WACO (May 6, 2013)—A man posing as a Waco police officer on Sunday was able to stop an unsuspecting driver and steal money from the victim’s wallet.
The driver told police at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday he was driving near Gholson Road and Herring Avenue when he noticed a man waiving him to the curb as if he were a police officer, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.
The driver complied and was approached by a man wearing street clothes who had been driving a white early 80s model pick up truck that was not equipped with emergency lights.
The suspect announced himself as an officer, told the victim he was stopped because he was speeding, and asked for the driver’s license.
Swanton said the victim described the suspect as a white man, 25-30 years old, about 5-feet, 10-inches tall and 200 pounds.
The suspect was wearing khaki pants and a green shirt.
During the exchange the driver never saw a service weapon or a badge, but believed because of the suspects demeanor he was a police officer.
Swanton said the suspect went through the victim’s wallet and it was during that exchange that police believe the suspect stole cash from the victim.
The suspect then told the driver to follow him to the police station at 4th Street and Waco Drive for a background check, but as the two were driving there, the suspect was able to elude the victim in heavy traffic and disappear.
The victim went on to the police station where he flagged down a real officer and reported the incident.
As a reminder to citizens, Swanton said Waco police do use low-profile, sometimes called undercover vehicles, but those vehicles do have “extremely noticeable red and blue lighting and some low profile markings.”
“We suggest that anyone being stopped by a vehicle with no flashing red and blue lights or without markings immediately call 911 to verify and notify our dispatchers of the occurrence,” Swanton said.
“In the event that a detective or one of our unmarked vehicles is in-fact attempting a traffic stop the officer will have notified our dispatcher and that dispatcher in turn can notify the citizen it is an actual officer conducting the stop,” Swanton said.
Swanton also said anyone who might know who the suspect in the incident might be is asked to call the Waco Police Department or Crime Stoppers.