Coquitlam RCMP are warning motorists to be vigilant after a Dodge Caravan that had flashing red and blue lights attached to it allegedly conducted a traffic stop on Highyway 1.
The suspect pulled the victim’s vehicle over and demanded his driver’s license, a second piece of ID and then his entire wallet. He proceeded to remove all the cash inside the victim’s wallet, before throwing it on the ground, deactivating his red and blue flashing lights, and driving away.
The victim believed the suspect’s car was an unmarked police vehicle.
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RCMP have released a description of the suspect:
- Caucasian male;
- 6’4 (183cm);
- 250lbs (135 kg);
- Muscular build;
- Spoke with a Russian/Ukrainian accent;
- Wearing a black baseball had with no logos, a thick black winter jacket with no logos or markings, black mask, black pants.
“Investigators have learned that the motorist was travelling eastbound on Highway 1 when the suspect vehicle, an older model black Dodge Caravan, pulled in behind him then activated set of red and blue lights. The suspect driver did not wear anything that resembled a police uniform, he did not have a badge, did not wear a duty belt and did not carry a firearm or gun holster,” said Coquitlam RCMP Corporal Paige Kuz in a statement.
Coquitlam RCMP have also released some tips to people who believe they are being stopped by a non-legitimate police vehicle. Their first recommendation is to slow down, drive in a safer manner to the nearest well-lit, populated area. If that’s not possible, they suggest the following:
- Lock all doors, pull over safely and leave your vehicle running;
- If you have a cellular phone, take it out immediately, hold it in full view of the person who has pulled you over and call 911;
- Calmly give the 911 operator your location and express you concern;
- Ask the 911 operator/police dispatch if they have had any communication with a police officer about a traffic stop in your area;
- Ask 911 to relay your concerns to that law enforcement officer;
- Tell the officer, through a cracked window and locked your door that you plan to cooperate, but you have heard about police impersonators;
- Indicate that you are concerned for your safety and that you are verifying the police contact through dispatch;
- If you remain uncertain that the person who pulled you over is in fact a police officer, ask him/her if you can proceed to a more populated area;
- If he/she agrees, tell the 911 dispatched where you are heading to and proceed.
Investigators are hoping the public may have dash cam footage of the non-legitimate traffic stop which was in the area of Highway 1 between the Brunette Avenue and United Boulevard exits on December 14 or 15. You can contact Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550, quoting file number 2021-34469.