FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A fourth incident of police impersonation has been reported, this time in Fort Collins where a woman reported that a man pulled her over for a "COVID-19 stay-home compliance check", according to the Fort Collins Police Services(FCPS).
Other incidents involving police impersonators have been reported recently in Greeley, Erie, and Aurora.
A woman was pulled over around 11:45 a.m. on March 26 in the area Harmony Road and Timberline Road in Fort Collins by an unmarked pickup truck with red and blue lights on the windshield, according to FCPS.
The male driver of the truck was wearing a dark blue police uniform and police baseball cap, FCPS said.
The suspect told the woman he was pulling her over to perform a COVID-19 “stay-home compliance check.” He requested her driver’s license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration, according to police.
The woman supplied those documents and the suspect took them to his truck. He returned her documents several minutes later but did not provide his name or a business card.
She reported this incident to police after learning that FCPS is not conducting stay-home compliance checks. Dispatch searched records and determined that no law enforcement officers had conducted a stop in the area during that time.
The suspect is described as a white man, approximately 45-50 years old, and 6 feet tall with an athletic build.
“While we are still enforcing traffic laws, Fort Collins Police officers are not conducting traffic stops solely related to COVID-19 orders,” said Assistant Chief John Feyen, who leads the Patrol division. “Unfortunately, criminals around the country are using COVID-19 concerns to their advantage in many ways. We will hold these people accountable for their illegal activities and encourage our community members to report any suspicious behaviors.”
What should drivers do if stopped by someone who may not be a legitimate law enforcement officer?
- Call 911. Dispatchers can help determine if the person stopping you is actually an officer.
- Turn on your hazard lights. This tells the person behind you that you're aware and taking action, and it also draws the attention of other passing vehicles.
- Stop in a well-lit, public area.
- Remain respectful but cautious.
- Ask to see a badge or identification. FCPS officers also have business cards that you can request.
- If you're concerned for your safety, tell the 911 dispatcher and follow their instructions. Your safety is important.
- Try to remember as many details as possible about the person who stopped you and their vehicle so you can provide that information to police.
Police are concerned that this suspect may have stopped other vehicles as well. Drivers who have been stopped in Fort Collins for alleged "stay-home compliance checks," or anyone with information about this incident or suspect, is asked to call Detective Mike Harres at 970-221-6543. People may also contact Crime Stoppers of Larimer County at www.stopcriminals.org
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: COVID-19 Coronavirus