Police Imposter Tries To Take Woman From Her Car - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/29/03

Police Imposter Tries To Take Woman From Her Car

She doesn't want to share he full name, but she wants to share her story.

Sunday morning, Judy was on her way to church on Interstate 10. She saw flashing lights in her rear view mirror.

"A Navy Blue Crown Victoria Ford pulled in behind me and put one of those flashing blue lights in the window to pull me over. I assumed it was an unmarked police car."

Judy didn't think she was speeding, so she wondered why she was pulled over.

"He looked at my license and he told me my car had been reported for transporting illegal substances. And I already felt uncomfortable. It didn't feel like this was legitimate. When he asked me for my license and registration... he told me I was going to have to leave my car there and come with him. That's why I immediately thought I should call and verify that with somebody."

Judy reached for her cell phone to call the Highway Patrol.

"He told me 'Well, while you do that, I'm going back to may car to call in your tag.' Normally they call in your tag before they get out. And when he got to his car, he jumped in and took off."

As the man sped away, Judy says she noticed something that told this man was no state trooper.

"There was no license plate on his car. He was wearing a highway patrolman uniform, he appeared to be a highway patrolman in an unmarked car. He had on the hat, the uniform, gun, belt everything."

"I feel, absolutely, like if I had complied with what he said and gotten in the car with him, I'd probably never have been seen again."

Judy says she feels lucky and is glad she followed that feeling in her gut that something wasn't right.

Judy described the impersonator as a white man, about six feet tall, with dark hair and dark eyes, about 220 pounds. He was wearing a uniform without patches or a badge, and was driving a dark blue Ford Crown Victoria - a car commonly by law enforcers.

Judy filed a report with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department right away. We tried numerous times Tuesday to ask Sheriff Mike Byrd about the investigation, but he was not available.

The Highway Patrol says the problem with people impersonating officers crops up from time to time, and law enforcers are sensitive to it. Highway Patrol Spokesman Joe Gazzo says the first tip is to remember "undercover" officers rarely make traffic stops.

"It's gonna be fully marked, bar lights fully uniformed, decals on the side. That's who's gonna stop you in a regular stop," Gazzo said. "Most of your traffic enforcement has bar lights on the top of their car. So when they turn the blue lights on, look for the bar on the top of the car. My advice to a woman alone - Try to get to a lighted area."

If you're still suspicious, use your cell phone to call 911 to reach the sheriff's department, or *HP to get the highway patrol. Dispatchers should be able to tell you if a trooper or deputy are working in the area.

by Josh Ridgdell

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