Fake cop sought; pulled woman over on Monday

Posted at 12:50 PM, Mar 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-30 17:58:14-04

A woman who was driving near Belvedere Road and Military Trail on Monday was pulled over by a person impersonating a police officer.

The victim believed the man to be an officer driving an unmarked car and pulled over when he flagged her to. There were no lights used, but the man was dressed like a police officer and had a holstered gun.

After the suspect began asking the woman about things unrelated to a crime, she became suspicious, drove off and called 911.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help to find the suspect, who was driving a gray or silver SUV belived to be a Chevy Tahoe or GMC Yukon. Detectives think there may be additional victims.

If anyone can identify the suspect, they are asked to contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS.

PBSO offers these reminders if you are stopped by a law enforcement officer:

  • Make sure it is a marked police unit. If it is not a marked unit, the emergency lights should be built in and are usually not a temporary light placed on the vehicle.
  • Try to stop in a well-lit area or a location where there are a lot of people present.
  • Turn on your emergency flashers but don’t turn off your car.
  • Do not get out of the vehicle to meet the officer. Officers usually don’t like this anyway.
  • Lock your door.
  • Look for a uniform, official department jacket, and other equipment used by police officers for the performance of their duties.
  • If the officer is in plainclothes, look for identifying clothing and equipment. If unsure, explain to the “officer” that you are unsure about the situation and ask them to display official department identification and badge. Ask where they work and if you can contact their dispatch center to confirm their identity. You may also request a marked patrol unit respond.
  • Pay attention to what they are asking. Most officers will advise you of the reason for the stop and request your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.
  • If they immediately tell you to get out of the car without any preliminary questions, be suspicious.
  • Trust your instincts. If they don’t seem to be a real police officer they are probably not.