Police were searching last night for three armed men who took the service weapon and private vehicle of an off-duty Prince George's County police officer on his way to a cookout over the weekend.
The officer was heading to a friend's house Saturday in his 1995 Chevrolet Caprice equipped with spinning rims. As he got out of his car near Old Alexander Ferry Road and Highland Meadows Drive in Clinton about 6:30 p.m., an armed man approached him, according to police.
The man, who was joined by two other men armed with guns, demanded the officer's car keys, said Cpl. Clinton Copeland, a spokesman for the Prince George's County Police Department.
"I don't actually believe that these guys thought he was a police officer," Copeland said. "I think they liked the car. And he just also happened to be a police officer."
The officer, whom police did not identify, turned over his keys. The man then patted down the officer and discovered his 9 mm pistol and took it, Copeland said.
The man took the officer's car, and the two other men drove off in a silver Nissan Altima. Both cars headed toward Washington, Copeland said.
The officer was not injured. His car, which was equipped with the LoJack vehicle-location system, was found about an hour later in the 1700 block of 40th St. in Washington, Copeland said.