Stopped by an imposter cop? Here’s what Cherry Hill, NJ, Police say you should do.
There have been multiple reports of bogus cops pulling over New Jersey motorists in recent weeks. Getting pulled over can be a stressful situation under any circumstances. When you're not sure if the guy pulling you over is a real cop, it can be terrifying.
In two of these recent cases, the imposter assaulted the women he pulled over.
On August 16, a woman was pulled over by a a man in a white Ford van on Route 38 in Cherry Hill. She said the van had red and blue flashing lights in the grill. The man was wearing a blue t-shirt with the words "POLICE." When he got to her window, she says he reached inside and grabbed for her neck. Fortunately, she avoided his attack, and sped away.
A bogus cop also pulled over drivers in Brick and Wall Townships earlier this month. In one of those incidents, the female victim says the man who stopped her tried to drag her out of her vehicle. She also was able to drive away.
Police tell 6ABC they are now trying to figure out if these three incidents are connected.
Cherry Hill Police says it is not uncommon for motorists to be pulled over by an unmarked police car or a plain clothes officer. However, that officer should have his badge on full display and should present their ID card if requested. The lack of a badge may be your first indicator something is wrong.
Police posted on Facebook the following guide on what you should do if you think you are being pulled over by an imposter cop:
- Slow down, put your hazards on, and signal to the officer with a wave that you are aware of their presence.
- Pull over into a well-lit area- preferably one with people around- such as a shopping center, parking lot, convenience store, etc.
- Call Cherry Hill Police Dispatch at 856-665-1200 and inform them that you believe you are being pulled over by a police impersonator. They have records of every stop and will be able to confirm if you are being pulled over by a legitimate police officer or an impersonator.
- Stay on the phone with Dispatch during the encounter.
- Roll your window just enough to where you are able to speak with whomever is outside your vehicle.
- Keep your doors locked.
- Do not roll your window down completely until you are comfortable.
- Observe any defining characteristics of the possible impersonator, including facial hair, clothing, tattoos, scars, etc. Additionally, attempt to get the make/model of the vehicle, and the license plate.