Police believe man pulled over in Grosse Pointe Shores bought MSP car, illegally modified it

Driver suspected of adding lights to old police vehicle purchased at auction

By Priya Mann - Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

GROSSE POINTE SHORES, Mich. - Police arrested a man in Grosse Pointe Shores and suspect him of purchasing a police vehicle and modifying it, officials said.

The man was pulled over on Lake Shore Road near South Deeplands Road in a car that looked suspiciously like a Michigan State Police trooper's vehicle, officials said. Police said the man was pulled over initially for tinted windows.

It wasn't until after the man was arrested that police discovered flashing lights, a hood sign and the signature MSP blue paint. At first glance, the vehicle looks like an MSP cruiser.

A Grosse Pointe Shores police lieutenant said he first spotted the car a few weeks ago.

"I thought it was odd," Lt. Scott Rohr said. "I pulled over thinking it was a trooper. It was not."

He saw it again Monday morning and officers in a marked cruiser pulled the driver over.

Police later discovered a switch under the dash that activated the lights, which were white in front and red in the back.

The driver bought the vehicle at an auction, which is legal, but making it look like a trooper's vehicle again by fitting it with flashing lights is illegal, police said.

"Civilians should not have emergency lights in their vehicle, and certainly not look specifically like a police car," Rohr said.

Investigators don't believe the driver was trying to impersonate a police officer when he was pulled over. They didn't find a badge or a vest in the car.

But without insurance, the car was impounded, and the lights will have to be removed. Police said flashing lights of any color are prohibited unless provided by law.

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