Vandals flip four Smart Cars in San Francisco, cops say

Authorities are looking for a group of hooded suspects after four Smart Cars - including this one - were discovered flipped over in San Francisco early Monday morning, April 7, 2014.
CBS San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO - Police are looking for suspects who allegedly tipped over four Smart Cars in two different neighborhoods around San Francisco early Monday morning, reports CBS San Francisco.

After receiving a call around 1 a.m., police found a silver Smart Car - a compact, eco-friendly vehicle - turned on its back end in the city's Portola District, according to the station. Six to eight hooded suspects were reportedly seen in the area.

"I thought it looked like they were up to no good and then sure enough they walk up to this Smart Car right here, all huddle around it, and then lift it up and set it on its hind legs," Brandon Michael, who lives in the area, told the station.

In the nearby Bernal Heights neighborhood, three other car-tipping incidents were reported. Two Smart Cars were flipped on their side while a third had been flipped on its roof, according to CBS San Francisco.

The station reports that the average Smart Car weighs between 1,600 and 1,800 pounds, much lighter than a full-sized vehicle.

CBS San Francisco reports that it was unclear whether the acts of vandalism were pranks or something else.

"I think [Smart Cars] are a lightning rod for criticism," said Andrew Smith, a victim of the vandalism who owned his car for about six months before it was totaled overnight. "In that period of time, we've found a lot of people have very negative feelings about them."

According to the station, a Facebook page exists that is dedicated to the idea of tipping over Smart Cars. "There's environmentally friendly then there's just plain stupid which these cars are... Before all the haters start, I would never actually damage someone's property, but mentally, it's fun to picture em on their sides," read one comment posted to the page.

"I want to say I feel violated, but I don't really care," Smith told CBS San Francisco. "Having lived in San Francisco for as long as I have, I've come to expect random acts of violence and mayhem."