80 vehicles seized in Oakland illegal sideshow

3 mins read

Oakland had a wild weekend as over 250 vehicles participated in an illegal sideshow Friday night. 

According to Oakland Police Department, besides the sideshow activity, officers faced life-threatening obstacles, including lasers, fireworks, and a vehicle fire. 

As a result, 80 vehicles were seized and towed. 

“Illegal sideshow activity across the Bay Area had Oakland Police Department Officers working into the early morning hours on Saturday,” said Oakland police in a social media post. “OPD Helicopter (ARGUS) was overhead when at least 250 vehicles took over the intersection of 10th and Oak Streets on May 5.”

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao states the city has a sideshow prevention plan with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. However, very few details on that plan were available. 

Videos circulating online show a vehicle in flames and rammed by another car, whose driver is attending an illegal sideshow at 10th and Oak Streets around 10:45 p.m. Friday in Oakland. 

The Oakland Police Department confirmed several reports of illegal sideshows in different parts of the city that night. 

OPD announced additional resources on the streets over the weekend for illegal sideshow activity. 

Alameda County Sheriff’s Spokesperson Lt. Ty Modeste said deputies monitored around 200 vehicles gathered in San Lorenzo and South Hayward but later dispersed.

“We continued to monitor,” said Lt. Modeste. “The Hayward Police Department monitored. We did not intervene. We were pretty pleasantly surprised. They did not go ahead and initiate a sideshow. Oakland has been synonymous with sideshows for years and years. We are now seeing sideshows come into the unincorporated areas and into the suburbs.”

Alameda County Sheriff’s Office officials say they have not received a call from Oakland City for aid support in sideshows. 

In response to a resident being severely beaten during a recent sideshow in Oakland, Mayor Thao’s statement read in part:

“My office is currently working with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office on a robust and comprehensive plan to implement sting operations so we can crack down on illegal sideshows that continue to put our residents in harm’s way.”

Lt. Modeste was asked if the plan is still being developed. 

“Correct!” he responded. “Specific plans that the mayor is referencing is something that, you know, is still in discussion. It is still something that’s being talked about. Is the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office dedicated to working with the Oakland Police Department, the City of Oakland to keep safety on our roads in Alameda County? We are absolutely at the table to listen and discuss what something like that looks like.”

Press contacted Mayor Thao’s office to clarify the sideshow plan with Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. They responded that she was out of the city this week and unavailable. 


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.