Chicago cops using social networking tools against food trucks that use them

By Zach Bowman, Posted Apr 16th 2012 11:04AM

The Chicago Sun Times reports food truck operators in Chicago have met with a police crackdown. Some operators report officers lying in wait for the mobile food services to show up, threatening a variety of citations before the trucks even open their doors. How is that possible? The miracle of the Internet. Operators routinely announce their location or route for the day on social networking tools like Twitter or Facebook. While the Chicago Police Department hasn’t said whether or not officers are mining the web for locations, it seems likely.

Food trucks have emerged as a popular way to grab a quick lunch bite in Chicago over the past year, though owners face charges from parking in loading zones to operating too close to an existing restaurant. A group of operators recently met with city officials in an attempt to establish new ordinances governing the trucks’ legal operation. During the meeting, the city asked for a list of the most popular food truck spots, and it wasn’t long before the police were waiting for them when business time rolled around.