People posing as police; stopping carsPosted: Updated:
Walla Walla Police are investigating 3 separate complaints from the weekend of suspects pretending to be law enforcement officers. Police say the posers were using dash mounted red and blue emergency style lights to stop vehicles.
Description of the vehicle varied from a silver Toyota Camry to a white "larger vehicle" to a green vehicle. The last 3 digits of the license plate were given by one witness as SGB. Aside from the emergency lights, it is possible the vehicle may have also had a siren. Descriptions of the suspects ranged from being "several kids" to 2 Hispanic males wearing casual clothing.
The incidents took place in the areas of Chase and Poplar, Chase and Willard, and Clinton and Pearson Saturday night.
In all of the incidents, contact was either not made by the suspects or it was of short duration before speeding off. There were no weapons displayed or threats to the victims during any of the encounters.
Local law enforcement urges citizens to use caution and common sense when being stopped by an unmarked law enforcement vehicle. All local agencies utilize some unmarked vehicles by officers. While the vast majority of officers making traffic stops will be in uniform, Detectives and administrative staff may not. If the purported law enforcement vehicle doesn't look right, try to stop in an area where there is other traffic, lock your doors, and open the window only far enough to speak to the officer until you feel confident with their identity. There is nothing wrong with asking an officer to see their police identification if they are not wearing a department uniform. If pulled over at night, try to stop in a well lit and well traveled area. If concerned about their identity, ask to call their dispatch center to confirm it or ask if you can follow them to the nearest law enforcement agency, within reason.
Walla Walla Police strongly urge anybody with information about these incidents to please contact the police department at 527-4434 or dispatch after 5:00 p.m. at 527-1960.