ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – It’s an insidious crime that undermines trust and confidence in local law enforcement – suspects passing themselves off as police are making traffic stops in north St. Louis.
“There’s two of them,” points out Major Lawrence O’Toole. “When they get (drivers) stopped, they’re robbing them.”
It happened three times in one 30-minute span overnight Tuesday, one in the 4200 block of Kingshighway and twice more on a nearby stretch of West Florissant.
In one instance, a worker was driving away from Church’s Chicken when a vehicle with “flashing lights” stopped them.
Two suspects got out of the fake police car and pointed a gun as him, demanding he hand over a bag containing the night’s deposits from the restaurant.
They also took a cell phone and car keys from the victim before leaving the scene.
In each case, the suspect vehicle was described as a black SUV with red-and-blue lights on the dashboard.
In one instance, the driver demanded to see the officers’ ID, at which point the suspects brusquely told the driver to leave without taking anything from her.
And that’s exactly what Major O’Toole says they’re recommending for anyone who’s getting pulled over and may be in doubt that it’s a legitimate traffic stop.
He says drivers can ask to see identification, and can also legally head to the nearest police station before pulling over.
Anyone who believes they know something about the police impersonators can contact the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department or call CrimeStoppers at (866) 371-TIPS…(866) 371-8477.
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