Friday, June 1, 2007
Don't Be a Victim: Fake Cop
We've all heard the horror stories -- someone injured or robbed by someone posing as a police officer. But you don't have to be a victim. 7's Tom Haynes has tips on what to look for.
WSVN -- You're driving down the road, listening to your favorite tunes and then ... busted.
Police: "License and registration please."
But stop right there before you roll down that window and turn over your license.
Do you know for sure that is really a police officer?
Demetrio Marin: "I feel bad. She lied to me. I feel like a fool."
Demetrio Marin of Pompano Beach thought he was being stopped by a real police officer.
He realized his mistake after she frisked him and took $600.
Sgt. Javier Bruzos: "Police officers are there in a position to really help people, but, at the same time, there is that criminal element which takes advantage of the situation."
But don't be a victim.
Sgt. Bruzos of Coral Gables police says there are four things to keep in mind if you are stopped.
Number one: Watch how they act.
Sgt. Javier Bruzos: "If the police officer or the person posing as a police officer is acting in a questionable manner."
Sgt. Bruzos says if you get a bad feeling, call 911.
Sgt. Javier Bruzos: "You should get on the phone, and let the operator know what is going on."
Tell the 911 operator your exact location; they can verify if it is not a legitimate officer and send help immediately.
If an officer in an unmarked car without a uniform stops you, know what to look for.
Sgt. Javier Bruzos: "They will have a badge. They will also carry an ID. They can also carry a handgun. Ask them to identify themselves to look at the ID to make sure they are who they claim.
And finally know what they should and should not ask for.
Sgt. Javier Bruzos: "If they are asking you for bank cards for credit cards, cash things of that nature, that should raise a red flag."
Sgt. Bruzos says if you are alone in the car make sure you pull over to a well-lit, well-populated area.