot car death accidental, dad drug-free

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:24 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:24:35 GMT
    Russel Lindstrom, charged with manslaughter in the hot car death of his young daughter was in court Friday morning for a bond-reduction hearing.More >>
    Russel Lindstrom, charged with manslaughter in the hot car death of his young daughter was in court Friday morning for a bond-reduction hearing.More >>
  • Web Exclusive: New law on inheriting online accounts

    Web Exclusive: New law on inheriting online accounts

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-08-22 13:51:58 GMT
    When someone dies, often their online identity dies as well. A new law in one state, however, is looking to change that.  Think about all of the online footprints and accounts you've made.More >>
    When someone dies, often their online identity dies as well. A new law in one state, however, is looking to change that.  Think about all of the online footprints and accounts you've made.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.