Costa Mesa police investigate doughnut ‘Sabotage’ in ‘lip sync challenge’

Costa Mesa police investigate doughnut ‘Sabotage’ in ‘lip sync challenge’
In an image from their “lip sync challenge” entry, Costa Mesa police officers pay tribute to the music video for “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys. (Courtesy of Costa Mesa Police Department)

What could it be? It’s no mirage. For the Costa Mesa Police Department, it’s a case of “Sabotage.”

Channeling their inner Beastie Boys, department employees donned fake bushy mustaches and mouthed the words to one of the hip-hop group’s signature hits in a video released this month as part of the “lip sync challenge,” a nationwide video craze in which public safety employees dance and pretend to sing well-known songs.


The Costa Mesa PD’s offering is modeled on the Beastie Boys’ music video for the 1994 single, but with an twist — doughnuts.

Yes, the video centers around a cruller caper, with officers combing the city in search of the scoundrels who absconded with their pastry provisions.


“‘Sabotage’ resonated with us for many reasons,” police spokeswoman Roxi Fyad wrote in an email. “The joke was that the doughnuts were being stolen from the PD and it felt like we were being sabotaged.

“You know how much we love our doughnuts.”

Another reason the song was an appropriate choice, she said, is that the original video was an homage to classic cop shows such as “Hawaii Five-O” and “Starsky & Hutch.”

“We knew we weren’t going to dance in a video, so we chose an action video to parody and have fun with,” Fyad said.

Like any good television episode, the department’s video features a surprise ending revealing an unlikely culprit — but readers will have to see it for themselves.

The Costa Mesa Police Department’s video features officers searching the city for doughnut thieves.
The Costa Mesa Police Department’s video features officers searching the city for doughnut thieves. (Courtesy of Costa Mesa Police Department)

Throughout the summer, members of police and other public agencies across the country have been strutting their stuff in an ever-escalating musical battle. When they post their videos, they typically call on others to join in, spreading the challenge to a wider audience.

Recently, the trend has taken root in Orange County, with agencies such as the Sheriff’s Department, Probation Department and district attorney’s office crafting entries of their own.

Lip sync challenge submissions routinely catch fire online. For instance, the entry from the Norfolk Police Department in Virginia — featuring personnel grooving to the song “Uptown Funk” — has been viewed more than 76 million times on Facebook.

Since the release of the Costa Mesa entry about two weeks ago, it has racked up more than 41,000 Facebook views, making it the Police Department’s most watched video ever on that platform, according to Fyad.

“Internally, the officers loved participating and were proud of the final product,” she said. “It was truly a collaborative effort.”