UPDATE: Police share safety tips after man claiming to be Washington & Lee officer pulls woman over

Roanoke Valley News

UPDATE 1:52 p.m.: In light of the incident described in the article below, the Lexington Police Department has shared a number of guidelines for community members to follow in case you fear the person pulling you over is not a real police officer:

  • Put on your emergency flashers, drive the speed limit and call 911 from your cell phone. Tell the 911 dispatcher that you are concerned that someone is trying to pull you over in an unmarked car that may not be a police officer. Ask the dispatcher to verify whether the car attempting to pull you over is indeed a law enforcement officer. If you do not have a cell phone, drive to a well-lit, busy area such as the parking lot of a busy store such as a grocery store.
  • Do not flee from the vehicle attempting to pull you over.
  • Do not stop your vehicle or get out of your vehicle until a dispatcher can confirm you are being pulled over by a legitimate police officer.
  • If the dispatcher cannot confirm that you are being pulled over by a police officer, stay on the line with the dispatcher, and ask for police assistance. Drive carefully to a safe place, such as a local police department.
  • Do not provide personal documents – driver’s license, insurance information or other documents – to someone who you suspect of being a police impersonator.
  • If you are issued documents that may be suspicious, contact the issuing agency about their legitimacy.
  • Report anything suspicious to police; please don’t wait to make a report.

LEXINGTON, Va. (WFXR) — Lexington law enforcement shared a warning with the community Friday morning after a young woman was reportedly pulled over Thursday night by a man claiming to be an officer at Washington & Lee.

According to the Lexington Police Department, on Thursday, Jan. 21, a young woman was stopped by a person in a small blue Ford — possibly a Ford Focus — near W. Denny Circle and W. Nelson Street near the Washington & Lee University soccer fields.

Police say the vehicle had a spotlight on the side and a blue bubble light on top.

The department says a man — described as white, skinny, possibly in his 50’s, and approximately 5’9″ tall — approached the woman after she stopped her vehicle. The man was reportedly bald on top with grey hair on the sides and wearing wire rim glasses, a blue polo shirt, and black BDU-style pants.

Authorities say it is unknown if the man was armed, but he appeared to be wearing a duty belt, according to the woman.

Police say the man claimed he was a Washington & Lee officer and that he stopped her because her brake light was out. Once the man looked at the woman’s information, though, he said he had the wrong vehicle and her brake lights were fine.

However, the man then asked the woman to exit her vehicle so she could confirm her brake lights were functioning properly, officials say.

The department says the woman refused to exit her vehicle, but the man just told her she was free to go and then left the area before he last seen heading west on Route 60.

If you see a vehicle or a person matching the description of this man, you are asked to call the Lexington Police Department’s non-emergency dispatch line at (540) 463-9177 or leave an anonymous tip at (540) 462-3708.

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