published Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Man buys police car on Craigslist, pulled over by officer in Chattanooga

A Chattanooga police officer found a lost police vehicle from Ellijay, Ga., police said.

The car's driver, Luke Ridings, 20, was charged with underage drinking, financial responsibility and driving an unregistered vehicle, Chattanooga police Sgt. Jerri Weary said in a news release. Ridings told police he bought the car on Craigslist for $4,000.

On Friday night, Officer Todd Clay saw a gray Ford Crown Victoria traveling along North Market Street. Clay saw the car had blue lights in the window and a front bumper guard but a personal license plate, Weary said.

When Clay stopped the car for improper registration, he discovered that the car had blue lights, a siren, a dash camera and mounted radar, Weary said.

Ellijay officials told Clay that the car was supposed to have been crushed by a towing company because it had electrical issues, but it was sold on Craigslist instead, Weary said.

Chattanooga police took possession of the car after Ridings' arrest, Weary said.

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j17davis said...

stupid cops ruin everything

November 22, 2011 at 10:42 a.m.
fireguy3006 said...

While I don't disagree with the car being confiscated on the face of this issue let's be fair in looking at the overall picture. First, the vehicle should have had all emergency equipment removed by the releasing agency. Second, the disposal on Craiglist appears to have been done in violation of the agreed process between releasing agency and the salvage company and at that point should have at least had the equipment removed by the salvage company. And what should have been blatently clear to the new owner...he should have known that no law enforcement agency would pass him up once they saw the car registered privately in this condition. Private citizens cannot operate a vehicle outfitted as such except with various exceptions ( restored antique, parade vehicle, etc ) where as the eguipment is present but electrically/mecanically disabled.

November 22, 2011 at 11:12 a.m.
steve550 said...

@fireguy3006 - Just curious- Does the law say you can't have functional equipment in the car, or you just can't use it without a permit? I was thinking they couldn't do anything to you as long as you weren't actually using it on public roads... And no, I don't have any of that stuff! :-O

November 22, 2011 at 11:23 a.m.
brokentoe said...

The next concern should be if this individual or the individual who sold this vehicle to him used this police car to impersonate a police officer. What else may have occured during the time Elijay Ga police department sent this car to be scrapped and it found its way onto crailist and after until the many was stopped in Chattanooga?

November 22, 2011 at 1:53 p.m.
RShultz210 said...

Why can't the Chattanooga Police take a break? They don't HAVE to be bastards every day of their lives! They COULD have told this guy OK drive it home, but don't drive it again until you register it and remove the police equipment. But NO they HAD to be SOB's! And they wonder why people hate them!

November 22, 2011 at 1:56 p.m.
onetinsoldier said...

If they are crushing dash cams and radars I think their budget is too big.

November 22, 2011 at 2:04 p.m.
brokentoe said...

onetinsoldier, you're right. I'll bet nothing was considered from that angle.

November 22, 2011 at 2:06 p.m.
fuzzbuckets said...

He was charged with "underage drinking, financial responsibility and driving an unregistered vehicle..." Excuse me - financial responsibility is a crime? Last I knew financial responsibility meant paying your bills on time. What am I missing here?

November 23, 2011 at 8:28 a.m.
HiDef said...

Financial responsibility means he lacked proof of insurance or a certificate stating he had made a cash deposit required by the state.

RSchultz210- the driver was charged with underage drinking and you think the officer should have just let him, "drive it home"? Excellent logic.

November 23, 2011 at 8:48 a.m.
fuzzbuckets said...

HiDef - thank you for the explanation.

November 23, 2011 at 9:11 a.m.
amnestiUSAF84 said...

I don't buy the Ellijay cop's version of events either. When an insurance company totals a vehicle they rarely if ever take physical possession of said vehicle. I'm not saying it didn't happen the way the Ellijay police dept said, I'm saying it's rare. The insurance company usually just write a check for the amount of the market value of the car and be done with it. It would be interesting to track this car from the time it was supposedly sent for scrap and the time it ended up on craiglist.

Of course, if he'd only recently purchased the vehicle he would not have had time to register it. So, I don't understand the charge of driving an unregistered vehicle.

November 23, 2011 at 2:42 p.m.
RShultz210 said...

HiDef -- Permit me to point out Mr "HiDef" that he was NOT charged with DUI. If they had suspected he was intoxicated they would have tested him and they would have charged him with DUI because, statist bastards that they are, they would not have missed the opportunity to load THAT charge on TOO, if they could have gotten away with it. That's just their nature. The "underage drinking" charge is probably trumped up, as these days if they want to arrest you, and there's nothing they can use, they'll THINK UP a charge if they have to. I speak from first hand experience. If they want you in jail badly enough, they will come up with a charge even if they can't make a case in court, because that's what they did to me. They had to dismiss the charges against me because they could not prove a damned thing, and my record has been expunged so don't bother looking Mr. "logical". You obviously don't have first hand experience and you are niave in the extreme about these Neanderthals. I hope you never have to find out the hard way about their lies and their repressive methods although on second thought it might do you good.

November 23, 2011 at 2:45 p.m.
HiDef said...

You're right rschultz, I don't have first hand experience because I am not naive enough to thinks its legal or even smart to drive an old cop car loaded with used police equipment, such as lights, sirens and mounted radar. You obviously have a beef with all cops in general. Good luck with that.

November 23, 2011 at 8:07 p.m.
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