Be aware: Georgia sheriff warns of law enforcement officer impersonator

Be aware: Georgia sheriff warns of law enforcement officer impersonator
Law enforcement officer impersonator suspect sketch

MERIWETHER COUNTY, Ga. — Authorities are warning people about a law enforcement officer impersonator who has already targeted at least two people.

The Meriwether County sheriff released a sketch of the suspect earlier this month.

Sheriff Chuck Smith said that the suspect pulled over a woman driving along Whitehouse Parkway in Warm Springs on Feb. 2. The woman said the man was driving a black Dodge Charger with dark tinted windows, possibly black in color rims, with a blue and red flashing light on the dash.

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The victim said he was about approximately 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall, stocky build, short brown hair, clean shaven and wearing khaki pants and a grey t-shirt.

The man approached the woman’s car and told her that their was a registration issue with her car, the sheriff said.

Once the woman said that she had the proper paperwork, authorities said the suspect told her that he was just giving a warning. He then got back into his car and headed in the direction of Warm Springs.

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About a week later on Feb. 10, another woman driver said a car similar to the first incident pulled her over on Woodbury Highway about 5 miles east of Greenville, Georgia.

The victim told authorities that the man, around the same height and weighing about 200 pounds and wearing a black or dark blue jacket with a shield style emblem embroidered on the chest of the jacket, a tan in color button down shirt and khaki pants approached her car.

The man told the driver that she had some equipment violations with a trailer that she was pulling, authorities said. He then took the woman’s driver’s license and walked toward the rear of the trailer. The woman said the suspect then returned her driver’s license and told her that he was giving her a warning and for her to get the issue fixed immediately. She said the suspect then returned to his car and left heading back toward Greenville.

“We are asking for the public’s help in seeking information that may possibly identify the subject in these incidents. If anyone saw or knows of any information related to these two events or if anyone has been stopped in a similar manner that has not notified law enforcement, we are asking you to contact us. Please contact our investigators at 706-672-6647 or 706-775-8326 if anyone has any additional information. Call 911 in emergencies. We have been and will continue to explore all of our investigative avenues to locate and identify this individual,” Smith said.

General Safety Tips:

Law Enforcement Agencies are required by Georgia Code to have their patrol vehicles visually marked that identifies them as such. This includes but is not limited too; lettering, blue lights, etc. Although agencies have unmarked vehicles for specialized units, they are generally not used for traffic stops except in exigent circumstances.

If anyone is being stopped by someone that they do not believe is a legitimate law enforcement unit/officer, they can drive at normal highway speed and call 911. The 911 dispatch should be able to verify if the stop is valid, if not they can send units to your direction of travel/location and give further instructions. Cell phones under the law can be utilized for emergencies such as calling 911 while driving.

If anyone is being stopped by someone other than what they believe to be a valid law enforcement officer they should notify 911 immediately and drive toward a safe populated location.