A fully-marked police cruiser spotted over the weekend in Los Angeles appears to be more than 2,500 miles from home.
The white car has red lights on the roof, and blue and red stripes down the sides. Etched into the blue stripes are the words “Police” on the back doors and “Fayetteville North Carolina” on the front doors.
That’s peculiar, because the Fayetteville Police Department says the early 2000s model Ford Crown Victoria is not one of theirs.
“I don’t even know if a Crown Vic could make it to California,” said FPD spokesman Lt. Todd Joyce. “That is definitely odd. That is really weird. It’s not ours – I can say that with 100 percent certainty.”
Never miss a local story.
The anomaly caught the eye of a KATU Portland reporter Reed Andrews, who tweeted a photo of the cruiser Saturday under the words “Just a bit outside.” Andrews noted in a corresponding tweet that he was in LA for the weekend.
The average person might have a hard time telling the car is a sham. The Crown Victorias commonly used years ago by the Fayetteville department were also white, with blue and red horizontal stripes.
But the logos are different on the authentic FPD cars, which have “Fayetteville North Carolina” displayed in red over “Police” all on the front doors. The real cruiser has a clear, rectangular light bar on the roof. The fake car is shown with V-shaped red and white lights.
“That wasn’t our markings and wouldn’t have even been our scheme, and our light beam at the time was two blue plastic cases with a clear one in the middle,” Joyce said.
Joyce at one point considered the car could have been a FPD cruiser that someone modified after it was sold at auction.
“They’re stripped down when they’re sold at auction,” Joyce said. “The lettering comes off, though the striping may still be (visible).”
But the pictured car has a notch for mounting spotlights that the Fayetteville department has never used, Joyce said.
“It kind of makes me wonder if someone is impersonating someone out there,” Joyce said. “With it not being our car, I don’t know what we would be able to do. I hope someone with LAPD would say, ‘What’s a Fayetteville Police car doing out here?’”