Sideshows challenge Oakland police

Oakland police said Wednesday¬†that they’re continuing to work with the California Highway Patrol and the Alameda County sheriff’s office to try to reduce illegal sideshow activity in Oakland, which has been a problem off and on for many years.

Oakland police said they joined with the CHP and the sheriff last weekend to make 9 arrests and issue 88 citations at sideshows, which are spontaneous gatherings on local streets and freeways in which participants engage in reckless driving, such as speeding and performing dangerous stunts.

Police said that in addition, 15 vehicles were towed, 6 stolen vehicles were recovered and 15 verbal warnings were issued.

Oakland police said the three law enforcement agencies are focusing on enforcement, community involvement and education because they’re committed to making Oakland’s streets and neighborhoods safer for residents and visitors.

Police said they are continuing to work with the community by sharing information and providing education about the dangers associated with illegal sideshow activity.

They also said they encourage people to avoid participating in illegal sideshow activity and report such activity immediately because participating in sideshows can lead to injury and even death.

Police said penalties for sideshow participation include citations or fines, vehicle impoundment and incarceration.

To report a sideshow that’s already in progress, citizens are asked to call the Oakland Police Department non-emergency number at (510) 777-3333.

To report information about past or upcoming sideshows, people can call the sideshow hotline at (510) 777-8703.