So Smart Car Tipping Is A Thing Now
Smart Car owners in the San Francisco area are feeling slightly less smug these days thanks to a spate of car tipping incidents. That's CAR tipping, not COW tipping.
A total of four Smart Fortwo microcars were discovered tipped onto their sides, trunks or roofs in the San Francisco neighborhoods of Excelsior, Bernal Heights and Portola.
All of the roughly 1,800-lb cars suffered minor damage including scraped bodywork and shattered windows – pretty much what would be expected when a car is tipped over.
Police are pursuing leads indicating multiple persons dressed in black hoodies were seen in the areas where the incidents occurred. According to one witness interviewed by local KGO-TV, “about eight hoodie-clad men” pulled up in a nondescript van, rushed over to a parked Smart car, flipped it onto its side and roared off in a cloud of burnt rubber.
As for WHY anyone would do such a thing, “It's hard to determine a motive without any suspects identified or in custody,” explained police spokesman Officer Gordon Shyy. Should the culprits be caught, added Shyy, they would face felony vandalism charges. Serious business indeed – just ask Justin Bieber.
One of the four tipped Smart Cars (a white Fortwo with a faded “Obama-Biden” bumper sticker, seen above) was left to Wendy Orner by her father who passed away in January of 2014. “He was proud that at age 70 he was driving it around,” stated Orner, “He felt real progressive in it.” Orner was planning to sell the car in June, “although, I don't know if anyone wants to buy a Smart Car now after what happened.”
Orner was alerted to the incident by her friend Shelley Gallivan, who snapped a photo of the tipped car on her smartphone and sent it to her. “It's a bummer,” explained Gallivan. “I'm sure hoping it's just a prank and not those who are trying to make a bigger statement in regards to the gentrification in the city,” Gallivan added.
If Smart Car Tipping is a prank, it's one with a precedent: the diminutive vehicles have been the subjects of similar acts of vandalism in Toronto and Amsterdam (above). There may be a larger issue involved, however.
Gallivan alluded to gentrification in the San Francisco area and the local tech industry has been blamed by some for recent rises in rents and other living costs.
Smart Cars, fairly or not, have been linked to those practicing personal and professional lifestyles that include gentrification. They're also a lot lighter than similarly tarred vehicles like the Toyota Prius – those batteries are heavy, man!
In any case, if you live in the 'Frisco area and drive a car like the one above, be afraid... be VERY afraid. (via Mercury News, Free Republic, KFOX, and KTVU)