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Essex county OPP are looking into reports of a man attempting to impersonate an officer just days after a similar situation—resulting in an arrest—was investigated by Wellington OPP, according to CTV News.
A province-wide public advisory is being issued by Ontario Provincial Police on Facebook asking drivers to be careful when they are approached or pulled over by anything that resembles an unmarked police vehicle.
A 25-year-old Puslinch, Ontario man was arrested in the Wellington County case after “impersonating a police officer and stopping people to check their ‘essential worker’ status amid the COVID-19 pandemic” in mid-April.
According to police, his vehicle had a PA system and lights that flashed yellow and orange in the rear window.
The reports have raised concern as the Nova Scotia killer responsible for the worst mass shooting in Canadian history was impersonating police officers at the time of the incident.
Essex OPP are still looking for their recent suspect.
A woman reported that she was pulled over by what looked like a police car in Lakeshore, Ontario and a man wearing what looked like a police uniform approached her vehicle on April 23.
The man is described by police as white, around 30 to 40-years-old, tall and in good shape with a scruffy beard and short brown hair.
Police have reminded drivers that if they are “stopped or approached by an officer in plain clothes driving an unmarked vehicle, [they] are within their rights to ask for the officer’s identification or request a uniformed officer be present. Those individuals should also call 911 if they have reason to believe the person is not a police officer.”
“The OPP is not conducting random traffic stops to check motorists’ work status during the COVID-19 pandemic, nor are drivers required to prove they are an essential worker to police,” said Paul Richardson of the Wellington County OPP.