An alert citizen has made authorities aware of a person using a vehicle posing as a police car that tried to pull him over in Barrie's south end.
At around 11 p.m., Tuesday, a driver became suspicious of a car with flashing blue and red dash lights that tried to pull him over as he travelled southbound on Yonge Street near Mapleview Drive.
Barrie police communications co-ordinator Peter Leon told BarrieToday that the citizen’s quick-thinking allowed real officers to get the word out to other police departments in the area.
“The person felt a little odd and uncomfortable and things just weren’t adding up,” said Leon. “They called police and we were very quickly able to determine it wasn’t one of our officers and our communications reached out to OPP and South Simcoe police, who determined it wasn’t one of theirs, either.”
The driver turned into a driveway and the impostor police vehicle kept driving and, despite pulling over briefly, did not follow the citizen when they drove back in the other direction.
The impostor police vehicle was determined to be a 2011-2014 black Dodge Charger, but the person who called it in was unable to get a description of the driver or the licence plate number.
No charges have been laid and no one has been apprehended in connection to the incident.
“The driver had said they got suspicious from the older make of the vehicle and the way the lights were operating," Leon said. "We do have older vehicles in the fleet that are fully operational, but the light system was not (like) ours. Our lights are very prominent and will be visible from all ends of the vehicle. This vehicle had the lights on the dash."
While the incident is being called isolated, drivers are reminded to know where they are travelling and, when possible, to try and stop in a well-lit area if being pulled over. Police will always stop you in an area that is safe for you and for them as well, Leon said. And whenever you feel suspicious, take precautions.
“Remember that the majority of police officers are uniformed and even when they are not, they are required to present their badge and photo ID, which will identify their name and rank as well as what service they work for,” Leon said. “If you are concerned, slow down and put your four-ways on, call 911 and get the info you need to be sure.”