OCEAN COUNTY, NJ (ABC/PATHFIRE) - Law enforcement agencies across the New York Area are warning consumers not to buy a new cell phone case that resembles a gun.
The case has a handle attached that when placed in a pocket makes it appear that a weapon is tucked into the pants.
"My reaction would be you're asking for trouble with that," Bethpage resident Johnny Martin said.
The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office posted on its Facebook page, "Please folks - this cell phone case is not a cool product or a good idea. A police officer's job is hard enough, without having to make a split second decision in the dark of night when someone decides without thinking to pull this out while stopped for a motor vehicle violation."
And it's not just towns in New Jersey that are on the alert.
Nassau County is issuing warnings to all its police departments to be aware of the so-called toy gun cases, which generally come from overseas and range in price from $4 to $9 online.
"I would never buy anything like that," Dix Hills resident Gunjan Kathuria said. "I wouldn't purchase it for anybody else. That's absolutely ridiculous."
Authorities are urging people not to even consider buying such a product, with officials saying that if an officer spots one, at the very least, the owner can expect to be thrown to the ground and handcuffed.
"It's something that could be easily mistaken for a weapon in the daylight, much less in darkness," Nassau County police Inspector Kenneth Lack said. "If somebody had this in their back pocket and a police officer comes upon them on a core stop or they're just walking to the deli to get a coffee, chances are that that person would be stopped at gunpoint, thrown down on the floor, handcuffed and that item removed."
And that, authorities warn, is the best-case scenario.
"If your children currently have it, please take it away," Lack said. "It's not something they should have on them. It will absolutely only get them in trouble."