BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. – The Blue Springs Police Department says a man is behind bars, accused of falsely impersonating law enforcement officers.
Police said he made at least one traffic stop in the area, and they think there could have been more.
A woman who was pulled over by a man pretending to be an officer is infuriated and filed a police report to warn others. Police said her detailed description of the situation helped bring him into custody.
“Any situation when you have someone impersonating being a police officer, stopping someone could potentially be very dangerous,” Sgt. Brandon Claxton said.
Claxton is a real cop with a formal badge, unlike the man officers said impersonated an officer along 40 highway from Blue Springs to Grain Valley.
“If you’re getting stopped and you’re not sure if it’s an actual officer, call 911,” Claxton said.
Police said the man acted after dark and actually pulled over a woman using flashing blue lights.
The suspect claimed to be officer Barton with Grain Valley police, but their department doesn’t have anyone by that name.
“If someone impersonates a police officer, it is a criminal charge,” Claxton said.
The suspect was charged with falsely impersonating an officer and third-degree kidnapping. Police said that’s because he temporarily held the woman there and took her ID back to his car.
“That is pretty terrifying, now he knows all of her information and where she lives,” Ashely Sparkman said.
The suspect was described as a man, approximately 25 years old, standing at 5-foot-8, medium build, blonde hair with a shaggy beard, and wearing a traffic-type vest or jacket.
The department said he was driving an SUV or truck with blue lights, and individuals have been pulled over after dark, making it hard to describe.
“Missouri doesn’t require that a police vehicle be marked,” Claxton said. “We have many officers, detectives that are plain clothes. Detectives they have lights and sirens in their vehicle. They can stop cars.”
Overland Park police told FOX4 officers driving unmarked cars in Kansas can also make traffic stops, but officers will always be in uniform, unless it’s a detective with a badge.
“If you’re unsure if it’s an actual police officer and you call 911,” Claxton said, “I would slow down. Put on my hazards. Continuing driving so they don’t think you’re running from them.”
If you’re stopped, Claxton said lock the doors, crack the window and ask to see identification. A real officer should understand your concern.
Police are asking anyone who may have experienced this within the last six months to contact detective Lange with Blue Springs police at 816-228-0102 or Public Information Officer Jennifer Brady at 816-220-2630.