CIRCLEVILLE – The Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a new report of a dangerous encounter with a police impersonator on Monday.
According to Lt. Dale Parish, a 19-year-old female reported she was briefly abducted and her car was stolen by a pair of people claiming to be law enforcement officers.
The Sheriff’s dispatch center received a 911 call about 8:45 a.m. Monday from the female who claimed she was pulled over at state Route 207 and Mouser Road for speeding.
The victim reported a white male, about 5′ 10″ tall, was driving a black or dark-colored Ford Focus or Ford Fusion with lights on the dashboard. The vehicle, however, was not marked as a law enforcement vehicle. There was also reportedly a passenger in the vehicle, described as a shorter white male with a heavier build.
The first male reportedly approached the victim’s vehicle and stated he was a police officer on his way to work, but he would not show any identification. He then claimed he would have to take her in for violations, and he had the victim sit in the back seat of his car.
The passenger stayed with the victim’s vehicle, according to the PCSO, and the driver pulled away from the scene of the traffic stop. The victim again asked to see his identification, but when he refused, she reportedly fled the vehicle when she found an opportunity and went to a nearby relative’s home.
The victim’s vehicle was located about two miles from the site of the traffic stop, where it had been abandoned.
“We want to make sure everyone knows not to pull over for an unmarked vehicle, even if it has lights on the dashboard,” Parish said. “To perform a traffic stop, an officer has to be in a legally marked vehicle with lights.”
Parish said if residents encounter a questionable situation, they should call 911 immediately from a cell phone and report the incident.
“If they are concerned and don’t have a cell phone handy, they should drive to the nearest police station or the sheriff’s office,” Parish said.
Monday’s incident remains under investigation by the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office. Three earlier reported incidents remain under investigation by the Circleville Police Department.
An additional report of a man impersonating an officer is currently being investigated in Ross County, Parish said.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal