Monday, December 31, 2012
Steamboat Springs Police in Hayden are investigating two recent reports of people impersonating police officers.
Hayden Police Chief Gordon Booco said Monday that the most recent incident occurred at about 8 p.m. Sunday, when a 17-year-old girl told police she was pulled over by a vehicle not driven by law enforcement on U.S. Highway 40 in Routt County a few miles west of Hayden.
The girl was driving east when a driver behind her started flashing the car's headlights.
Booco said the driver then pulled over behind the girl's car on the side of the road but turned around after traffic approached on the highway.
The girl reported the car that pulled her over was a reddish color.
“She was very shaken up by it,” Booco said. “It was very concerning.”
Police also are investigating another report of a man who was impersonating an officer at a residence in Hayden on Thursday night.
Booco said a woman told police the next day that a man wearing a uniform knocked on her door at about 6 p.m. and told her she had to go with him because she had an outstanding warrant.
“He didn't necessarily look official or act official, and she knew she didn't have a warrant,” Booco said.
The woman described the man to police as large, American Indian with long braided black hair.
She said the man flashed a badge and was wearing a full duty belt and a uniform that appeared to belong to an immigration official or a city cop.
He then left in a vehicle described as a blue Chevy Tahoe.
Police called immigration officials after the report and were unable to identify anyone who matched the man's description.
Booco said anyone who doubts they are being approached by a real officer or being pulled over by law enforcement can call Routt County dispatch at 970-879-1090 to report the situation and determine whether law enforcement officers are in the area.
Booco added that drivers who are being pulled over by law enforcement on a highway at night can slowly make their way to a safe, lighted area before pulling over and not be charged with eluding.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com