Colorado Police Departments See Uptick In Police Impersonators Pulling Over Drivers During Coronavirus Shutdown

Local Colorado law enforcement agencies have reportedly seen an uptick in people impersonating police officers and pulling drivers over during the state’s lockdown order to combat the coronavirus, which originated in China.
KDVR highlighted three reported instances of alleged police impersonators pulling drivers over:
  • On March 27, several residents reported in Greeley that police pulled them over through a roadblock and warned them about violating “the COVID-19 law.” Colorado State Troopers, Greeley police, and Weld County police all said that none of their officers were involved in the incident.
  • On March 27, a woman in Erie said that she was pulled over by a black vehicle with flashing lights. The woman says she was told to return home and that the man who pulled her over followed her home. Erie police and Boulder police said that none of their officers were involved.
  • On March 25, a woman was pulled over late at night by a man driving a dark colored car in Aurora and who was not wearing any badges or a name tag. The woman said that the man questioned her about why she was out during the Stay-at-Home order. Aurora police later said that their officers are not pulling anyone over to inquire about why drivers are out on the roads.
Crystal McCoy, Public Information Officer with the Aurora Police Department, told KDVR, “It’s frightening. It’s very frightening because we don’t really know what their intentions are. We don’t know who they are. We realize it’s scary for the community and it’s also very alarming for us.”
KDVR added that Colorado law enforcement officials indicated that if people believe that they are in a similar situation that they should acknowledge the stop by activating their hazard lights but that they should call 911 and drive to the nearest police or fire station.
Police departments in other states have also warned about police impersonators trying to pull people over during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office in Texas warned last week of police impersonators, writing in statement:
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous complaints from people who reported that a large, unmarked black SUV like a Tahoe or Escalade pulled them over this morning. In each report, the caller said a male walked to the back bumper of their vehicle and refused to get any closer. The man claimed to be a Travis County Sheriff’s Office Deputy and told the drivers to go home, citing the Stay Home/Work Safe Ordinance. When the drivers attempted to present paperwork identifying themselves as essential employees along with their driver’s licenses, the man refused to look at the documents and ordered the drivers to go home immediately.
TCSO wants the public to know that traffic stops are conducted by fully marked units. Deputies will be wearing their uniform, will come to the window and will accept identification. If anyone is concerned they are being pursued by someone who may not be a legitimate peace officer, they are advised to put their hazard lights on so the officer will know they’re complying, then call 911 to verify that a legitimate traffic stop is happening.
Anyone who may have been stopped by this vehicle today is encouraged to call TCSO and report it.
WFRV in Wisconsin reported last week: “The Marinette County Sheriff’s Office is reminding the public law enforcement will not be doing compliance checks as part of Governor Tony Evers’ Safer at Home order after receiving a report of a police impersonator pulled someone over in Wausaukee Wednesday morning.”
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