DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado police agencies are seeing an increase in police impersonators pulling drivers over amid the governor’s stay-at-home order.
“It’s frightening. It’s very frightening because we don’t really know what their intentions are. We don’t know who they are. We realize it’s scary for the community and it’s also very alarming for us,” Crystal McCoy, Public Information Officer with the Aurora Police Department said.
On the morning of March 27, several residents in Greeley reported to the Greeley Police Department that they were waved through a fake roadblock and questioned for “violating the COVID-19 law.”
The drivers said men were wearing reflective vests and told the drivers they could face a citation. This happened around 5 a.m. on the West end of Greeley, near the Promontory community.
Greeley Police said no GPD officers, Weld County Sheriff Deputies or Colorado State Troopers conducted these traffic stops.
On March 27, the Erie Police Department received a report of a possible police impersonator.
A woman was on her way to work at 7 a.m. when she was pulled over by a black vehicle with flashing emergency lights on East County Line Road near Moffat Street.
The driver asked where she was going and then told her to return home due to Colorado’s Stay-at-Home order. The man then reportedly followed her to her residence before leaving the area.
Erie PD and Boulder County Law Enforcement confirmed there were no traffic stops conducted in that location during that time period.
On March 25, around midnight a woman was pulled over by a dark colored Ford Crown Victoria equipped with red and blue emergency lights near East 6th Avenue and Havana Street.
“She was approached by what she described was a well-groomed young man, 6-foot-tall, 150 pounds and he was wearing a pressed uniform. She did take note though he did not have a badge or patches or name tag,” McCoy said.
The man questioned why she was out during the Stay-at-Home order.
“He did ask her for her driver’s license and she gave it to him. He gave it back and told her she was free to leave,” McCoy said. “That’s the most concerning thing. It has her name, potentially her current address, her date of birth other things on there.It is scary that someone else has them and we don’t know what they’re up to in this.”
McCoy said Aurora Police is in contact with Erie Police and Greeley PD to see if there are any similarities in the cases.
Aurora police say it’s important to note they are not pulling random cars over to question drivers about where they’re going, or demand drivers provide proof that they’re an essential employee.
“Follow your senses to keep yourself safe,” McCoy said.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, police say it’s best to acknowledge the stop by activating your hazards, drive to the nearest police or fire station (or a public location) and call 911.
The dispatcher will be able to talk with you and verify if it is a legitimate traffic stop.