Hollister Police are looking for a male suspect who has reportedly been impersonating a cop in recent incidents in town.
On May 13, a woman called police to report she had been pulled over by a driver in an unmarked car in the area of Tres Pinos Road and Andrews Drive, according to police. The driver of the car used an emergency red light to make an enforcement stop. The woman stopped her vehicle but later drove away when she suspected the person was not a real officer.
The incident happened about 8:30am, police said. The woman further told police that the suspect’s vehicle was an older model white Ford Crown Victoria. The vehicle appeared to be a police car with black stock wheels and spotlights. The car had been following the woman’s vehicle when the Crown Victoria produced a red light for a traffic stop.
The woman pulled over. The driver of the Crown Victoria contacted her and asked for her driver’s license, according to police. The man asked her about a crime she had no knowledge of. The woman suspected he was not a real police officer and asked him to identify himself. When he refused, the woman drove away.
The resident drove to the Hollister Police Department and filed a report of the incident, according to police.
Hollister Police officers began to investigate and share the information with neighboring agencies. The Hollister Police Department does not currently have any unmarked white Crown Victoria vehicles in its fleet, according to a press release reporting the incident.
The car was further described as having tinted windows and black wheels. The driver was a white male, about 40 years old, 6 feet tall, with short blond hair, clean shaven, muscular build and wearing a black shirt, black pants and black boots, police said. Anyone with information about the location of this vehicle or suspect can call Hollister Police Sgt. Ray Celano at (831) 636-4330.
Hollister Police gave the following safety advice to motorists: If a vehicle attempting to pull you over is not a clearly marked police vehicle and you are not sure it is a real officer, slow down to show you are not trying to flee, and signal your intent to pull over; drive to a well-lit place with people around before you stop.
The press release also adds, if the officer is not in uniform, be sure to get a good look at the “officer” and his credentials. If the officer refuses to show a badge, open your window only partially and keep your car doors locked. “A real officer will understand your concern and have no problem identifying themselves,” the press release adds.
If you have a cell phone, you can call 911 and tell the operator that you have been pulled over by a suspicious person who claims to be an officer, the press release says. Tell the operator exactly where you are; the operator should be able to tell you if it’s a real officer.
All unmarked Hollister Police vehicles are equipped with emergency lights and siren, police said. The officers driving them will communicate with dispatchers before taking any enforcement action, and they will be able to identify themselves as officers.
Anyone who thinks a fake officer has attempted to pull them over should report the incident by calling 911, police added.