Cop car for sale

By: Mystic Matthews Email
By: Mystic Matthews Email

BONHAM, Tex. -- It's a crime local police say happens in cycles-- ordinary citizens pretending to be law enforcement. Over the past year, there have been several incidents reported throughout Texoma leading some to wonder if the availability of police equipment could make police impersonation easier.

Last Friday night, authorities say a man posing as a police officer driving a car which resembles a patrol car pulled over a Whitesboro man in the Sherman Wal-Mart parking lot. The victim realized the man was not really an officer and called 911. Sherman police later arrested the impersonator.

Another impersonator pulled over a woman in Anna last year and handcuffed her while he went through her purse. No arrest was made in that case.

In each of these incidents, cars that resemble real police cruisers have been used, one of which is for sale just west of one Texoma town.

So is it legal to buy and sell imitation patrol cars or real cruisers?

We spoke to police officers and while it is legal for citizens to buy a fully equipped police cruiser, it is illegal to operate it on the road without making a few adjustments.

A police car sitting on the side of the road is usually enough to make any driver slow down but there's no officer sitting in a cruiser off of Highway 82 just west of Bonham.

It's for sale.

"I bought it on eBay and I want to sell it to make some money," says the car’s seller, Steven Dane.

Dane says it is a real patrol car from an Oklahoma police department. He says he bought it ‘as is’, equipped with lights, sirens, and police decals on the sides.

Dane says he was surprised to find out it is legal to buy a real patrol car.

"I was told as long as the police part is covered and you take the lights off, but you can't drive it like this."

Authorities say that is the case in Texas and in Oklahoma. The car can be outfitted, but you can't use any lights or sirens while on the road.

Not everyone we talked to agrees with the law.

"I can't believe this is out here," concerned citizen John Dooley says.

Imagine being pulled over by an officer. The problem with this car being for sale to the general public is what if the wrong person ends up behind the wheel.

Dane says he would hate for this car to end up in the wrong hands, but he says that is what the real officers are for.

Dane says he will sell to whoever meets his price of $5,000. He hopes a security officer or a police department would buy the vehicle as a security measure.

Dane says he is also considering selling to interested law enforcement for the price he paid.

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  • by Anonymous Location: here we go again on Feb 14, 2008 at 09:06 AM
    What I was trying to get across is that they sell the cars fully dressed, then they say they need more money to get new cars ready for the streets. They could use items like the front arm as you put it, they could remove it and put it on the new car and not have to spend the money.
  • by Bill Location: Southmayd on Feb 13, 2008 at 07:30 PM
    Wow;Anonymous from here we go again:That was confusing.Mr.Dane says "you cant drive it like this".But I do love that front arm
  • by Eric Location: Grayson on Feb 13, 2008 at 06:34 PM
    Police vechicles & equipment are for sale to the public by police agencies nationwide on a daily basis and have been for decades as well as the problem of people impersonating law enforcement has exsisted since law enforcement began. Most people buying & selling Police equipment are legitimate. Police agencies depend on this revenue to help purchase new & updated equipment. Most people do not realize the wear & tear these vechicles & equipment are subjected to on a routine basis and must be retired for many reasons including officer safety. As far as impersonating an officer, Criminals are criminals and some people just make bad decisions that make them criminals, but that is why our justice system is designed to handle crimes that are committed, We need to just have more faith in our law enforcement community as well as our justice system and if you ever have any doubt of someone mis-representing law enforcement just call 911.
  • by Anonymous Location: Here we go again on Feb 13, 2008 at 02:42 PM
    The cop car should not be allowed to any one other then the police departments. There are two many people that would take playing cop two far and get hurt. Or some one will flag this car down for help and not get the help they need. This car should be taken down to just a car. Lights and other police item's should be used on another police car instead of tax dollars buying new ones.
  • by Noel Location: Honey Grove on Feb 13, 2008 at 10:20 AM
    I would like to know what city sold this car without removing the "Police" logo on the side & its light bar. I also wonder if the city that sold it would be liable if this car were used by someone to impersonate an officer?
  • by Neil Bloyd Location: Sherman on Feb 13, 2008 at 08:51 AM
    I got got my cop car @ Denton. There is a guy down there that specializes in them. He is just down the street from the costume shop. But if your to cheap to buy a ole cop car, with a can of wal-mart black spray paint you can turn any white Crown vick into a cop car. Goodwill shouild have some ole Blue uniforms of some sort that will work in a pinch.
  • by ephton Location: antlers on Feb 13, 2008 at 07:08 AM
    its hard enough and surely dangerous enough to be a police officer officer in this day and time,why would anybody in there right mind sell a fully rigged patrol car.we strive to get the public to trust us,and know that we are to help them and now some idiot has done something as stupid as this.what is the world coming to.
  • by shawn Location: denison on Feb 13, 2008 at 05:02 AM
    At anytime you think an impersonater is pulling you over dont stop just slow down and call 911 to make sure it is a police oficer and they will tell yes or no
  • by Chris Location: Sherman on Feb 12, 2008 at 08:21 PM
    Being pulled over by a marked car is one thin, but most police forces now have unmarked cars patrolling. Van Alstyne has several. If the Police forces would CLEARLY mark their cars, the public would know when a real police officer is pulling them over. If you know what town you are in, you should be able to recognize that town's police cars clearly from your car whether you are from that town or not. Unmarked police cruisers have simply made the impersonation of a police officer way to easy, not the sale of marked police vehicles. Correct me if I am wrong, but the recent impersonations have been from "equipped" cars, not "markeed" vehicles.
  • by Daniel Location: Sherman on Feb 12, 2008 at 06:03 PM
    Maybe they should try making the police departments remove the lights before they are sold at least..
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