A man impersonating as a police officer is being sought by Coquitlam RCMP after he allegedly pulled over a vehicle on Highway 1.
Mounties are now issuing a public alert as the suspect also stole money from the driver, who they initially believed was in an unmarked police vehicle.
Spokesperson Cpl. Paige Kuz explains, at around midnight (Dec. 15), the motorist was travelling eastbound on Highway 1 between Brunette Avenue and United Boulevard when they saw flashing red and blue lights on an older model black Dodge Caravan.
After pulling over to the side of the highway, the suspect approached and demanded to see their driver's license.
He then asked for a second piece of ID and their entire wallet.
The suspect, whom Kuz explains was not wearing official attire, took all the cash, threw the wallet to the ground, got back in his vehicle, turned off the red and blue lights and drove away.
"The suspect driver did not wear anything that resembled a police uniform, he did not have a badge, did not wear a duty belt and did not carry a firearm or gun holster."
The fake cop is described as:
- 250 pounds
- Muscular build
- Spoke with a Russian/Ukrainian accent
- Black baseball hat with no logos
- Thick black winter jacket with no logos or markings
- Black mask
- Black pants
Anyone who witnessed or has dash can footage of this particular traffic stop on Highway 1 — between 11:45 p.m. and 12 a.m. (Dec. 14/15) — is urged to call Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550 and quote file-number 2021-34469, anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go online to www.solvecrime.ca.
ARE THEY LEGIT?
Mounties say slowing down and finding a well-lit, well-populated area is the best thing to do when motorists believe they're being stopped by a "non-legitimate" police vehicle.
Other tips include:
- Lock all doors, pull over safely and leave your vehicle running
- If you have a cell phone, take it out immediately, hold it in full view of the person who has pulled you over and call 911
- Calmly give the 911 operator your location and express you concern
- Ask the 911 operator/police dispatch if they have had any communication with a police officer about a traffic stop in your area
- Ask 911 to relay your concerns to that law enforcement officer
- Tell the officer, through a cracked window and locked your door that you plan to cooperate, but you have heard about police impersonators
- Indicate that you are concerned for your safety and that you are verifying the police contact through dispatch
- If you remain uncertain the person who pulled you over is in fact a police officer, ask them if you can proceed to a more populated area
- If they agree, tell the 911 dispatched where you are heading to and proceed