HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — The Hollywood sign got a little green over New Years.
A prankster managed to change the iconic sign overlooking Los Angeles early Sunday to read “Hollyweed,” said L.A. Police Officer Christopher Garcia, who works in the agency’s security service division.
The police surmise that the vandal — probably a man — used tarps to change the O’s in the sign to E’s, he said.
The vandal was caught on security-camera footage between midnight and 2 a.m. local time, but police can’t tell his race or height because it was dark and raining, Garcia said.
The “Hollyweed” sign was still up as of noon eastern time. Garcia explained said the police haven’t been able to send a crew up to the hillside to fix it because it’s a holiday. “We are backed up,” he explained.
“It needs to be taken down and that will be done momentarily,” said Estevan Montemayor, a spokesman for LA City Councilman David Ryu, whose district includes the Hollywood sign. “”We don’t know who did it but park rangers are going up there very soon to take down the draping that was put on top of the ‘O’ to alter the sign.”
There are sensors at the sign that trigger an alarm for police, but because the sensors are only in certain areas of the letters, it’s possible to avoid them. There’s a road accessible to the public by foot and car behind the sign.
“We believe this person came from behind the sign,” Garcia said.
Betsy Isroelit with the Hollywood Sign Trust told CNN that the last time the sign was vandalized to read “Hollyweed” was in 1976.
Vandals have altered the sign several times over the years.
Californians voted last month to make recreational use of marijuana legal statewide for those 21 and over.