Alberta RCMP are warning drivers to be on alert after a fake traffic cop stopped a driver and asked her to get out of her car.
On Thursday night, RCMP say a woman was driving on Highway 2 north of Grande Prairie when an unmarked police car turned on its lights and sirens and pulled her over.
RCMP Const. Michelle Mosher told CTV News that due to the time of day, it would have been extremely hard to realize it wasn't a real police car.
The police car's driver asked the woman for documentation and to step out of her car. The woman says he told her "it was cold outside."
The man wouldn't provide a badge number or name, so the woman drove away safely.
The man is described as Caucasian, tall with medium length hair. He was unshaven and wearing a heavy duty work coat and black pants.
Fake traffic cop trial
On Friday, an Edmonton man pleaded guilty to impersonating a traffic cop in 2014.
Curtis John Ulmer dressed in a fake police uniform to pull over speeding drivers outside his son's school multiple times, even creating a "persona" as a cop, reports the Edmonton Journal. Ulmer has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment before sentencing.
"It is extremely rare...for a police officer to do a traffic stop in plain clothes," Calgary police Sgt. Paul Stacey told CBC News.
What to do if you're not sure
Police ask drivers to follow these steps if they're unsure an officer is legitimate:
- Request to see identification or other proof that they are in fact a police officer;
- Ask the police officer to have a marked police vehicle respond;
- Should they fail to comply with these requests, advise the officer that you are going to call 9-1-1 to confirm the officer’s identity.
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