Long Beach Police warn of a possible police imposter - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Long Beach Police warn of a possible police imposter

Assistant Police Chief Don Bass said the fake "Officer Smith" approached a woman Tuesday at this Long Beach convenience store. Assistant Police Chief Don Bass said the fake "Officer Smith" approached a woman Tuesday at this Long Beach convenience store.

By Don Culpepper - bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Long Beach Police are warning people that the plain clothes policeman that approaches them in the coming days and weeks may be an imposter.  

This after a woman was approached and questioned by man Tuesday claiming he was police officer investigating sexual assaults on lone women.

"The suspect is described as a white male, 5'11", 175, short brown hair, clean shaven, typical police officer, approximately 27 to 30-years-old," Assistant Police Chief Don Bass said.

Bass said the woman could have been describing an actual plain clothes officer.  

"He did well, he was impressive. And apparently she fell for it at first, until he got to the personal questions."

It was those questions that were most disturbing, and gave away the man who called himself "Officer Smith."  

"He questioned about her name and where she lived, and that kind of caught her off guard. He went into more detail that they were looking for a sexual assault suspect, that numerous sexual assaults had occurred in this area against white females or lone females."

Bass says, unfortunately, it's all too easy these days to impersonate a cop.  

"You can buy badges on the internet. You can go to uniform stores and buy handcuffs and buy police equipment, and on the internet get police equipment. So it's very easily accessible."

But he says the victim in this case asked for the one accessory the imposter didn't have, and one every real officer carries and will always present when asked.  

"Ask to see their commission card. It will be from the City of Long Beach, or the county, or wherever.And it will state that you're a police officer and your rank on that."

Bass says the public should follow the example of the woman approached by the fake "Officer Smith," and immediately report such suspicious characters. Bas says when dealing with the police, it's never been more important to trust, but verify.  

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