Cops Turn Food Trucks' Social Networking Presence Against Them

It’s bad enough when your parents learn how to use Facebook and/or Twitter (sorry Mom, Dad) but what’s even worse, if you’re say, a food truck business, is when cops rain on your social networking parade. Police in Chicago have studied up on how the whole shebang works, and have been turning businesses’ social media savvy against them.

The Chicago Sun-Times says vendors are upset at the recent police crackdown, as some cops are using social media to find out where their trucks will be parked and then intercept them before they can even open. Many trucks will post where they’ll be that day so customers can find them.

The owner of one such mobile business, Sweet Ride, says her driver had pulled up but wasn’t serving customers yet. An officer said he was going to ticket her, based on a Facebook posting.

“You can’t get me for premeditated selling of a cupcake,” she said her driver protested. The cop eventually decided just to ticket her for parking in a loading zone.

Another owner says she thinks it all started when food truck operators met with city officials last month to try for an ordinance that would make it easier for them to do business.

During that meeting, she said, city officials casually asked about the best truck locations. In the days immediately afterward, police showed up at each spot and either ticketed the trucks or ordered them to move.

A police spokesman denied any kind of directive aimed at food trucks, but we’re calling shenanigans in this case. Shenanigans!

*Thanks for the tip, David!

Where have all the food trucks gone? Vendors say Chicago police cracking down [Chicago Sun-Times]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.