Unmarked police car with no license plates

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by OutThere, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    Two cops in a completely unmarked white Crown Victoria with no license plates or anything identifying at all have been cruising around near my college campus for the past few weeks. The car doesn't have the light bar on top or a push bar in the front, no stickers on the sides and just empty mounting brackets where the plates are supposed to be. My friends and I have all seen it around but nobody knows what it's doing...though it kind of makes me nervous to see it idling in the parking lot at 2am.

    Is it even legal for a car to have no identifying plates at all? What are these guys doing? :confused:
  2. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    Are you sure it's cops in the car?

    I'd probably call the local PD just to see if they are for real. Because nothing is as suspicious as perfectly unmarked car.
  3. Elixer macrumors regular

    Aug 15, 2006
    Do you have a campus police department? You may want to go in and talk to them to see if they know what's going on. Or let them know when the vehicle is there so they can investigate it.

    The idea of an car without plates would worry me.
  4. RKO macrumors 6502


    Oct 21, 2008
    A great way to attract attention having no plates, I doubt it would be police. I'd make some inquiries.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Go up to the car and ask if they want to buy a bag of weed.

    You'll find out pretty quickly if they're cops :D
  6. iOrlando macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2008
    they might be colombian drug-lords surveying your campus to see if they should begin the building of their huge telescope that they will then point at the moon to see if it is actually oozing cheese from the rocket impact a few weeks ago...

    i would be careful and stay indoors until this pans out.
  7. eRondeau macrumors 65816


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    If your campus and the roads on it are considered Private Property, and if the car never leaves the campus boundaries, then it might not even need licence plates. Vehicles need to be plated and registered to travel on public roads, but not on private property. (Or, it might be Steve Jobs -- he doesn't use licence plates either.)
  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Sounds unusual.

    Even unmarked police cars have license plates.

    His bar code was approved as an unique replacement of license plate.

    I wonder what the bar code says?
  9. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    It's the VIN number to track the car during shipping. Many other Mercedes if not all more recent ones have this.

    As for why he has no plates. In California it can take quite a long time for plates to come in for new cars, especially personalized plates. Perhaps he would rather pay the fines than go through the trouble of installing the plate:rolleyes:.
  10. iPhone 62S macrumors 6502a

    iPhone 62S

    Aug 18, 2009
    That barcodes instead of licence plates thing is just a myth, it's not true at all.
  11. IntheNet macrumors regular


    Oct 6, 2009
    Sounds like the Men In Black changed colors...
  12. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

    Apr 16, 2009
    No, its because he was sick of reordering them, seeing as people would steal them as collectors items.
  13. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Assuming they are cops.
    Unmarked cars are legal and cops use them all the time. One is so they can go into an area with out being noticed. Lets say they think there is has been some illege activity going on in that area (like cars being broken into) but they can never see it happen and do no not know who it is. If they put a marked car the crook would not do any actions. Unmarked car well no one will be any wiser.

    I also have seen unmarked cars in areas were they have a lot of speeding problems. They just sit there grab speeders and will go get them. That or grab them and report them to a marked car about a mile down the road to go take care of the problem.

    Another common thing they use unmarked cars for is domestic disputes. It is to not get as much attention from the neighbors that cops are there.
  14. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Oct 19, 2009
    Cedar City, Utah
    That is wierd. No plates, no "plates" ... nothing. Hrm . Yah go talk to
    campus security!
  15. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    If he just got a regular, non vanity plate, no one would even know that car is his. I'm sure a Merc SL isn't exactly unique in Silicon Valley.
  16. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    It says "My child is an honor student at ....." :D
  17. John Jacob macrumors 6502a

    John Jacob

    Feb 11, 2003
    Columbia, MD
    If the car has no plates, wouldn't that just call out for attention? Especially if only police cars are allowed to have no plates?
  18. OutThere thread starter macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    Thanks for the thoughts...I've seen them wave to our campus safety officers and typically city police must be invited onto campus by our campus safety, so I think that they're allowed to be here. I've also seen the guys sitting in the car and they're wearing full uniform....they were laughing at me while I walked back at 3am with a girl wearing stilettos and my size large neon pink 80s Oakley windbreaker. :rolleyes:

    I'll definitely ask campus safety if I see them again.
  19. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    No offense, but I'd laugh too. :D;)

    I've seen plenty of unmarkeds with no ID on them. Ford actually sells a special version of the Crown Vic Police Interceptor with no badging.

    As to the license plates, not sure. Most cop cars I've seen have number plates, which are not license plates. Others have no plates at all and the car number painted on the body. I don't think they are required to use license plates, but that's a guess.
  20. uberamd macrumors 68030


    May 26, 2009
    Does it matter? How are 2 cars driving around a college campus unmarked threatening? Ask the campus police if you are really that curious, but if they were on my campus I would care less. Seems like people looking for something to get paranoid about.
  21. Rapmastac1 macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2006
    In the Depths of the SLC!
    By law all vehicles need to be registered whether they travel on public roads or not (at least in most states). Even if the vehicle is just sitting on private property. In fact, some states say you can have the car cover on a car but the license plate has to be visible, whether the car is being driven or not.

    Police cars all have license plates including unmarked cars. Make sure to check the front and back (and side? illegal btw). It is illegal for a motor vehicle not to have plates, whether it belongs to the mall security or belongs to the FBI. They all have special plates for their purposes.

    The reason to be worried about an unmarked car is because it could be used for drug trafficking, or even theft. A car with not plates is a car with no path leading to its driver. Think about it, would you be driving around with plates if you are stealing stuff at 3 in the morning? But that also makes you an easy target if another police car just sees you sitting around with no plates. Certainly take this up with the local police department and see if it is legit.
  22. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Wirelessly posted (Nokia 5800 Tube XpressMusic : Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.4; U; Series60/5.0 Nokia5800d-1/21.0.101; Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413)

    It must be a cop. Nobody else would drive a Crown Vic. That, or it's taxi.
  23. acfusion29 macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2007
    I'm pretty sure the OP knows that... his problem is that these cars don't have plates, which to me is very strange.
  24. uberamd macrumors 68030


    May 26, 2009
    Serious question: when did people get so paranoid? 15 years ago, would people have cared if an unmarked car was driving around? Heck, I certainly wouldn't worry about it. So whats with the fear/paranoia?
  25. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Umm, why don't you just ask them? If they're cops, you are allowed to talk to them. If they aren't cops, they may have an interesting story and you may learn something new. I would just walk up casually, and where they can see you coming. I would be careful to not be smelling of anything, uhm, illegal... :D

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