RCMP say a police impersonator stopped at least one driver near Lumby a few days before a similar incident happened in the Midway, B.C., area.
On March 13 at 9 p.m., a motorist was travelling along Highway 6 between Vernon and Lumby when a white vehicle described as an SUV or pickup truck pulled in behind them and activated red and blue lights, police said.
“The motorist pulled over to the side of the road and a man approached the driver’s side window with a flashlight,” Cpl. Tania Finn said in a news release.
“After a brief conversation, the male suspect returned to the white vehicle and turned off the red and blue lights,” she said.
RCMP said that they were told the suspect appeared to be in the process of stopping another vehicle on Highway 6 near Dure Meadows Road in Lumby.
Officers are interested in speaking with that driver or anyone else in the area who had a similar experience.
The male suspect is described as being of average height and weight, with dirty blonde hair and wearing a white button-down shirt and black or dark blue khaki-style pants.
The description appears to be similar to the suspect in the Westbridge police impersonation incident that was reported on Sunday around 8:30 p.m.
RCMP said in that case, an alleged police impersonator followed a victim for a short distance, activated a set of red and blue lights and approached the driver’s vehicle with a flashlight.
The driver distracted the suspect and was able to flee safely, according to police.
RCMP said police impersonators are usually quite rare. However, incidents have recently been reported in both the Lower Mainland and Prince George.
Suspects were arrested in both cases, and RCMP believe they are unrelated.
Police advise citizens who at any time believe they are being stopped by a non-legitimate police vehicle to do the following:
- slow down and drive in a safe manner to the nearest well-lit, populated area.
- lock all doors, pull over safely and leave your vehicle running.
“If you have a cellular phone, take it out immediately, hold it in full view of the person who has pulled you over and call 911,” Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said in a news release.
Drivers should give the 911 operator their location, express their concern and ask the dispatcher if they have had any communication with a police officer about a traffic stop in the area, he added.
“Ask them to relay your concerns to that law enforcement officer,” O’Donaghey said.
It’s also important to tell the person appearing to be an officer through a cracked window and locked door that you plan to co-operate but have heard about police impersonators, he said.
Anyone with information relating to these cases is asked to contact Lumby RCMP at 250-547-2151 or Midway RCMP at 250-449-2244.