'I'm the sheriff, who are you?': Sheriff stops fake cop car in its tracks

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Andrea Perez Balderrama, Detroit Free Press
·2 min read
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DETROIT – Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard noticed something unusual Thursday about what he thought was a police car that turned out to be a copycat.

He activated his emergency lights and pulled the vehicle over.

"His initial response was, 'Who are you?'" Bouchard said. "And I said, 'I'm the sheriff, who are you?'"

Bouchard says he originally thought the car was a Bloomfield Township police SUV, but then he noticed some irregularities and immediately became suspicious.

"The front windows were so tinted out I couldn't see who was driving it, and I've never seen that on a marked car," Bouchard said.

The driver's door also sported a decal saying "emergency response," which Bouchard found odd.

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He decided to run the vehicle's plates.

"I called in the plate and it came back to an individual and a home, and that was my clue that this clearly wasn't a police car but it certainly looked like one," Bouchard added.

The driver, he said, had gone to extreme lengths to make his SUV look like a police car.

"In the back, it said police interceptor, on the sides it had four numbers like it was part of a fleet," Bouchard said. "It had the big police push bumpers. There was a light array all around the back, side, on the push bumper. It was decked out."

The driver was also in possession of a loaded handgun and a knife but didn't hold a concealed pistol or weapon's license according to Bouchard. He says police don't yet know the driver's motives for dressing up his car to appear like a police car.

"His initial response was that he helped police sometimes, but I don't know what that means, so we are going to have detectives running this down a bit more."

The driver is not being held in Oakland County Jail and awaits charges.

Although these occurrences are uncommon, the Redford Township Police department has posted some tips as to how to deal with situations like this.

  • Activate emergency flashers to acknowledge you are getting pulled over.

  • Call 911 and tell them where you are and that you think you have been pulled over by someone impersonating a police officer.

  • Drive to a public location at posted speeds or lower.

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Follow Andrea Pérez Balderrama on Twitter: @aperezbald

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan sheriff stops fake cop car in its tracks: 'Who are you?'