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Colorado police impersonators are stopping residents over stay-at-home order "violations"

Posted at 4:13 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 20:37:22-04

DENVER — Law enforcement across the Front Range have reported several incidents this week of police impersonators pulling over vehicles and accusing drivers of violating the coronavirus stay-at-home order.

Authorities from Weld County, including Greeley, and Erie, Fort Collins and Aurora have reported incidents. In some cases, according to the Colorado State Patrol, impersonators have conducted traffic checkpoints, asking drivers why they were in public during the stay-at-home order.

The stay-at-home order allows for residents to leave their homes for essential services, such as work or to get groceries and other supplies. The Colorado State Patrol emphasized that troopers are not conducting checkpoints and other law enforcement across the state have not reported doing so, either.

On Friday, a police impersonator was asking drivers in Greeley to pull into an area that was blocked off by yellow traffic cones, near Promontory Parkway and 10th Street, about 5 a.m. The impersonator, a man, was reportedly wearing a dark uniform with a traffic vest, a baseball cap with no emblem, and dark-rimmed glasses, and he had a baton and pepper spray.

The Weld County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday warned about a black Dodge Charger with emergency lights on the dash might be pulling over vehicles in the county.

The Aurora incident happend March 25, around midnight, when a woman was pulled over by a dark blue Ford Crown Victoria on East 6th Avenue and Havana Street. The suspect was wearing a dark blue pressed uniform and questioned the woman about why she was out during the stay-at-home order. The man then told the woman she could leave, and she later reported the incident to police.

The Erie incident happened Friday about 7 a.m., when a woman was pulled over by a black vehicle with flashing emergency lights on East County Line Road near Moffat Street. A man contacted the woman and asked where she was going. When she told him where she worked, he told her to go home due to the stay-at-home order. The man then followed her to her home before leaving the area.

In Fort Collins, a woman was pulled over on March 26 about 11:45 a.m., near Harmony and Timberline roads. The impersonator was driving a white pickup truck with red and blue lights on the windshield. He was wearing a dark blue police uniform and a police baseball cap. The man told the woman he was conducting a "stay-home compliance check" and asked for her driver's license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration.

After taking the documents to his truck, he returned several minutes later but didn't provide his name or a business card. The woman later reported the incident to police.

Authorities urged anyone who gets pulled over by a potential police impersonator to call 911. Dispatchers can help determine if the officer is legitimate.