Police: Man poses as undercover officer, pulls woman over - KPTV - FOX 12

Police: Man poses as undercover officer, pulls woman over

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Portland police are trying to identify a man who posed as an undercover police officer, pulled a woman over and searched her car.

The victim, who does not want to be publicly identified, said she stopped at the Plaid Pantry located at Southeast Grand Avenue and East Burnside Street early Sunday morning to pick up some cigarettes for a friend. A man started talking to her after she walked out the door to head back to her car, she said.

"And he told me that I was pretty and wanted to get my number," the woman said. "And I was just kind of like 'Ha ha, you know, maybe next time.' And then he kind of just lightly touched my hand."

The woman didn't know then that someone else was watching her.

She said she jumped on Interstate 5 north a few blocks away. She noticed something strange out of her side and rearview mirrors after getting off the freeway. The driver was flashing his headlights, honking his horn and flashing what appeared to be a bright light from a cell phone, she said. She thought the driver was trying to get her attention.

"It kind of freaked me out because it was like the middle of the night, and I realized this person was following me," the woman said.

The woman said she tried to lose the man, but it didn't work.

She pulled over near a friend's home in North Portland to confront the driver, she said.

The man got out, flashed a badge, and told her he was an undercover police officer, the woman said. He then made up some story about working on a sting involving the man that stopped her outside the convenience store along East Burnside Street and accused her of trying to buy drugs, she added.

"I was like 'I didn't buy any drugs from him.' Like 'I'm not on drugs, don't do drugs.' You know, 'Feel free to search my car,'" the woman said. "And he goes, 'Oh, you give me permission to search your car?' I was like 'Yeah, go ahead.'"

The woman said the man asked her if she had any warrants, took her driver's license and went back to his car as if he was checking it. He also searched through her car and purse, she said. She saw him put something in his pocket.

The woman said she didn't realize until the next morning that $20 was missing from her wallet.

"He seemed super-confident the whole time," the woman said. "Like 'Stay at the front of the vehicle, ma'am.' You know, just like police would."

The woman described the man as white, in his late 40s or early 50s, short in stature with a thin build and a very distinct lisp. He was driving a white, boxy, older-style car like a Buick, the woman said. 

The woman wasn't physically hurt, but she said she probably should have called 911 right away instead of trying to confront the man. 

"Not until the next day when I was like 'Wow, that wasn't really a cop.'... I thought about how much worse it could have been," the woman said.

The woman said she asked the man for a business card but he never gave her one.

If you have any information about the case, call the Portland Police Bureau. 

Portland police say legitimate police officers rarely pull someone over in an unmarked car or without official lights. Also, all legitimate police officers will have a badge and photo identification from their issuing agency to identify themselves as sworn police officers.

If you suspect that someone is impersonating a police officer, call 911 right away. 

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