A man dressed like a Wayne County deputy sheriff in Ohio has been pulling over drivers while posing as a cop and “essentially trying to lure women,” officials said.
The fake cop has stopped at least three different people in the last week while wearing what looks like a uniform with the words “Sheriff” printed across his chest, Capt. Doug Hunter of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.
“The person is pulling people over, asking them some questions and so forth and essentially trying to lure women … asking them to step out of the car,” Hunter said, adding that the man quickly quit one stop when he realized the driver was another male.
Hunter said the suspect was spotted driving a dark sedan with a spotlight and red and blue lights in the visor. He may also be wearing a body camera.
Hunter told 3News in Cleveland that police think the suspect may have more nefarious intentions.
“We can only speculate that that might lead to some type of an abduction or a sexual assault or something of that nature,” Hunter said.
“So it’s very concerning and we’re going to be following up on all the leads that come in to try to bring this person to justice.”
One of the potential victims, Tabitha King, told News 5 that the suspect pulled her over last week on her way home from the gym.
She said the faux cop asked her several questions but never requested her license and registration.
The Wayne County Courthouse in Wooster, Ohio. AP
“He asked me if I had a weapon in the vehicle, which I thought was an odd first question,” King said.
“Then he wanted me to get out of the car and inspect my headlights to see if they were working, which I thought was very off. I immediately said, ‘No, I am not getting out of the car.’ He then wanted my phone and asked me to hand over my phone.”
When her husband called, the suspect began probing into her personal life.
“[He] asked me if I was going to answer that call,” the mother of three said. “Was someone expecting me, did I live close by?”
She said she did, and the fake cop immediately fled the scene.
“I felt like something was wrong,” she told the network. “Trust your gut. There was a reason why I felt the way I did.”
Hunter said unmarked cars don’t usually pull motorists over — especially for minor traffic infractions.
“Almost always, marked cars are used for traffic enforcement,” Hunter said.