Reports of fake cop prompt warning
Police say man has pulled over women near campus
Authorities are warning of a police impostor who is targeting women near the Gonzaga University campus.
After a student told police she’d been pulled over last week by a uniformed man who claimed to be a police officer, four other women reported similar incidents, including one in north Spokane and one in the lower Logan Neighborhood, police said Friday.
No violence has been reported, but police are concerned the man’s behavior may escalate, said Tom Michaud, crime analyst for the Spokane Police Department.
The first incident occurred Sept. 4 in the 800 block of East Sharp Avenue. A woman was getting in her car in a dorm parking lot when a man pulled up in a car and asked for her vehicle documentation. He rummaged through her car’s glove box but said he would only give her a warning.
Then on Sept. 28, a woman said she stopped her car for a man in a vehicle with flashing lights at East Nora Avenue and North Ruby Street. She thought the man was a police officer; he told her to get out of her car, asked for her documentation “and indicated that he wanted her to do a light check because her tail light was out,” according to a bulletin by Spokane police.
On Oct. 5, a woman said she stopped for an SUV with blue and red flashing lights at North Cincinnati Street and East Desmet Avenue. A man told her she failed to stop for a pedestrian, then asked for her insurance card. The man also had the woman open her car trunk “in an attempt to look up her skirt,” police said.
Then on Wednesday, a woman said she was stopped at North Nevada Street and East St. Thomas More Way by a man who said she wasn’t wearing her seat belt and asked for her vehicle documentation. The woman said the man “was staring at her legs and made her feel very uncomfortable,” according to a police bulletin.
Also Wednesday, a woman said she was stopped by the same man at North Hamilton Street and East Spokane Falls Boulevard. The man asked her to exit the car and look at her license plate, police said.
The man is described as in his 30s or 40s with a stocky build and dark blond or brown buzzed/spiked hair. He appears about 5-foot-10 or 6 feet tall and wears a dark, two-piece uniform and gun belt, but no weapon has been reported. The uniform may have a “Sheriff” logo on the back, police said.
The man’s car is described as a newer model (2007 to 2009) tan SUV or Cadillac Escalade with a possible light bar in the top front window.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233. Police remind citizens to be cautious and encourage anyone who is suspicious of an officer to call 911 to verify his or her identity.