Oakland Police Restart Crackdown on Illegal Sideshows

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The Oakland Police Department is restarting a special detail to deal with sideshows in the city. On Saturday, Police said they say they were tracking a group of about 150 cars that keeps driving between Hayward and Oakland.

Nearly three dozen officers are fanning out across Oakland to stake out some of the most popular spots.

For about five months, the Oakland Police Department did not have funding for its sideshow enforcement.

OPD officials said they had a huge increase in street stunts and even shootings.

Now, they have funding again and this special detail will be in operation every weekend until the end of the year.

Oakland Police Department Lieutenant Casey Johnson said their first strategy is to keep drivers from even trying to take over a street or intersection.

"Our plan is to come here first,” he said. “Get a foothold in this area and deter them from even coming here because once they get here. And they get a foot hold, it's really hard for us to get them out.”

Police officers were posted at several intersections across the city to keep an eye out for groups of cars that may try to take over.

The police helicopter was also over head to spot packs of drivers that may move from one part of the city to another.

There were also lots of back up officers roaming the streets as they were ready to respond to any incidents.

One Oakland resident, who didn't want to be identified told NBC Bay Area that he and his neighbors were fed up with sideshows that take over their streets.

"It gets pretty bad,” he said. “To where we're all trapped in our homes, we can't leave. Or we cannot come into our homes because there's a sideshow and they block everything off so, we're just being held hostage by them."

The resident said that he is encouraged to see officers in his neighborhood but he also is skeptical that Oakland police will follow through.

He said that he wants to see enforcement like he sees in other Bay Area cities.

"If they did it like in San Jose, and tow their cars away, maybe it would be different. But in Oakland, they don't do anything to them,” he said.

Johnson told NBC Bay Area that the police actually have several tow trucks on standby.

"When we do get vehicles that we stop, we will then bring those vehicles here and have those vehicles impounded,” he said.

Johnson added the department was able to wave off a group that tried stopping at High Street and MacArthur.

The Oakland Police Department is aiming to keep this up through the rest of the year.

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