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Police warn about cop impersonators and how to detect them

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 29 2014 05:02:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 29 2014 06:37:00 PM CDT

Local police say they're seeing a disturbing trend this summer: fake cops pulling people over.

Local police say they're seeing a disturbing trend this summer: fake cops pulling people over.

It happened most recently in Carbon County.

We've all been trained to pull over once we see flashing lights in the rear view mirror; luckily one Carbon County woman figured out those lights were fake.

At first, it appeared like a routine traffic stop on Route 248 near Palmerton in Carbon County.

That's where a woman says she was pulled over by an unmarked unit flashing a blue light.

"When she asked what she had done wrong and why she was pulled over he placed his hand on the left side as he had a left holster a silver revolver, he started to pull it out and at that time he said please don't make me do this and she fled the area," said Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Erin Cawley with Troop N Lehighton.

State police say the man was an imposter.

This is not the only incident this summer.

In May, an imposter told a woman in a convenience store parking lot in Wilson Borough, Northampton County that he had a warrant for her arrest.

He threatened to use a Taser on her before she got away.

Then in Wind Gap, 27 year old Micheal Schedin was busted for allegedly pretending to be a cop working a drug investigation.

Local police say they are working hard to track these fake cops down.

"As law enforcement professionals, we work very hard to earn the trust of the public and when a situation like this occurs, it erodes that trust," said Wilson Police Chief Steven Parkansky.

So how do you make sure the person pulling you over is a real police officer?

First, check for red and blue permanent lights on their car and a uniform with a name tag.

If you are still not sure, put your hazards on, drive slowly to a public place and call 9-1-1.

"Let the operator know where you are at and they will be able to tell because they are with the communication center there if there is a true police officer pulling you over," said Cawley.

Police say depending on the incident, impersonating a police officer can range from a misdemeanor to a felony.