SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Police are cracking down on illegal sideshows that are drifting from the Bay Area.

“They came up and designated areas to do these sideshows,” said Sacramento Police Dept. Sgt. Dustin Smith, referring to the recent sideshows.

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The illegal shut down bridges, freeways, and last month, even a neighborhood in South Sacramento.

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“It was something like out of ‘The Fast and the Furious’,” said a woman who works on Florin Road.

She saw the entire show unfold in front of a gas station.

“When I came out there was more like 500 people standing out here, cars on the parking lot in alongside the road doing donuts,” she said. “If they would’ve lost control or something and come through here and at the gas pumps, it could’ve been very dangerous.”

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It’s now becoming an even greater risk for the community.

“They used to happen late at night out in the warehouse areas, now they are starting to happen during daylight hours in  residential neighborhoods,” Smith said.

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Sideshows are also growing thanks to social media, but so too are crackdowns.

“It actually helps us; we are able to get locations, plates, pictures,” he said.

Smith is leading the team of police in collaboration with the CHP and the district attorney.

“If we or a citizen sees your car doing donuts or reckless driving, I will get your information, your plate, we can go after your car and impound it,” he said.

Thanks to these officers, in 2017 the team was able to respond to 40 sideshows, make four felony arrests, issue 200 citations and impound 30 vehicles.

“There is a team out there, so we are up in the air and down on the ground, we have undercover officers,” he said.

A team on the public’s side is always watching to put a stop to these dangerous sideshows.

Recently, Sgt. Smith and Ofc. Anthony Pennington were honored by the department for their collaborative and preventative measures in reducing illegal sideshows and street racing events.

Police warn that if you’re involved in a sideshow:

  • It’s a misdemeanor and a $500 fine to be in an illegal sideshow.
  • It’s a felony charge for engaging in speed, fleeing from police, or causing injury.
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If you happen to get caught in the middle of a sideshow, if you can do it safely, turn off of a road where sideshow activity is occurring.