Fake cops target drivers in South Bay

SAN YSIDRO, Calif. – A 28-year-old man was left stranded on a South Bay freeway Tuesday afternoon after he was carjacked and robbed by a man impersonating a police officer,  according to the California Highway Patrol.

The man was traveling on westbound State route 905 just east of Interstate 805 around 12:30 p.m. when he was pulled over, the CHP said.

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 5.21.02 PM“He was stopped by a white Ford Crown Victoria with paper plates and that vehicle was displaying a red and blue light,” said CHP officer Jake Sanchez.“The suspect exited the vehicle wearing a black police jacket also carrying a holster which he believed to be a weapon on his right hip.”

The suspect told the victim to get out his car, then he sat in the driver’s seat and took off in the Jeep, the Crown Victoria immediately followed, Sanchez said.  The thieves also got away with a large amount of money.

“The victim was able to get a ride to Dairy Road where he contacted us,” said Sanchez.

Sanchez warned that CHP patrol cars have lights overhead, on the grill or on the side of the vehicle. Officers will be in a black and white marked car with a star and CHP emblem.

Only detectives and undercover officers drive in unmarked cars and usually they don’t make traffic stops, he said.

“If someone is stopped by a vehicle that’s unclear whether it’s truly a police vehicle, please contact 911 or pull over to a safe location,” said Sanchez.

The victim was not injured. Sanchez said this is a clear case of theft and impersonating an officer.  If caught, the suspects will face felony charges.