CIRCLEVILLE - City police are warning residents to be on guard after at least three reports of a man impersonating a Circleville Police officer.
The first incident occurred on June 12, according to Chief Shawn Baer, when a resident reported a dark-colored vehicle following them on Pontious Lane. When the caller pulled into the driveway, the vehicle parked on the street, and an older white male exited the car.
According to reports, the male approached and yelled at the caller for speeding, Baer said. He was described as wearing a suit with a badge on his belt. The man then got back in his car and left.
On June 14, city police received information that a Ross County resident reported being stopped by a person in a dark-colored, unmarked car who accused them of speeding. The man was described as wearing law enforcement apparel, and he reportedly scolded the driver for speeding, then left.
The same dark-colored, unmarked sedan was reported in a third incident June 16, Baer said, in which another person was pulled over by a man appearing to be a law enforcement officer. The victim was told to get out of the vehicle and step away while the male searched the car. Following the search, he handed the victim a business card belonging to an actual Circleville Police officer, and then allowed the victim to leave. The victim also reported money had been taken from the vehicle during the search.
Baer said the Circleville Police Department does not own any dark-colored vehicles, and it is illegal in Ohio to conduct a traffic stop in an unmarked car.
If a resident believes they are being followed by this person or are signaled to pull over for a traffic stop by anything other than a clearly marked police car, Baer said the best course of action would be to drive calmly and safely to the Circleville Police Department or use a cell phone to contact the department at 740-474-8888.
The information is being shared for public safety, Baer said, and the incidents remain under investigation.