WARNING: Blue light bandit operating in Plymouth area

Published: Jan. 14, 2020 at 11:11 AM EST
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Police in one Eastern Carolina town are warning people to watch out for a blue light bandit after a woman was stopped this morning by an armed fake cop.

Plymouth police say they've received a report of a person impersonating a police officer in the town. Investigator Frank Mitchell said it happened on Monroe Street near US 64 around 3:45 a.m.Tuesday.

Mitchell says an older model white car, possibly a Ford Taurus, activated blue lights on its dash on U.S. 64. The woman, who was in her late 20s or early 30s pulled onto Monroe Street.

The woman told police that the tall white man had a gun on his side. He is described as being bald with a short red beard and wearing all brown clothing.

The phony officer started asking the woman questions about a person that lived in her house and that he had been watching her house for two weeks.

When asked to identify himself with a badge, the man told the woman to "hold on", walked back to the car and took off. Police say he was last seen on U.S. 64 headed toward Williamston.

Police say if you are stopped by an unmarked vehicle with flashing blue lights here are some safety reminders:

* If you are in a dark area and do not feel safe, turn on your hazard lights, and call 911 on your cell phone and confirm that there is an actual officer attempting to stop you.

* If you don't have a cell phone, slow down, turn on your hazard lights and stop at the first well-lit area.

* It is completely permissible to record the traffic stop, as long as it does not stop you from complying with the officers instructions. All Plymouth Police Department officers wear bodycams that record their actions.

* If there is a question in your mind that the person that has stopped you is not a law enforcement officer, ask for another officer to respond.

Plymouth police say all of their officers are required to show their badges and identify themselves. No legitimate officer would have a problem providing reasonable ID when requested, according to police.

Police say to call 911 and report anything that looks suspicious.

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