Sheriff’s Office thinks woman possibly was stopped by phony cop
Steamboat Springs — The Routt County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a Tuesday morning incident where it thinks a driver might have been pulled over by a man impersonating a police officer.
“We don’t get this sort of thing very often, so it’s very concerning,” Undersheriff Ray Birch said Tuesday.
According to a news release, a woman was driving on U.S. Highway 40 when she turned onto Routt County Road 44 between Steamboat Springs and Milner. She was pulled over by a small, Champagne-colored sport-utility vehicle with red and blue lights in the grill guard. There were no other emergency lights on the vehicle.
The woman said she did not notice any markings on the vehicle and was unable to provide deputies with a license plate number. The woman said the man contacted her. He was white, about 5 feet, 8 inches tall, with shorter dark hair, in his late 20s or early 30s and weighed between 150 and 170 pounds.
The woman said the man did not have a badge on his brown/tan coat, but he had an “RCS” emblem that the woman thought was a Sheriff’s Office emblem. The man was wearing a belt with gear that police officers typically carry.
The man took the woman’s driver’s license, registration and insurance and told her she could be driving a stolen vehicle and he had to check the car’s vehicle identification number. The man then looked under the hood and on the dash to get the number.
The woman asked the man what type of vehicle was stolen. The man said he was looking for a late ’80s to early ’90s Ford and that “we’re” checking all trucks.
After telling the man she was driving a 1981 Chevy, the man said she was safe to go.
The woman told deputies that the man never went back to his vehicle to run her information through police databases, and the man did not issue a business card. The woman drove away and she did not know which way the man went.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the woman was not stopped by anyone from the Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol or Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
When pulling over a vehicle, law enforcement officers often first will check on the vehicle by running the license plate information through databases. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the vehicle the woman was driving had not been checked by any law enforcement officer in the past several months.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Cpl. Ryan Adrian at 970-870-5503 or Routt County Communications at 970-879-1090.
Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Routt County Crime Stoppers at 970-870-6226.