Police are warning the public to be alert after a Newark woman was pulled over and frisked by a fake cop near Wilmington.
The incident happened around 9 p.m. July 14 but was not reported until later, according to Master Cpl. Michael Austin, a spokesman for Delaware State Police.
The 26-year-old woman told police she was driving on Marsh Road when she noticed an SUV with flashing blue lights behind her.
She pulled over, and the driver of the vehicle approached her window and accused her of having drugs in the car, Austin said. He removed her from the vehicle, frisked her and searched the vehicle.
He then fled the scene without taking anything from the car.
The police impersonator was described as a bald, muscular, black man wearing a dark blue uniform with a yellow stripe down each pant leg. He was driving an unmarked dark blue SUV with a blue light bar on the roof.
The man did not identify himself or claim to be with any particular police agency, but the description of his uniform and vehicle resembles that of the Delaware State Police.
It’s not clear what prompted the victim to report the incident after the fact.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Cpl. D. Hudak at Troop 1 by calling 302-660-4300. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware crime stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at http://www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com.
Austin released the following safety tips for motorists who are concerned when pulled over by an unmarked vehicle:
• Put on your flashers, drive the speed limit and call 911 from your cell phone. Tell the 911 dispatcher that you are concerned. If you do not have a cell phone, drive to a well-lit, busy area, such as the parking lot of a busy store.
• Do not stop your vehicle or get out of your vehicle until a dispatcher can confirm you are being pulled over by a legitimate police officer.
• If the dispatcher cannot confirm that you are being pulled over by a police officer, stay on the line with the dispatcher. Drive carefully to a safe place, such as a local police department.
• If you are issued documents that may be suspicious, contact the issuing agency about their legitimacy.
• Report anything that you believe to be suspicious or just does not seem right.
• Trust your gut
• See something – say something