YREKA, Calif. – Police in Northern California are warning the public after a reported incident involving two people impersonating officers.
The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 26, a driver traveling on County Road A-12 east of Grenada was pulled over by a white vehicle with flashing red and white lights.
Two males reportedly got out of the white vehicle and approached the driver. One of them had a handgun drawn.
Deputies said after one of the men tried to forcibly remove the victim from her vehicle, she sped away. However, the male with the handgun shot the vehicle twice. There were no injuries reported.
The male with the handgun was reportedly wearing a hat, a mask, gloves and a jacket with a star on the chest that looked like a sheriff’s department patch. He also had a tattoo under his right eye. The victim couldn’t provide a detailed description of the other suspect due to darkness.
The sheriff’s office said, “The SCSO understands this is a very serious and alarming situation. We want to provide information on what to look for and information on what to do if motorists find themselves getting “pulled over” by a vehicle they suspect may not be a legitimate law enforcement officer.”
Deputies provided the following tips:
- If possible, look for markers on the vehicle that indicate its law enforcement, such as a law enforcement star on the side of the door.
- Acknowledge you see the emergency lights by turning on your blinker or your hazard lights and reduce your speed.
- Call 911 if you think it may not be a legitimate law enforcement officer. Ask the dispatcher if there is a law enforcement officer conducting a traffic stop in your area.
- Consider pulling over in a well-lit and/or well-populated area. Good examples of areas to pull over are near gas stations, businesses or anywhere you see several civilians.
- If the motorist pulls over and is being approached look for clearly marked law enforcement attire such as a badge, agency patch, a name plate etc.
The sheriff’s office said they do use unmarked patrol vehicles with low-profile lights, but they only use them during special operations.
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