LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Five days before the presidential election, vandals doctored the 50-foot letters of the Hollywood sign to spell P-E-R-O-T-W-O-O-D.

The king-sized campaign advertisement for independent presidential candidate Ross Perot, apparently completed under cover of darkness, was discovered at dawn today.

''We sent a car up there, but the suspects were GOA - gone on arrival,'' said police Sgt. Ed Entwisle.

The huge sign looming over Hollywood from the slope of Mount Lee has often been the target of vandals. Over the years, for example, the sign has been changed to read HOLLYWEED by marijuana legalization forces and OLLYWOOD for Iran-Contra figure Lt. Col. Oliver North.