In what’s being characterized as cases of “urban cow tipping,” police in St. Paul are looking for the vandals who flipped two car2go vehicles on their side over the weekend in the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood.
Officers were called to the area of Finn Street and St. Clair Avenue around 11:30 p.m. Saturday on a report that one of the car sharing company’s light-blue-and-white Smart Fortwo cars was “being tipped over by juveniles.” The male suspects fled the scene in a tan or gold SUV-style vehicle, according to a police report.
About six hours later and just a few blocks away, police were sent to the 2000 block of Lincoln Avenue on a criminal damage to property call. They found a car had been flipped on its side and that “the vehicle did not appear to have been in a motor vehicle accident,” a police report said.
The driver’s side mirror and window were broken.
It would not take a lot of muscle to push the two-seat vehicles over. The Smart cars weigh only about 2,000 pounds.
“People rely on these vehicles to get to jobs or appointments, and when vehicles are damaged they are not available,” said Sgt. Mike Ernster. “It might seem like a juvenile or practicle joke, but this is criminal damage to property that could lead to felony charges. That’s serious.”
In the past year, there have been similar cases in Columbus, Ohio, Kansas City and Denver. But a company spokeswoman said they were isolated incidents and “nothing we see with any sort of frequency or trend.”
“At car2go we feel very much a part of the St. Paul community and we will continue to work closely with local law enforcement officials as they investigate this unfortunate incident.,” said Josh Johnson, general manager of car2go Twin Cities. “Our goal is to work quickly to repair the damage and get the vehicles back on the road for our over 29,000 members in Twin Cities who rely on car2go daily to get around the city with ease.”
Police ask that anyone with information call them at 651-266-5416.