In Larimer County, there have been multiple reports of men (individuals or in a trio) attempting to enter homes dressed as police officers. On September 30th, two women reported identical situations within a 24-hour period. The first case was a woman who allowed a trio of “officers” in her home. One showed his badge and his gun, which she thought was enough. After a few moments in her home, she asked for more credentials and the men left. The woman reported it to the police station and confirmed that no officers had been assigned to visit her home.
That evening, another woman attempted to report a burglary but an “officer” showed up before she ever made the report. He apparently wrote down details about the theft, appeared fairly official, and then he left. The woman checked in with the Larimer County police department to verify the status of her report, but the department said nobody had even received a call about her home break-in, and nobody had been sent out. It is assumed that the man was part of the group that broke into the woman’s home, and was attempting to keep it off the police radar.
The Larimer County police department is very concerned by this activity, but promise residents that it can be prevented. If you get pulled over, always ask for credentials and never step out of the car until you’ve been given proper identification. If you have any doubt, call 911 and give the dispatcher your location. They will verify that it is in fact a real police officer. If not, hit the gas and go. If you have a “police officer” come to your door, always ask for identification before allowing them into your home. The LCPD promises that a legitimate police officer will understand your concerns and will not pressure you to open the door until they have provided proper information.
If you suspect that a police officer is an impersonator, take careful note of their looks, any distinguishing features (like tattoos, scars, etc.) and their clothing. If they leave when you ask for identification, make sure you know which way they were headed. All of this can help the police find the person later. Of course, your safety comes first, so do not attempt to catch the impersonator in their lie, or attempt to detain them until the real police arrive. These impersonators have become violent with multiple victims in the past, so just stay safe.
As of October 9th, there have been 8 police impersonations reported within a month in the Denver metro and northern Colorado areas- a startling number. All of them have been men, varying in race and age. The worst part is that these men usually target women, and three cases have ended in sexual assault in the month of September. Women especially need to be aware of their interactions with “police officers.” Do not pull over in an unlit, quiet area; keep driving until you’re in a gas station parking lot or in a high traffic area. Women should also be aware that even if proper identification is given, they should rely on their senses. If an “officer” makes you uncomfortable, call 911. A real cop will encourage this, an impersonator will try to avoid it or leave you alone.
One woman in Wheatridge said that these steps saved her life when a police impersonator came to her door. She told the real police that the man knocked on her door and tried to tell her that he had some information about her son, but he was in “plain clothes,” saying he was a detective. She saw his badge, but it looked fake so she locked the door and called police. He was gone by the time she got back to the door. If she had opened the door, who knows what could have happened.
It is important that you report any suspicious behavior of an officer to the LCPD, or wherever you are located. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and confirm if you’re feeling uncomfortable. Do not become another victim; you can help the real police catch these impersonators before they hurt someone else.