Hernando County, Florida-- Since Monday, February 4, the Hernando County Sheriff's Department says they have received three reports of men posing as law enforcement officers in the area.
In two cases, the impersonators pulled over unsuspecting victims, and in the third, the man confronted someone in a parking lot and asked for I.D. and to search their vehicle.
See also: Man impersonation officer sought in Hernando County
According to reports, the most recent incident happened Monday evening around 5:30 at the intersection of Waterfall Dr. and Bern Ln. in Spring Hill.
A man driving a plain, white Crown Victoria with a police style spotlight, a red, flashing light on the roof and an unknown, yellow state tag pulled over a driver and conducted field sobriety exercises in the parking lot of the medical offices at Kass Cir. and Spring Hill Dr.
Reports say the suspect is a white male around the age of 45. He has brown hair, a gray mustache, stands approximately 6'1" and weighs around 220 pounds. He was last seen wearing a green polo shirt with small gold or yellow writing in one of the upper corners and dark colored pants. He did not display a weapon or law enforcement credentials.
Sheriff Al Nienhuis cautions all citizens to be careful and to use good judgment at all times. To do so, he suggests following these safety tips:
- If you are being pulled over by someone you believe may be impersonating a law enforcement officer, call 9-1-1 and advise the operator what is happening (provide your location). The operator can verify the validity of the traffic stop
- If you are pulled over, please obtain a good vehicle description and/or tag number (without putting yourself in danger to do so). Remember cell phones have cameras!
- Drive at or below the speed limit - do not speed away.
- If you do not have access to a cell phone, drive to a well lit or more populated area before pulling over.
See also: Wisconsin deputy arrested for impersonating Spring Hill officer
- Never change locations at the request of the law enforcement officer. A legitimate law enforcement officer will not ask or direct you to do this.
- Do not give your personal information/identification to anyone unless you are certain they are a certified/bona fide law enforcement officer. Only roll your window down approximately two inches in order to engage in conversation and ask to see an officer's/deputy's credentials. If in doubt, call the Sheriff's Office.
- Do NOT step out of the safety of your vehicle if you are uncertain of the person's identity who has pulled you over.
- Please do not call 9-1-1 to report every white Crown Victoria that you see.
- Please just call to report suspicious vehicles, questionable traffic stops, and/or other suspicious activity.
At this time, detectives say they are working diligently to investigate numerous leads and to develop additional leads.
They will continue to work to determine if any of these cases are related or if these individuals are simply "copycatting" from articles they have seen in the media.
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