Sheriff: Wannabe police officer stopping people in Kershaw County
Thu, 21 Feb 2013 23:52:33 GMT —
KERSHAW COUNTY (WACH) - The Kershaw County Sheriff's Office is warning people who live in the area to watch out for a man pretending to be a police officer.
Drivers are on edge after deputies say the man pulled over three people along US-1 in one week.
Sheriff Jim Matthews says the first incident happened last weekend. The man pulled over a woman, asked for personal information, and made inappropriate comments to her.
Matthews says there have been two other cases involving male drivers along the same stretch of road.
"We don't know that this person is targeting just women," said Matthews. "We think he is kind of a wannabe police officer and he likes to make stops on people he doesn't agree with their driving."
Matthews says the suspect is a white man driving a small SUV that is different from deputy vehicles. He adds that he doesn't know yet what makes people think the man is an officer.
"If he's using a blue light, that strengthens our case that he's impersonating a police officer. When our officers make a traffic stop, whether they are in a marked vehicle or unmarked vehicle, they have a lot of blue lights that are professionally installed. There should be no mistake that it's an official police car. They also call in all of their traffic stops," said Matthews.
Eric Martin, a Camden man who works for the Unites States Postal Service, drives on US-1 for work everyday.
"It's shocking for someone to be impersonating a police officer when these people are putting their lives on the line to protect us everyday," said Camden resident Eric Martin.
Martin says he sees unmarked cars "cruising up and down the streets" during his commute.
Sheriff Matthews says people should pay close attention while driving.
"If the unmarked car stops you and the officer gets out, is he wearing a uniform or not? If he's not wearing a uniform, is he wearing a badge? Don't roll your window all the way down. Ask to see identification," said Matthews. He urges people to keep driving until they find a well lit area to pull over and call 911 to verify the officer's name.
Matthews says they do have a person of interest, but do not have enough information to charge him yet.