TEMECULA (CBSLA.com) — Authorities in Temecula are looking for the person, or persons, impersonating police officers.
The Sheriff’s Department issued a statement saying that on at least two occasions on Monday, drivers were ordered out of their vehicles by someone posing as a law enforcement agent.
The first incident occurred around 6:45 p.m. at the intersection of Lakehouse Road and Harveston Drive. The second incident was reported around 8:40 p.m. in the 31000 block of Sonoma Lane.
In each incident, a person posing as an officer used a loudspeaker and demanded the driver get out of vehicle and lay on the ground.
The suspect’s car is reportedly obscured by a bright and unknown light source.
After both motorists complied and got on the ground, the suspect sped off. In both incidents, the victims were unable to provide a good description of the suspect vehicle but said they believed two people were involved.
Reporting for KCAL9, Crystal Cruz spoke to Temecula residents about this strange crime.
“Any sort of neighborhood could be suspect to wrong doing. Just keep your eyes out and open at all times,” said Chad Nell.
He doesn’t believe he would have fallen victim to the phony police officers.
“I’ve been around the block,” Nell said, “so I don’t think I would fall prey to that personally, but I could see how an average, everyday person could.”
Temecula residents were also scratching their heads about the suspects just fleeing.
“I have no idea why someone would do that,” said resident Joe Sedivy, “and then just drive away? Pretty interesting.”
Temecula Police want residents to take the following safety precautions and/or remember the following:
• Emergency lighting equipment is generally permanently affixed to police vehicles.
• Law enforcement officers are required by law to wear identifying insignia, such as a uniform, badge, or other clear markings identifying which agency they represent.
• If you are stopped by law enforcement, remain in your vehicle and wait for the officer to approach.
• Try to avoid loitering in dark, isolated areas during night hours.
• If you must remain in your parked vehicle for an extended period of time, try to find a lighted and populated area.
• Report any suspicious persons or suspicious activity to local law enforcement.
If you have any information about these, or similar incidents, you’re asked to call the Temecula Police Department at (951) 696-3000.