Vandals flip four Smart cars in S.F. overnight


A fourth Smart car flipped onto its side was discovered Monday morning by San Francisco police in the city’s Bernal Heights neighborhood and is believed to be part of the same rash of vandalism that occurred overnight.

Vandals clad in black hooded sweatshirts were out early Friday morning flipping Smart cars in the Bernal Heights and Excelsior neighborhoods, police Officer Gordon Shyy said.

Four Smart cars, small two-seaters designed to be fuel-efficient and easy to park in tight spaces, were flipped between 1 and 1:30 a.m. within about 2 miles of each other, Shyy said.

The first was found at about 1 a.m. in the 200 block of Anderson Street. That car had been flipped onto its roof, Shyy said.

Police then found a second Smart car flipped onto its side a few blocks away at Anderson Street and Ogden Avenue.

Then the vandals apparently moved across Interstate Highway 280 into the Excelsior and flipped a third car there onto its end, Shyy said.

Police responded to that call at about 1:30 a.m. and found the car at Bowdoin and Sweeny streets.

A fourth car was reported flipped onto its side by San Francisco police late Monday morning near Prospect and Coso avenues.

The car tipping is being investigated as an act of felony vandalism, Shyy said.

German auto manufacturer Smart Automobile started producing the tiny cars in the late 1990s. The cars have grown in popularity in San Francisco in recent years for their good gas mileage and ability to fit in tight parking spots.

“Smart car tipping” as a prank has existed almost as long as the Smart cars themselves, with numerous posts on social media showing photos and videos of the roughly 1,600-pound cars tipped on their sides, roofs or ends.

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