Crime - Sacto 911

Weekend ‘sideshow’ broken up as 100 vehicles scramble through north and south Sacramento

Police responded to a “sideshow” involving as many as 100 vehicles over the weekend in at least two parts of Sacramento.

Sideshows are illegal demonstrations involving dozens or sometimes even hundreds of vehicles, held on vacant streets, intersections or parking lots.

Officers responded to activity in the area of Northgate Boulevard off Interstate 80, near a Fry’s Electronics store, late Saturday into early Sunday, Sacramento Police Department spokesman Marcus Basquez said.

“Our department showed up with several officers,” Basquez said. “They chased them off, and then they started driving around and ended up near the Elder Creek area.”

Most of the vehicles fled, and some of the sideshow participants relocated to south Sacramento, Basquez said.

Police radio traffic archived on indicates that about 12:20 a.m., a “large amount of cars” reportedly pulled into the parking lots of the Nugget Market and a Chevron gas station on Florin Road near Interstate 5. A call to dispatch said the group was believed to be “prepping for a freeway takeover,” and notified California Highway Patrol.

Archived scanner traffic shows that arriving patrol cars further scattered the sideshow participants within about 20 minutes; one unit tells dispatch that about 20 cars fled into surrounding areas and that “we’re not gonna chase them.”

A handful of citations were issued to parties involved, Basquez said. There were no reports of property damage, he said.

“As resources allow, we will send officers to those known (sideshow) locations and be proactive in making contact with them before it gets out of control,” Basquez said.