Who needs an expensive home security system when you have a police car parked right outside your home? That’s what Swiss entrepreneur Andras Birrer thought when he decided to rent out fake police cars to people who travel a lot or go away on long holidays.
It all started out as a gimmick ad for a local newspaper in Andras Birrer’s home town of Sursee, near Lucerne. The owner of a local car rental firm, Birrer had the brilliant idea to paint a Hyundai i40 in the colors of the Swiss police, fit it with warning lights and advertise it as an effective way to discourage burglars. The newspaper ad read: “Don’t want your home broken into? Are you leaving on vacation soon? Rent our police car, we leave it parked outside your home the entire time”. It was meant to be a publicity stunt, but the ad got people so interested that the Swiss mechanic decided to actually provide the unusual service. Now he has a whole fleet of police car replicas available for 250 francs ($270) a week. Birrer is raking in a small fortune as his idea seems to have become a hit with frequent travelers and summer vacationers who truly believe the fake police cars can keep burglars away.