Drivers Warned over Fake Unmarked Police Cars
Essex police are warning motorists in the county to not pull over for anything other than marked police vehicles following a number of vehicle thefts by fake traffic cops. The warning comes after thieves stole multiple vehicles by pulling motorists over in unmarked cars equipped with blue flashing lights, and purporting to be police officers.
Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Smith, who is leading the investigation, said: “In a direct response to these incidents occurring, a directive has been given to our officers that they should not, unless in emergency circumstances, be in an unmarked car and attempt to stop a driver. We have taken this decision to safeguard motorists in Essex while these offenders remain outstanding. Our victims have told us that the suspects are purporting to be police officers and are wearing body armour to further enhance this deception in order to steal these vans.”
On July 23, a white Mercedes Sprinter van was stolen after being pulled over on the M11 by four men in a silver Ford Mondeo. One of the men reportedly had a firearm.
On July 25, a similar incident occurred when three men in a silver Mondeo pulled a grey Volkswagen Transporter van over on the M25. No weapons were seen, although one of the men reportedly had a pair of handcuffs.
It is unclear whether the same Mondeo was used in both incidents, as the occupants of the Volkswagen did not manage to see the vehicle’s registration number.
None of the victims was harmed in either incident.
DCI Smith urged anyone who is signalled to stop by a vehicle that may appear to be an unmarked police car to call 999 immediately to verify whether the vehicle and its occupants are genuine.
Anyone with information about either incident should contact police on 101.