FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Kentucky State Police are offering tips on what to do if you are pulled over by what appears to be an unmarked police car and are suspicious of the traffic stop.
This follows the robbery that took place in Shelbyville on Monday afternoon.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department said they took a report around 3:30 p.m. of a robbery that occurred at Freedoms Way, just north of LaGrange Road.
The victim reported that a traffic stop was conducted on her vehicle by a dark (Navy) blue Crown Victoria with blue lights in the grill. The suspect was described as a black male, approximately 5-foot-8, short hair shaved on side, muscular build, wearing what appeared to be a blue in color uniform and duty belt. He demanded the victim’s purse and phone before speeding away.
The victim was driving a silver Kia Forte and was stopped on the right side of the northbound lane of Freedoms Way.
If anyone witnessed this stop and has information that could help the investigation, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 502-633-4324 or Central Dispatch at 502-633-2323 after 4:30pm.
Trooper Bernis Napier with the KSP Frankfort Post has some advice if you believe a traffic stop is suspicious.
“If you’re unsure whether that is a police officer or not, I always recommend calling 911, if you have your cellphone handy,” he said. “Tell the dispatcher ‘There’s this vehicle behind me, I’m not 100 percent sure it’s a police officer. Will you let me know?’ That has actually happened before.”
Another tip: “Stop in a safe location,” Napier said. “If you’re being stopped by a police officer, obviously pull over fairly soon, but pull over in a well-lit area, such as a gas station, where there are other people. That’s always a good idea, and it’s also a good idea for the officer, as well. If you stop in an unsafe location, it’s dangerous for all of us.”
In addition to fake traffic stops, the Kentucky Attorney General’s office warns that there are also telephone scams that involve fake police officers.
--Never trust the caller and always verify information independently. The caller may pretend to have information like badge numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials, courthouse addresses and phone numbers. Even if the caller seems legitimate, independently call the sheriff’s office, or agency the caller claims to represent, to verify before taking any action.
--Never pay over the phone using gift cards or reloadable credit cards. Scammers typically use gift cards and reloadable cards as their preferred method of payment because such cards are almost impossible to track and recover.
--Never provide your personal or financial information to unknown callers.
The scams may not be as dangerous as the fake traffic stops, but they’ll try to get your money as well.