Geek Squad is a PC support service owned by Minneapolis-based retailer Best Buy. Squad technicians dress like special agents and perform PC repair house calls. They drive VW bugs painted to look like cop cars — and judging from the reaction of one Northern California police officer, the mod job is a little too convincing.
When Geek Squad "double agent" Mark Reardon was pulled over by the
Highway Patrol on Interstate 680 near Walnut Creek in June, he
wondered what he had done wrong. Then he found out.
Reardon was ticketed because his company-owned Volkswagen Beetle too
closely resembled a police car. "I was amazed," he said this week.
Now, the Geek Squad mobile computer technician service is repainting
all of its 150 black and white Beetles to the CHP's liking.
The CHP officer who stopped Reardon cited a state law that prohibits
the painting of a privately owned or commercial vehicle to resemble a
"Obviously it would be a pretty far shot to mistake a Volkswagen
Beetle for a cruiser, but it comes down to protecting our unique
color scheme," said Officer Steve Creel, a spokesman for the CHP's
The officer who issued the citation is on vacation and unavailable
Reader comment: A Former Geek says,
I worked for the company back in the late 1990s when it was 35 people in Minneapolis's Warehouse District. The Geek Squad's owner (or, I suppose, Vice President now), Robert Stephens, has always been quite the marketer. He loved to regale us with stories about how he'd tried to acquire roof lights for all of the Geekmobiles, but ran into problems with Minneapolis city ordinances prohibiting this sort of behavior. Robert also spent some time trying to figure out how to stamp the Geek Squad logo onto urinal cakes for distribution throughout the bathrooms of high-end restaurants and bars in the Twin Cities. This never panned out, but he did have a box of urinal cakes underneath his desk for quite a while.