Owners Say Goodbye To The Cars Impounded At Sideshow; Authorities Obtain Search Warrants in Stockton

Stockton, CA: It appears that the 88 individuals who had their cars impounded during a sideshow operation in Stockton over the weekend might face difficulties in reclaiming their vehicles.

San Joaquin County Sheriff Patrick Withrow recently announced that his office has obtained 88 warrants to search a collection of vehicles that are currently stored securely. These searches are not limited to investigating drivers who have engaged in reckless driving maneuvers.

“Authorities are inspecting the vehicles for any prohibited items.” Is there any information about drugs? Are firearms present? Are there any indications of additional criminal activity? According to local attorney Justin Ward.

This could potentially lead to additional charges beyond misdemeanors.

“People brought their children to this event, resulting in criminal charges for child endangerment,” Withrow stated.

California Vehicle Section 23109 deals with speed exhibitions, sideshows, and drag races, but Stockton has also enacted its own legislation on the matter. The vehicles involved in sideshow activity are considered as “nuisance vehicles.” According to Ward, law enforcement agencies now have the authority to promptly confiscate the vehicles of both the individuals driving recklessly and those watching.

What is the duration for which they can retain the cars? Ward mentioned that according to Stockton law, permanently. Withrow has yet to decide the fate of the cars following the completion of the searches and charges.

Congressman Josh Harder from the 9th District is currently developing a bipartisan bill aimed at enhancing law enforcement efforts. The proposed legislation, known as the “They’re Fast, We’re Furious Act,” seeks to establish an FBI task force that would collaborate with local agencies to effectively enforce penalties.

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“Trying to shut down every single sideshow is a constant challenge for law enforcement,” Harder commented.

According to Withrow, his well-prepared task force and nearby agencies were fully prepared to take action.

“They threw rocks and bricks the last time we attempted to intervene,” Withrow stated. “There was a close call with the officer driving by there.”

Over 150 individuals were apprehended this time. Withrow aims to make it clear that they have zero tolerance for distractions in Stockton. According to Withrow, a deputy sustained injuries during the crackdown on the sideshow, but is currently recovering well.

“The car swiftly maneuvered between the two vehicles, colliding with his door and forcefully striking him,” Withrow recounted. “But we construct them resiliently here in San Joaquin County and he’s doing well.”

It could be a matter of days or possibly weeks until the sheriff’s office completes the thorough examination of all 88 vehicles. Each search will be recorded on video, and in certain instances, fingerprints may be taken before determining the charges for each individual.

An individual was observed driving near the perimeter of the sheriff’s office, in close proximity to the area where vehicles are stored. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the individual’s car had been impounded.

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According to Ward, Stockton’s law regarding sideshows grants law enforcement the authority to confiscate and retain vehicles, even if they were taken by a relative or roommate.

“If individuals attended the event and felt compelled to flee in order to avoid potential legal consequences, they may find themselves confronted with charges related to firearm and drug possession,” Ward explained.

According to Ward, a first-offense misdemeanor charge can result in a fine of $500 to $1,000 and a maximum of six months in county jail. A repeat offense carries a hefty fine of at least $1,000 and may also result in a period of incarceration. However, individuals may face additional charges based on the findings of investigators once the car searches are complete.