Police officers call them "ghost cars," and their stealth design definitely can haunt unsuspecting traffic violators.
"When they see it, people say, "Whoa, what was that? Was that a police car?” said Southern Pines Police Captain Charles Campbell.
’Tis. But unlike your normal unmarked patrol car, this one is fully marked. You just have a hard time seeing the low-profile police cars because they lack light bars atop the roof and they sport white reflective markings. Those markings blend in during the day with the white bodies but shine brightly at night.
The style is slowly being added to police department fleets across Moore County.
Aberdeen's patrol fleet currently has one "ghost car." Southern Pines has one patrol car, and is expecting to add a supervisor's vehicle in the coming weeks, and Pinehurst is adding two patrol supervisor vehicles to its fleet in the next week or so.
The key feature of all the "ghost" vehicles is the white, reflective graphics which blend into the white paint of the car, allowing the vehicle to be classified as a marked police vehicle, yet still blend in with regular traffic during the day.
Southern Pines was the first department to add such a vehicle. Capt. Charles Campbell said the cars are designed for traffic control, speed detection and to curb motor vehicle violations.
"It's not to trick anybody," Campbell said. "It's to heighten awareness. Everybody knows we have a car that they can't readily see, so they are slowing down because of that, and that is what we are trying to gain out of it."
All three departments have added the vehicles as the departments regularly purchase newer vehicles to replenish the fleet.
Pinehurst is the most recent department to add a "ghost vehicle." Pinehurst Deputy Chief Floyd Thomas said the department has the two vehicles now, but the new police markings must be added in the coming days.
"The plan is for the department to add three cars next year and to 'ghost' two of them and give them to the other two shift supervisors."
Thomas said he likes the new vehicles because they are harder for traffic violators to recognize in the daytime, but "light up like Christmas trees."
"The cars definitely have a different look," Thomas said.
Representatives from all three departments say that overall, feedback from residents have been mostly positive.
"When I was reviewing video there was someone who clearly said, "Well, I didn't know you were a police car," Aberdeen Police Chief Tim Wenzel said. "So it's effective and looks pretty cool."
Unless, of course, you are speeding and suddenly see a "ghost car" appear in your rear view mirror.