CALN TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Police in Chester County are asking the public to be on alert for a pair of possible police impersonators after what appears to be a frightening incident involving a teenager.
It happened between 9:30 and 10 a.m. on August 25 in Caln Township.
According to police, a 17-year-old male driver said he was pulled over by what he believed to be a police car in the 300 block of Bonsdsville Road (Route 340) south of the Route 30 bypass.
The teen told police the vehicle was a black Ford Taurus that looked like an unmarked police vehicle, with blue and red lights on either side of the rearview mirror and heavily tinted windows.
According to police, the teen said a man in his early 20s got out of the Ford wearing black tactical pants, black boots, a black t-shirt and a ballistic vest with the word "POLICE" on the front and back.
The man, described as a white male with a thin build standing 5'6" tall with short blond hair combed to the side, was not wearing a badge nor did he identify himself, the teen told police.
The suspect was also allegedly armed with a Taser, though he did not use it.
The teen said the apparent impersonator handcuffed him and detained him for a minor traffic infraction. That was until another man, also in a black Ford Taurus wearing similar clothing, arrived on the scene told the first suspect to release him, the teen said.
The second suspect was also described as a white male in his 20s. He had a muscular build with dark, shaggy hair.
The Caln Township Police Department said the tactics are not proper police procedure. Investigators say they've contacted area police departments and cannot account for the men and vehicles described by the teenager.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 610-383-1821 x181.
Meanwhile, police offered the following tips to protect yourself against police impersonators:
-Activate your hazard lights to notify the officer that you are complying with the request to pull over.
-Call 911 on your cell phone and ask the dispatcher to verify that it is an officer trying to pull you over or stop you. Have the dispatcher verify your vehicle description and your location and stop when it's safe.
-If it is dark, pull over to a well-lit area, such as a convenience store.
-Lock your door and do not get out of the vehicle to meet the officer. Officers usually don't like this anyway.
-Ask where they work and if you can contact their dispatch center to confirm their identity. You may also request a marked patrol unit respond.
-Look for an official agency badge, equipment or uniform. If the officer is in plainclothes, you can request that the officer show some identification.
-Officers should immediately tell you why you are being contacted. Pay attention to what they are asking. Most officers will advise you of the reason for the stop and request your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance.
-If they immediately tell you to get out of the car without any preliminary questions, be suspicious.
-Trust your instincts. Call your local law enforcement agency immediately if you have concerns.