Police After Con-man Impersonating CopsBy Robert Siciliano 8/5/2010 | 11:55:00 amPosted in: Personal Safety
Our unending fascination with “Cops” must be due to the edgy dangerousness of their jobs. After all they are law enforcement officers who are often public bouncers and deal with the craziest of crazy situations. There’s also the whole “power of the badge” and the flickering blue lights that gives them authority over civilians.
It’s no wonder they have their own TV shows, movies and many dramas that depict them as both hero and villain.
With all the fanfare that comes with being a police officer, there is also the pressure of such an often difficult and stressful job. Next time you see a cop, thank him or her. They will appreciate it.
Impersonating a police officer is sometimes committed in order to assert police-like authority in order to commit a crime. Posing as a police officer enables the offender to legitimize the appearance of an illegal act, such as: burglary, making a traffic stop, or detaining.
In New York Police are hunting a con-man who pretends to be a cop while stealing from at least seven businesses cops said. The man sports an imitation police shield and NYPD jacket as he swipes items off the shelves and then returns the goods to the cashier as though he had previously purchased them, officials said.
It is not uncommon for police impersonation to occur when someone is driving and is being pulled over by a fake cop. It’s just as distressing when the criminal knocks on your door trying to gain entry.
This is a difficult scam to protect yourself from and just as tricky to advice on due to the fact that we are trained to obey authority coupled with the fact you don’t want to resist a real officer of the law.
My best advice is to always make a phone call to your local authorities or the state police whenever or wherever you are in a situation where you have the slightest inkling the “cop” may be a fake. Never let someone into your home who holds a badge or ID until you call their superiors to confirm their arrival.
Robert Siciliano personal and home security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Security on NBC Boston. Disclosures.
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