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Trail RCMP seeking public help in locating police impersonator

Trail RCMP say a motorist on Highway 3B saw a white pickup truck activate red and blue lights, but said the truck did not look like a typical RCMP vehicle. Global News

On the heels of two separate reports of someone imitating a police officer in the Okanagan comes a third not far from the region.

On Saturday, RCMP in Trail issued a statement requesting public help in locating a white truck with red and blue lights in the grill.

Police say during the early hours of Friday, March 26, a motorist saw a westbound truck on Highway 3B activate its red and blue lights.

Read more: RCMP issue warning after police impersonator pulls over vehicle on Highway 33

RCMP say the motorist, travelling east towards Trail, told them that the truck did not look like a typical police vehicle.

Trail RCMP said officers searched the area on the highway, as well as surrounding areas near Trail, but didn’t find a vehicle that matched the description.

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“Although the truck did not turn around and follow the motorist in this case, there have been reports of similar incidents recently in other nearby areas and we are asking the public for their assistance in identifying this vehicle,” said Trail RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich.

In the Okanagan, two similar incidents were reported to the police.

Last Sunday evening, a motorist on Highway 33 between Rock Creek and Kelowna was pulled over by a police impersonator. Police said the impersonator had red and blue lights installed in the vehicle’s grill.

Click to play video: 'RCMP warn drivers that a police impersonator has been reported on Highway 33' RCMP warn drivers that a police impersonator has been reported on Highway 33
RCMP warn drivers that a police impersonator has been reported on Highway 33 – Mar 23, 2021

“The victim pulled to the side of the roadway and the suspect driver approached his vehicle carrying a flashlight.”

“Although the victim was ordered to exit his vehicle during the interaction, he trusted his instincts, distracted the suspect and managed to flee towards Kelowna,” said RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.

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That report sparked another Okanagan resident to come forward, stating they were pulled over on Highway 6 between Vernon and Lumby on the evening of March 13.

“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.

Click to play video: 'RCMP: Second reported fake traffic stop near Lumby' RCMP: Second reported fake traffic stop near Lumby
RCMP: Second reported fake traffic stop near Lumby – Mar 24, 2021

Police are advising 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,” said O’Donaghey.

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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.

Meanwhile, Trail RCMP say they are continuing to investigate and are asking the public if they have any information on this vehicle or have seen or experienced anything similar to call them at 250-364-2566.

Click to play video: 'Man arrested for impersonating police officer, using unmarked vehicle' Man arrested for impersonating police officer, using unmarked vehicle
Man arrested for impersonating police officer, using unmarked vehicle – Jan 20, 2021

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