In the past month, Eufaula residents have reported four police impersonation cases. On Tuesday, October 6th a white Impala pulled over a man in the Lakepoint area. The man waited for an officer to exit the vehicle and take his license and registration, but a few moments later the Impala pulled off the shoulder and drove away. The man called the Eufaula police department and found that no Impala had been in charge of traffic stops in that area at that time. Police are looking into possible connections to the three previous cases that have resulted in two women being assaulted.
The first case came from neighboring Slocomb, and the woman managed to barely escape being pulled from her car. The impersonator pulled her over and struggled to get the woman out of the car, but she had left her car on and managed to put it into drive despite being hit in the face multiple times. She immediately went to the police station and reported the incident. A sketch is still out on the perpetrator, who was driving a Dodge Charger.
The second case ended with no one hurt, but the impersonator did manage to pull a woman over. She immediately knew he was not a police officer, as he was in regular clothes and only had a single flashing blue light in his dark sedan. She immediately left the scene and reported the situation. The third case ended much like the first case; a woman was pulled over and beaten before managing to drive away. This perpetrator was driving a white or silver large truck with only a single light. He hit the woman driver with some sort of plastic object and she drove away.
5 Steps To Remember!
One big take away from all of these cases is these individuals never turned off their cars. This was a saving grace for the three people who actually had an “officer” approach their car window. The Eufaula Police Department also recommend a few other things to keep yourself safe against continued attempts to impersonate police officers:
- Keep driving. Slow down, turn on your flashers and be careful to not make any erratic movements, but keep driving. Only stop when you are near a populated area, or a well-lit gas station or something similar.
- Stay alert. When a police officer approaches your window and you’re concerned about their appearance, lack of uniform or ID, or anything that raises a flag, ask if you can call the police department to check up on their status. If they say no, drive on. A real police officer will let you verify their identity without hassle.
- Call 911 the second you see lights flashing. You can slow down and indicate that you’re going to pull over, but especially if you are a woman in an isolated area, it is best to check before rolling down your window for a stranger. The police department will confirm, and you can pull over knowing you’re safe.
- If a police impersonator approaches you in your home, do not let them in your house. You can step on to the porch and ask for identification, or ask them to hold a moment while you call the police department to verify that someone was actually sent to your home. If they’re impersonating an officer, they will often run away.
- Record any details you can. If you remember the size of the perpetrator, race, height, weight or any distinguishing marks like tattoos, it will be of great help to the real police when they get to you. Also pay attention to which way they drive or leave on foot if they do not stick around.
In reality though, if you keep yourself calm during these situations and think with a clear head, you can hopefully avoid finding yourself in a situation such as this. Just be aware and take the proper steps to keep yourself safe. Always remember: a real police officer will not prevent you from contacting the police department. If you ever have a problem, it is perfectly acceptable to ask for verification. You will not get in trouble for asking a police officer to verify their identity.