Authorities say South Florida law enforcement officers are searching for an unmarked police car loaded with weapons and riot gear that was stolen from outside a Hialeah restaurant.

A Hialeah police spokesman says the 2000 gold Ford Taurus was stolen early Friday morning while an off-duty officer was working security at the restaurant. The vehicle contained an assault rifle, a Glock, riot gear, a bulletproof vest, police identification and probably an emergency light.

The spokesman says it's possible the thief might use the vehicle to impersonate a police officer.

It's not clear why someone would steal a police car, but authorities believe the thief knew what he or she was taking.