WARSAW, Ind. (WSBT) – Warsaw Police are on the lookout after a man pulled over a woman pretending to be an officer.
The incident in question happened on Nov. 2. Late that night the woman was driving along U.S. 30, noticed a car flashing a blue light, and pulled over assuming it was an officer. However she quickly realized that wasn’t the case.
“Our victim tells us that he came up to the driver side and that he told her she needed to get out of the car,” said Detective Sgt. Brad Kellar with Warsaw police.
He says that was warning sign number one, as protocol requires real officers to identify themselves and cite why they pulled someone over.
“When he had to tell her the second time to get a car and also told her that she was under arrest he put his hand on the gun,” said. Detective Sgt. Kellar.
Noticing the man was wearing all black and driving a black Toyota SUV, the woman realized something was off and drove away.
“The opportunities are endless with what could happen in a situation where somebody’s doing that,” said. Detective Sgt. Kellar. “Sometime it’s a power trip for somebody to try to have that authority of some over someone. But obviously I think our imagination can take us to some of the worst case scenarios.”
While police are searching for the impersonator, who is described as a white male with blue eyes and a muscular build. He says there are some important signs to look out for.
“If he’s in an unmarked vehicle, he is required to be in a uniform,” said Detective Sgt. Kellar. “So they’re going to see patches, they’re going to see a badge, they’re going to see a uniform.”
The next point is the lights. The impersonator used a singular flashing blue light, which is often used for volunteer fire fighters.
“If that blue light pulls over when you pull over to allow them to go onto the emergency that’s the problem,” Detective Sgt. Kellar said. “You need to drive away from that situation and get on 911 right away.”
If an unmarked car does pull you over and you’re still unsure, Kellar says to call 911, turn on your hazards, drive very slowly, and turn on your interior lights if it’s at night.
“I would say the combination of these events would tell the officer, ‘Okay this is probably someone that’s concerned about whether I’m legitimate or not and he’s going to allow for that few minutes’.”
At that point dispatch can communicate by radio with that officer and confirm with both parties it is safe.
Kellar says another option is to pull into a well-lit business if one is close, because the last thing an impersonator wants is witnesses to be nearby.