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Citrus Heights Police break up ‘car show’ behind Sunrise Mall

A reader-submitted photo appears to show vehicles gathering behind Sunrise Mall for an unauthorized car show on Aug. 13, 2023.

By Mike Hazlip—
Hundreds of vehicles and people gathered behind the normally empty Sunrise Mall parking lot on Sunday night in what one neighbor said was about to be an illegal sideshow and what police called an unapproved “car show.”

The witness, who said he lives nearby the mall and wished to submit an anonymous news tip, captured images showing numerous vehicles gathered in the vacant parking lots near the Women’s Macy’s along the west side of Sunrise Mall. The witness said about 100 vehicles had gathered by about 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13.

In a phone call Monday with The Sentinel, Citrus Heights Police Cpl. Kyle Miyamura said officers arrived at the location but did not observe any reckless driving typically associated with sideshows, calling the event an unauthorized “car show.”

“The Police Department was notified of a large gathering of vehicles and people,” Miyamura said. “There was no reckless driving reported, but due to being on private property, the property owner requested assistance with requesting those subjects leave the property because it was not approved for them to be there in such a gathering.”

Miyamura estimated about 200 vehicles and about 350 people had gathered in the area. The crowd dispersed without incident after police arrived, he said.

The neighbor who contacted The Sentinel said nine CHPD vehicles and additional sheriff’s department cars were observed staging themselves “in a show of force,” with the cars dispersing “before being able to go crazy.” He described burnouts and reckless driving in the rear lot of the mall as being a “chronic” problem, but Miyamura could not immediately confirm whether there has been a history of similar incidents without first reviewing records.

Earlier that same weekend, a car show was seen near the former Elephant Bar restaurant, along Sunrise Boulevard. Sunday night’s event was not related to the previous car show, police said.

In an Aug. 13 release, the nearby Sacramento Police Department announced an increase in sideshow activity. Police broke up one sideshow involving about 100 vehicles, according to the release. Sacramento Police towed five vehicles, issued 12 citations, seized four handguns, and made five arrests.

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