Troopers look for police imposters in Missouri

Troopers look for police imposters in Missouri

MISSOURI (KFVS) - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating three different reports of someone impersonating an officer and trying to make traffic stops.

The first incident was in Jefferson County. A woman said someone in a dark-colored passenger vehicle with red and blue lights tried to get her to stop.

About two days later, a woman in St. Francois County said that someone in a different vehicle tried to get her to stop. The suspect reportedly got out of the vehicle wearing a ski mask and hoodie.

The patrol said in a news release that a driver in a different vehicle pulled someone over about two days later. In one instance, the suspect got out of the vehicle wearing a ski mask and hoodie.

Corporal Juston Wheetley with the MSHP said that on Sunday evening, June 18, a third driver reported that a man was posing as an officer. The man told officers that he was driving west on Highway 32 near Park Hills. He said he passed a car that was parked on a highway off ramp who pulled out after him and turned on his lights and pulled the man over.

The victim said the man was wearing a bandana and a hoodie. The suspect reportedly tried to get into the man's car, but the car was locked so he could not get in. Wheetley said the victim initially believed the man was an officer with the Park Hills Police Department, and once he realized the man was a fake, he drove away.

Wheetley said that drivers who get stopped should keep their doors locked and be sure to look at what the person who pulled them over is wearing. An officer will, in most cases, have their uniform with patches on and should have a badge. You can ask for the officer's identification.

Sergeant Cody Windbigler with the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department offered this advice: "There's nothing wrong with making that officer wait for a minute, keep your doors locked and your window up call 911 and explain to them that you're on a traffic stop and that you're just suspecting that this isn't a law enforcement officer."

Wheetley added that it is okay to call 911 to verify that the person stopping you is a real officer.

If you aren't sure whether or not the person is a real officer, you can call 911 to verify that the person stopping you is a real officer.

Investigators are working to determine if the cases are linked. The suspect in the first two incidents was described as being about 5-foot-10 or 5-foot-11, with a stocky build.

According to Corporal Wheetley, investigators are working on a few leads, but if anyone has any information about these incidents, they would like you to call law enforcement.

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Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.