The Los Angeles police cadets suspected of stealing three cruisers and leading officers on wild car chases this week had made themselves unauthorized police uniforms and had driven at least one of the stolen patrol cars more than 1,000 miles, according to police sources.
Investigators are trying to determine what the teens were doing with the vehicles as well as where they went. Police said one of the cars went missing in late May. Detectives want to figure out whether the vehicle was stolen once or repeatedly taken and returned without detection, which would raise even greater concerns about how the LAPD tracks its cars.
Detectives are checking various cameras that read license plates around the Los Angeles area to see if the cruisers might have been logged and want to know when and where the cars were gassed up, according to multiple police sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details about the ongoing investigation.
Sources said police had checked the odometers of the cars and discovered that at least one had been driven a significant distance since it was last used for official business.