7 arrested after overnight sideshows in Stockton as police crackdown on drag racing

A vehicle impounded by police following Thursday night's sideshows in Stockton.
A vehicle impounded by police following Thursday night's sideshows in Stockton.

Drivers are behind bars, and the cars and trucks they used to race are locked away.

The San Joaquin County Multi-Agency Sideshow Task Force on Thursday night busted seven people and impounded 10 vehicles following multiple sideshows in Stockton that have shuttered freeways.

Sideshows are automobile exhibitions that are illegally held on public highways or roadways. Sideshows often attract large groups of people to watch drivers drag race, do donuts, and perform other car stunts for onlookers.

Stockton has seen an increase in illegal sideshow activity this week. A driver who allegedly participated in a sideshow that blocked a stretch of the 5 Freeway was arrested on Sunday, the California Highway Patrol said.

According to the Stockton Police Department, Thursday's task force monitored areas of Stockton that have previously been home to illegal sideshow activity. On social media, Country Club and Waterloo neighborhood residents reported sideshow activity.

"They go to wherever they think we're not," said Ruben Jones, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol.

The crackdown by law enforcement resulted in:

  • 47 traffic stops

  • 32 citations issued

  • 10 vehicles towed

  • 17 vehicle inspections

  • 2 referrals to state referee

  • 7 arrests

  • 1 firearm seized

Nick Goucher, a San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office spokesman, said there were at least three vehicle pursuits related to Thursday's sideshows. These pursuits occurred near Alpine Avenue and Delaware Avenue, Road Island Avenue and Waterloo Road, and Hunter Street and Oak Street, Goucher said.

At one point, sparks flew as police gave chase, eventually catching up to the drivers.

The task force will continue to increase enforcement missions related to illegal sideshow activity, Stockton police said.

Record reporter Hannah Workman covers news in Stockton and San Joaquin County. She can be reached at hworkman@recordnet.com or on Twitter @byhannahworkman. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.

This article originally appeared on The Record: 7 arrested after overnight sideshows in Stockton