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The Hollywood sign is seen vandalized Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. Los Angeles residents awoke New Year's Day to find a prankster had altered the famed Hollywood sign to read "HOLLYWeeD." Police have notified the city's Department of General Services, whose officers patrol Griffith Park and the area of the rugged Hollywood Hills near the sign. California voters in November approved Proposition 64, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana, beginning in 2018. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — No, Los Angeles residents, it wasn’t your hangovers playing tricks on you. The Hollywood sign really did read “HOLLYWeeD” for a few hours on New Year’s Day.

Police were investigating Sunday after a prankster used giant tarps to turn two of the iconic sign’s white Os into Es sometime overnight.

The vandal, dressed in all black, was recorded by security cameras and could face a misdemeanor trespassing charge, said Sgt. Robert Payan.

And according to the Hollywood Reporter, new security measures are being made to ensure the often- altered sign is left alone in the future.

“The Hollywood Sign surveillance system is constantly evolving but an incident like the one that occurred early Sunday morning shows us where there are opportunities to make improvements,” Chris Baumgart, chairman of the Hollywood Sign Trust, told the The Hollywood Reporter in a statement.

“The new year’s prank was no exception and we will be deploying additional technology to tighten up surveillance and thus deter unwanted visitors in the future,” said Baumgart. “This is more than preventing pranks or trespassing at the sign. Our concern is the safety of the neighborhood and the trespassers that put themselves at risk because it is extremely unsafe to be on the sign, let alone traversing the treacherous hillside that is home to those 9 famous letters.”

The person scaled a protective fence surrounding the sign above Griffith Park and then clambered up each giant letter to drape the coverings, Payan said.

The prank may be a nod to California voters’ approval in November of Proposition 64, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana, beginning in 2018.

Hikers and tourists in the hills spent the morning snapping photos of themselves in front of the altered sign before park rangers began removing the tarps.

“It’s kind of cool being here at the moment,” Bruce Quinn told KABC-TV. “I thought we came to see the Hollywood sign, not the’ Hollyweed’ sign. But hey it’s OK with me!”

While attention-grabbing, the prank was not exactly original. Forty-one years ago to the day — Jan. 1, 1976 — a college student similarly altered the sign, using curtains to make it read “HOLLYWEED.”

PHOTO: AP

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