Cop impersonator

May 5, 2009 3:40:18 PM PDT
He is a police impersonator and he remains at large Tuesday night. The suspect played the part to some seniors in Gloucester Township and the hope is that the real officers will find him before he strikes again."I seen a guy walking around the corner with a notepad in his hand. I didn't think nothing of it."

It was Saturday night around 7:00 when Ron Erickson saw a man walking along Hazeltop Dr. in Erial's Shenandoah Village retirement community.

Gloucester Township Police say the man headed to a home, identified himself as "Detective Bill" and flashed a gold badge. The elderly homeowner asked for more identification and though the man couldn't produce it, he was let inside.

"Told the resident he was there to conduct a safety survey. The resident allowed him in the home and he walked through the home," said Chief Ed Smith.

After checking the house out the man left without taking anything. But cops are now warning residents about this police impersonator urging them not to let anyone in their homes unless they're sure who they are.

"I guess if he has credentials you believe it's a real police officer. When you see the badge? Yeah and especially elderly people, they're gonna be more trusting," said Deborah Goodman Hahn.

"They tell you to check ID on the gas company, and electric company and phone company but if you see a cop and he's got some badge you're not likely to question him," said Pat Williams.

Police say if there's an officer at your door who wants to come in, it's okay to insist on more identification or call police to verify the officer's identity.

"No legitimate police officer would be offended if you said that you needed to call and verify their identity," said Chief Smith.

The phony cop is described as a white male, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 160 pounds and 35-40 years old. He has dark hair, was wearing a brown jacket and driving a newer model Silver Dodge Ram 2-door pickup truck.

Residents of this quiet community are a little unnerved.

"Times are so tough that they could have been checking out the house for a future robbery," said Evelyn Seher.

"I knew it's getting worse all the time. When we first moved in nobody ever locked the doors, nobody bothered," said Jim Lui.

"Of course it makes anybody nervous, my goodness and of course I'll be more vigilant now," said Janice Wilson.

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