Old Police Cars Too Easy To Buy For Fake Cops

DALLAS (CBS11) – A Dallas driver told the CBS 11 I-Team he believes a man impersonating a police officer, who pulled him over, will do it again.

While driving on I-20 in Far East Dallas near Seagoville Road, Tim Sutton said he saw flashing police lights in his rearview mirror.

“Your immediate reaction is to pull over and that’s exactly what I did,” Sutton explained.

However, as the man dressed in a police uniform approached his car, Sutton said he noticed the man’s uniform looked suspicious.

“I’m 50/50 that this guy might not be a cop but he had a gun,” Sutton said. “He could shoot me dead and that would be the end of it.”

Sutton said the man was driving what appeared to be a white unmarked newer model Chevrolet Malibu with police lights.

The man told Sutton he was unmarked so he could catch reckless drivers and asked for Sutton’s license and insurance information.

“I was very worried,” Sutton said. “I was like this guy could rob me right here and leave me for dead.”

Sutton said the man told him he was letting him off with a warning.

“I don’t know what he was trying to do or what he was up to but I don’t think it was very good,” Sutton said.

The I-Team checked and confirmed law enforcement has no record of pulling Sutton over on the date in question, confirming Sutton’s suspicion that the man who stopped him was an impostor.

Sutton is not the only North Texas driver to report a suspected fake officer.

The I-Team discovered since March there have been six cases in Dallas of people impersonating a police officer. Out of those six cases, officers have arrested three men.

map 1 Old Police Cars Too Easy To Buy For Fake Cops

In April, according to police, Christian Willis, 28, was driving around near Fair Park in a black and white Ford Crown Victoria. His car had police lights and a siren. Investigators said Willis was trying to make traffic stops when officers arrested him. Willis was charged with Impersonating a Public Servant and Possession of a Prohibited Weapon.

map 3 Old Police Cars Too Easy To Buy For Fake Cops

Officers warn fake cops are a real threat and the I-Team found looking legitimate is not very tough.

The I-Team found dozens of retired law enforcement vehicles for sale in North Texas on Craigslist.

Some of the vehicles listed included working police lights and a siren.

A few even appeared to have police decals still on the vehicle.

The public sale listings of equipped law enforcement vehicles caught the attention of Rep. Craig Goldman of Fort Worth.

Last week, state lawmakers passed Goldman’s bill (HB 3223) making it illegal for anyone, including police departments and cities, to sell law enforcement vehicles without first taking off all the decals and lights.

The new law will hold a seller liable if the vehicle was ever used to in a crime.

“We are trying to prevent this before those vehicles go on Craigslist for sale,” Goldman said. “Municipalities know they have to completely decommission these cars.”

If you are ever unsure about the car trying to pull you over, law enforcement says call 911 to let dispatchers know about your concerns and let them know where you plan to pull over.

In addition, all law enforcement officers are required to carry official identification cards that you can ask to see it to confirm that they are a real officer.

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